Friday, April 24, 2009

Guangbin Li Nian Roadster

The Li Nian brand, the product of a joint venture between Honda and local manufacturer Guangzhou Auto, showed this Roadster concept at the Shanghai auto show. Succeeding a five-door SUV/CUV concept based on the Jazz/Fit, the roadster was first seen at the Guangzhou Auto Show late last year.

Purely a design study to show the direction of the Li Nian brand - whose aim is to appeal to younger buyers - there are shades of S2000 and the Honda OSM concept in this long-nosed roadster's design aesthetic. But, as is the case with many Chinese market vehicles, the car's surfacing and detailing lack refinement.

The Li Nian brand will be trialed in China and India, with the hatchback the first model on sale next year. According to a spokeperson at Honda, the company has no intention of bringing the Roadster concept to production. Read our opinions of the concept in our

Buick Business Concept (w/ Gallery)

GM's Buick division is big in China, where it's a desirable luxury brand, and the six-seat Business Concept is intended as a high-class executive shuttle and alternative to the aged GL8 MPV (formerly known as Vauxhall/Opel Sintra) currently on offer. It's a coherent follow-up to the Buick Riviera concept shown in Shanghai in 2007.

Most hardware for the Concept comes from the Chevrolet Orlando, with the addition of a next-generation GM hybrid powertrain, but the Concept, like the Riviera, has been specifically designed and developed at the GM-SAIC PATAC Pan-Asia R&D center for the Chinese market.

The usual Buick design cues, including trademark 'waterfall' grille, have been applied to distinguish this purple-painted MPV from the workaday Chevy, and the burgundy/cream interior suitably spiffed-up with six multi-adjustable, armchair-like seats and suede carpeting; it incorporates traditional Chinese patterns in its trim, and Chinese crystal sculptures are evoked in its headlight design, says GM.