A Shanghai Surprise for your Sunday deliberations.
Earlier this week, our German correspondent offered his considered views upon the stylistic progress of the Chinese auto industry, as evidenced by some highly credible concept cars shown at the recent Shanghai show. What’s clear from his report is that China’s carmakers, with some assistance from Western design professionals, are making significant aesthetic strides and that in this arena at least, the so-called developed world’s carmakers have little to feel complacent about.
The standard of many domestic concept cars at Shanghai would have put any European or North American motor show to shame, and while we have yet to see this newfound professionalism translate into production, it raises some uncomfortable questions for design teams closer to home.
Amid the shining highlights of Shanghai, one concept however, seems to have broadly escaped notice. Matchless is a luxury concept from Chinese electric vehicle start-up, Gyon – an acronym you might be interested to learn stands for ‘Grow Your Own Niche’. I’m unclear as to how this is to be achieved, perhaps they supply seeds.
Anyway, this full-size shooting brake-style saloon, claimed by its creator to be Gyon’s first ‘flagship car’, is reputedly not so much a concept as a ‘prototype’ built with production in mind – one assumes, just as soon as a well-heeled backer is found.
Gyon’s design team however do appear to have been stealing the occasional glance over their shoulders during the Matchless’ conception, since the finished product, while undoubtedly a well proportioned, handsome looking piece of conceptual vapourware (nose treatment aside at least), it nevertheless appears redolent of at least one pre-existing car design, maybe more.
But rather than posit my own unfounded speculation, I put it to the good readers of Driven to Write this Sunday: Does Gyon’s Shanghai offering strike any particular visual chords with you, or am I simply indulging in idle matchmaking?
13 thoughts on “Match Not Found”
Good morning, Eóin. At first glance, it reminded me of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo in overall form, but with Audi-esque surfacing. It looks like the in-house competitor to the Panamera that Audi might build if they (a) were allowed to, and (b) had much more competent designers.
At second glance, could it be a flagship for Volvo (Or the distraction that is Polestar)?
To my eyes, it could be a modern Maserati Quattroporte with the taillights of the 3200 GT.
I think they handle the sill area much better than Jaguar’s I-Pace does. However I find the greenhouse doesn’t cash the sexy cheque that the lower body has written.
If I have to make a guess: it has Giugiaro written all over it. But weirdly they don’t advertise it. Maybe it was made by someone who worked with Giugiaro a long time… The name of the car is preposterous and thus almost certainly made up by an Italian.
GFG Style’s official Shanghai entrant is the Landwind Rongyao, which looks much less like a current Giugiaro effort than the Gyon.
I believe I’ve seen the Gyon’s ‘lotus root’ wheel design somewhere else before too – I just don’t know where.
Perhaps there’s a fan of old British motorbikes behind the name. The new Chinese marques are becoming a bit hubristic in their naming – refer to Weltmeister, née Polarsun Automobile.
So, Eóin, are any of us sharing the same thought bubble as you regarding its influences?
Frankly Daniel, not really, but it’s really interesting to see what others see.
‘yourreaderfromitaly’: There is definitely an Italian flavour to what I was seeing, but it wasn’t necessarily Giorgetto – but now that you point it out, yes I can see that.
I did not know of the latest work of GFG style. It must be their ‘first’ production car.
Awful name, who calls their car Matchless ??
I’ve learned Matchless was designed by the Gaffoglio family. And this is what I found about them:
Ok, so Metalcrafters seems to have been involved with a few concept cars:
Among them the Iacocca from Lee Iacocca: