Volkswagen’s Neeza concept car was warmly received in Beijing and boasts suicide doors along with a roomy, versatile, and technologically advanced interior. Designed in Shanghai , by Chinese for the Chinese market, the 181-inch-long vehicle with a 102.4-inch wheelbase is likely to share its all-wheel-drive platform with an existing compact Volkswagen model — possibly the new Audi Q5 — if it comes to market.
Much was made in Volkswagen’s pre-show material of the Neeza’s Bluetooth and enhanced digital entertainment environment, but surely the key here is the look of the vehicle. Its short wheelbase and long front and rear overhangs may look gawky in some circles, but this vehicle has been designed in Shanghai. Volkswagen needs one or two special new models to boost its recently falling sales in the Chinese market.
FAW Volkswagen is, incidentally, one of the first supporters of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This model will obviously share an existing platform, so in addition to mainstream models it can add a niche “sparkle” to the range and appeal to new types of customers. And if some of those customers also happen to be overseas, all the better.
The Neeza is named after, and inspired by, a mythical Chinese character “described in famous tales as representing the remarkable bravery and persistence with an indomitable will," the Neeza, with its connotations in Chinese culture, is the perfect combination of Eastern and Western aesthetics”. The color is Chinese Red — always used for special occasions.
2006 Volkswagen Magotan
2006 Volkswagen MagotanEnlarge Photo
The Volkswagen Magotan is FAW-VW’s new top model, based on the Passat but with Chinese styling. When translated from the Chinese characters, the name Mai Teng means “mile galloper” — no explanation for why it has been changed into “Magotan” in English.
The Magotan is another vehicle to have been redesigned to suit Chinese tastes. In this case, it’s a revamped Passat, manufactured in China . Volkswagen says that it will be one of the company’s top models in China — given that there was not much mention of the Phaeton at the show, it seems likely. The engine is a 1.8-liter turbo with direct injection.
2006 MINI Traveller conceptEnlarge Photo
In a short space of time, MINI has become a loveable, forward-looking brand, wanted by most young Chinese. The new, larger version (and eventual production version of the Traveller) will certainly increase its marketability in China , let alone the rest of the world.
2006 Chery Fulwin
2006 Chery FulwinEnlarge Photo
Chery Fulwin Coupe
The Chery Fulwin Coupe is a very attractive, lightweight sportster with a curb weight of only about 2650 pounds. It uses a 1.6-liter engine that produces 100 lb-ft of torque. Although only a concept, the vehicle is described by Chery as leading the way for Chinese sports cars. The old Fulwin, or “WindCloud” as its name means in Chinese, was a distinctly square-looking redesign of an old Spanish-built Seat Toledo sedan from the ’80s. This new coupe is lightweight and very compact, looking great in its bright yellow paintwork. The shallow glasshouse and pronounced waistline are intended to give a muscular feel to this diminutive two-door design.