Concepts and prototypes : Roewe 550
The Roewe is well known for being designed and engineered in the UK.
Here are some images of that development process…
September 2008 – Roewe promotional video
To promote the launch the Roewe 550, SAIC put out a promotional video to emphasize the Anglo-Chinese nature of its new baby. Starring SAIC Design Director Anthony Williams and SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre’s General Manager, David Lindley, there were a few interesting images on display.
April 2008 – Roewe 550 design story
The SAIC Design Team was briefed to create a brand new four-door saloon to sit alongside the Roewe 750 in the Chinese market but also write a new chapter in the Roewe Brand’s development worldwide.
Being an all new design, this was a chance to produce a modern world class medium sized sedan, retaining the British-influenced dignity and elegance of the 750, while forging a new distinctive Chinese dynamic image and character for the first in a range of many new products from the SAIC’s Roewe premium brand. A close knit International design team, based in UK and Shanghai, was led in the UK by SAIC Design Director Anthony Williams, and SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre General Manager, David Lindley.
Exterior design development
The final theme was selected for its calm yet dynamic style, with a characterful front-end identity design to enhance a strong link with the Roewe 750. The final aesthetic retains a premium feel in line with Roewe core brand values along with dynamic and confident imagery.
In particular the headlamp style was strongly influenced by Roewe 750, whilst offering a more progressive and youthful hi-tech detail with low-beam projector units as standard feature. In harmony with the dramatic front end pan view form, 550 offers a bold and imposing statement. The side view ‘cigar-shaped’ character, again, is derived from Roewe 750 with its obvious curved shoulder and belt-lines, designed to reflect the chrome detailing of 550 and present a dynamic and youthful character.
A confident stance is enhanced by the gently curved sill line. Subtly curved surface treatment and pronounced arches offers a balanced language. The depth of the bodyside reinforces the car’s engineering requirement to conform to the highest international safety targets.
The design fuses the trend for premium ‘simple flowing forms’ with the Asia Pacific taste for ‘technology on show’ enhancing SAIC Motor’s position as the major force in Chinese car manufacturing. The design has been carefully developed to ensure colour options are harmonious to the theme.
The Roewe 550 is offered in two colourways; the warm option is offers familiarity to the Chinese customer with a bold horizontal colour-split and ‘matt’ wood finish whilst the all dark-grey option with ‘black’ gloss wood finish enhances the 550 dynamic and culturally balanced character possibly bringing a European feel to the more progressive customer.
September 2007 – W261 gets closer to reality
By KEITH ADAMS
Although you’d never know it, SAIC does have a press office, and amid all of the negotiations with NAC-MG, it has released these images of its upcoming mid-liner, also known as project W261. The car, which has taken shape at the SAIC UK Technical Centre (née Ricardo2010), follows closely the W2 project and the CGI renderings issued by AutoExpress earlier this year.
More details of the car have also emerged, including confirmation that the entry-level model will be powered by a 1.6-litre engine, and that the K-Series power units used under the bonnet will be EuroIV compliant – something that Powertrain engineers in Longbridge had achieved before the company went into administration back in 2005. Like the original engine, much of the engine management system will be supplied by Siemens…
The intriguing prospect is whether there will be an MG5 version of this car, given that SAIC and NAC are about to tie-up, finally giving us a replacement for the highly underated ZS model?
Thanks to: China Car Times, and ‘Windy’.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.
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