SAIC previewed the Roewe 550 at Beijing a year before it was launched with the impressive W2 concept car.
Many of the features – including its body styling – made it into production.
April 2007 – Roewe W2 Concept hits the show circuit
By KEITH ADAMS
Strong hints at the look of the baby brother to the 75-based Roewe 750 saloon are revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show with the arrival of the W2 Concept car. Dozens of test mules going under the codename W261 have been spotted all over the world on endurance runs. It is clear that there is a close relationship between the W2 Concept, the W261 Project (possibly to be called the Roewe 5-Series instead of 450 as previously mooted). More intriguingly, the British developed car closely resembles one of the final RDX60 styling scheme, as penned by Peter Stevens on the eve of MGR’s fall into administration in April 2005.
Although there’s little linking this car stylistically with the outgoing Rovers and MGs, the similarity to the ill-fated RDX60 is quite startling, indicating that the project was continued by Ricardo2010, almost seamlessly from the closure of MG Rover – indicating the earnestness of the company’s statement back in 2005, that the RDX60 was most definitely theirs…
As with the RDX60, the Roewe 450/5-Series is based upon the architecture of the Rover 75 – and because of that, it’s heading for production at an unprecedented rate. Unlike the original MG Rover, car, Roewe’s 450 will only be offered in saloon form, and will feature a pretty new interior that echoes the changing face of the original project, and how the MG and Rover marques were going to be modernised.
A launch is expected late this year, with a European on-sale date sometime in 2009.