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First look: Aussie links to Geely’s new flagship

In tune: Australian engineers are understood to have overhauled the chassis of the new GC9, which is described as Geely’s most dynamic car ever.

Flagship GC9 is the first Horbury-designed Geely and received suspension work in Oz

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Geely logo9 Sep 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

CHINESE auto giant Geely has unveiled its flagship GC9 sedan that is the first vehicle designed under the direction of Peter Horbury and is believed to have received an engineering pull-through in Australia.

To be shown at the Guangzhou auto show in November and set to enter production in China early next year, the Emgrand GC9 – which is also known as the EC9 – is reportedly based on the Volvo S60 platform and was developed for both the Chinese domestic market and western export destinations, meaning sales in Australia are on the agenda.

As GoAuto reported exclusively in May, a team of engineers at Melbourne-based Premcar – previously Prodrive Australia and responsible for the soon-to-be-disbanded Ford Performance Vehicles range – are now working on a host of new products for Geely and other car manufacturers in areas such as chassis development and vehicle integration.

We spotted what is understood to be the GC9/EC9 in development in and around the Premcar engineering centre in Campbellfield, where the team is believed to have been working on the chassis tune ahead of the vehicle’s global launch.

The luxury car was shown in concept form as the Geely KC at last year’s Shanghai auto show, where it not only previewed Geely’s new design language – wrought by former Volvo and Ford head designer Peter Horbury – but also a new generation of Geelys built on top-shelf platforms borrowed from Geely subsidiary Volvo.

Geely describes the GC9 as its most ambitious vehicle to date in terms of design, technology, safety and driving dynamics.

Mr Horbury is said to have drawn design inspiration from jet fighters and supercars, while the interior is a more conservative affair and follows the form of ancient stone bridges, according to Geely.

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