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Future models - Haval - HB-03 - concept

Shanghai show: Haval HB-03 SUV coupe outed

Sharp dresser: The HB-03 concept has a similar side profile to the likes of the BMW X6 and X4.

Haval goes down the SUV coupe route with bold HB-03 concept

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Haval logo20 Apr 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HAVAL has pulled the covers from its HB-03 plug-in hybrid concept, previewing a near-production-ready SUV coupe concept that will give the Chinese SUV specialist a rival for the likes of the BMW X6.

The HB-03 – which stands for Haval Blue – is the latest in a string of Haval concepts and follows the larger HB-02 and H6-previewing HR-02 from last year’s Beijing show, as well as the H2S from November’s Guangzhou auto show.

From side on, the concept’s profile is reminiscent of other coupe SUVs, notably the BMW X6 that kicked off the swoopy high-rider craze, and its X4 stablemate.

The front-end design with its narrow headlights, large honeycomb grille, sculpted bonnet and wide-set foglights matches the face of last year’s HB-02 concept.

In fact, aside from the sloping rear roofline, the two concepts are virtually identical, suggesting that the HB-03 will be the coupe version of the production ready HB-02.

The production ready version of the HB-03 is not expected to surface until late next year and it is unclear if it will form the basis of the next-generation H6 Coupe, which is sold in Australia as the H6.

The new concept is powered by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, emphasising the company’s focus on alternative energy technologies.

Haval Motors Australia public relations and product specialist Andrew Ellis told GoAuto that the local arm would consider introducing the production version of the HB-03 when it eventually surfaces if it is offered with the hybrid drivetrain.

The ambitious Chinese brand is keen to be seen as a leader in the field of alternative engine technology given the recent focus in its home market on green vehicles, and if gets the go ahead for the Australian market, it could be Haval’s first hybrid model Down Under.

Haval’s hybrid system – unveiled at the 2016 Beijing show – combines a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 95kW/278Nm electric motor connected to a 13kWh rear-mounted lithium-ion battery for a total system output of 200kW/450Nm.

The plug-in has three driving modes, including Pure Electric, which has a total electric-only range of 65km and the battery can be recharged in about four hours from a standard household outlet.

Haval says the system in the HB-03 has a combined cycle consumption figure of 2.1 litres per 100km – the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a figure of 1.7L/100km – and it can complete the 0-100km/h dash in 9.0 seconds on its way to a top speed of 210km/h.

Inside the HB-03 has an orange colour scheme and features carbon-look and black chrome panels and surfaces as well as three-dimensional effects, while the screen and controls are angled towards the driver.

Haval design director Pierre Leclercq said the concept stays true to his philosophy of “simple, but strong” design.

“The design expression should never be over explained. The best products speak for themselves,” the former BMW designer said.

“As a designer, I feel fortunate to work for a company that understands the importance of bringing such exciting vehicles to market.

“Haval is proud to design vehicles that are not only meant to transport you from A to B, but inspire you to enjoy looking at when you reach your destination. We want to design more vehicles that create desire and therefore carry out the best expression of our brand image.”

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