Geely Auto starts off 2019 with the release of images of its first Coupe SUV, signalling how the brand plans on widening its product portfolio. The design was done at Geely Design Shanghai, one of the carmaker’s five global design studios managed by veteran car industry designer Peter Horbury.

As one of Geely’s most assertively styled cars to date, the forthcoming Coupe SUV (launch date not announced yet) showcases sporting credentials with a wide and confident stance. Geely’s signature ‘expanding universe’ grille is wide yet slim, further enhancing that assertive stance and the distinctive day running lights give a strong predator cat appearance.

Strong powerful shoulders that rise around the grille, coupled with the sculpted lower air intakes, give a ground-hugging look and further emphasise that feeling of strength. The silhouette of the Coupe SUV slopes upwards dramatically into a long tailing roofline that falls down sharply into the rear quarters, echoing the fastback designs of high performance sportscars.

Design elements that were first showcased on the Bo Rui GE, such as the Chinese fan-inspired rear lights, have been adopted.  A new generation of day running lights has been introduced with a ‘digital arrow’ which brings a new digital twist to an ancient weapon.

The Coupe SUV, internally codenamed the ‘FY11’, is the first Geely product based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). CMA was jointly developed by Volvo and Geely at the China-Euro Vehicle Technology Centre in Sweden, where the two brands carry out joint R&D. Over 2,000 engineers worked for 6 years to develop and refine the architecture which will be used by brands under the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group umbrella (which includes Proton).

The Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) will be used by all brands in the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (which includes Proton).

The modular nature of the architecture means that it can be used to create vehicles that fit each brand’s requirements as luxury, premium or mass market and also allows for each brand to create vehicles based on their market segmentation (MPV, sedan, SUV, crossover, etc). The flexibility of CMA also allows for multiple powertrain options, including plug-in hybrid, mild hybrid and pure electric solutions besides conventional petrol engines. By having common architecture, each brand will enjoy economies of scale that can reduce production cost.

Geely tried to use its ‘expanding universe’ grille on Volvo models, as evident by the Volvo Concept Universe, a large luxury sedan design proposal displayed at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show, less than a year after the company acquired the Swedish carmaker from Ford.

[Chips Yap]

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