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Future models - Geely - NL-3

Geely teases new SUV

Grille seeker: The front end of Geely's mysterious SUV resembles the nose of a disguised vehicle that has been spied on Australian roads.

Unnamed Geely concept teased, likely to be NL-3 SUV

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Geely logo20 Aug 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

GEELY has revealed it is working on a sleek SUV model after American publication Autoblog.com acquired a handful of teaser shots that herald a new vehicle exclusively for the Chinese market.

The unnamed model is thought to be the NL-3 SUV which has been spotted under testing on Australian roads, most likely for automatic transmission calibration at Geely-owned Drive Systems International, based in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale, and perhaps chassis tuning courtesy of Premcar in Campbelfield.

No official details accompany the three low-light images and according to the brand's Australian importer, Chinese Automotive Distributors (CAD), it is unclear whether the SUV or any future model will be heading Down Under.

Speaking with GoAuto, CAD director Rod Gailey said it was too early to comment on future Geely products for Australia, but the latest models were being heavily influenced by the Volvo connection, after the Swedish marque was bought by Zhejiang Geely Automobile Holdings in 2010.

“Until they come up with a strategy for right-hand drive – eg Australia – it's difficult to comment on anything – until we have confirmation when and if it's going to arrive,” said Mr Gailey.

“It's clear they are using the technology and the skills they have acquired with the purchase of the Volvo company and they are building cars that are more appropriate for western advanced countries – right-hand drive in particular – and we will start to see the benefit of that some time in the future.

“Whether it is 2017 or 2018 remains to be seen. There is a lot happening in China but how much filters down to Australia, what format and what guise remains to be seen.

“But clearly more advanced cars in terms of technology, engineering safety standards and design is at the forefront of Geely's platform. Volvo is a key part of that.”

As part of the deal to acquire Volvo, Geely also gained esteemed designer Peter Horbury, who is believed to be behind the new SUV, and with a belt line not dissimilar to Land Rover's Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, the mysterious model is clearly going after a European look.

From here on, Geely models will hinge heavily on Volvo platforms and personnel with the Swedish design centre in Gothenburg handling the styling of both brands, while technology is also expected to be shared around.

Geely has previously confirmed that other models such as the production GC9, which is also restricted to the Chinese market, received development work on Australian soil.

Thanks to its silky Australian-fettled chassis, the Commodore-sized sedan was selected to ferry foreign diplomats visiting China, after the Chinese government ordered 50 of the vehicles named Borui in China.

The future of the Emgrand Geely sub-brand that resurfaced at this year's Shanghai motor show is still unconfirmed, but could spawn more European styled models, which evolve into vehicles to do battle with the big three German brands.

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