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?