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First look: Luxgen primes first passenger car

Lux a fortune: The Luxgen5 was built from the ground up for global markets and is brimming with advanced technology such as a head-up display, 360-degree imaging system and night vision.

Taiwanese brand expands into passenger cars with hi-tech Luxgen5 premium sedan

9 Dec 2011

TAIWANESE car-maker Yulon Motor Co has unveiled the first passenger car built under its home-grown Luxgen brand ahead of the Luxgen5 sedan’s world premiere at the Taipei motor show in April.

To be released in its home market in the first half of 2012, with China following later in the year, the Luxgen5 is billed as a premium medium-sized sedan “targeted at the world market”.

As GoAuto has reported, Australia is on the company’s radar, although Asia and Europe are the prime targets for the fledgling brand and its parent Yulon, which also builds the Luxgen7 MPV and SUV models and assembles vehicles for Nissan Motor Co.

The SUV has been available in China since September through Yulon’s joint venture with China’s Dongfeng Motor Co.

The production Luxgen5 sedan has emerged eight months after the electric Neora sedan concept hit Auto Shanghai, taking on similar design cues but foregoing an electrified powertrain – at least for now – as also seen in the MPV and SUV.

Instead, preliminary specifications released this week put the Luxgen5 with two turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines with variable valve timing (VVT) – a 112kW/230Nm 1.8-litre VVT turbo paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, and a 127kW/256Nm 2.0-litre unit coupled with an Aisin-supplied six-speed auto.

Luxgen claims the 2.0-litre turbo outperforms a conventional 2.7-litre naturally aspirated engine and enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 210km/h.

164 center imageFuel consumption data and performance figures for the 2.0-litre unit are still to be released, while the absence of other specifications – save for a 2720mm wheelbase – makes it difficult to pin down the exact segment in which the sedan will compete.

Overseas reports indicate the Luxgen5 will rival the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus, with pricing starting from around $A22,500 for the 1.8 and the 2.0-litre model kicking in at $A25,100.

The wheelbase length is slightly longer than the small-car (C-segment) norm, indicating that it will likely straddle the small and medium segments.

The extra length also enables Luxgen to claim cabin space rivalling that of large sedans.

The vehicle is designed to conform to the latest European safety standards and is fitted with an impressive array of advanced technology, including a 360-degree ‘Active Eagle View’ imaging system, night vision, a head-up display and lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring systems.

Benefiting from the fact that Yulon/Luxgen is the only car-maker in Taiwan to have its own whole-car design and development centre, Luxgen5 also becomes the first Taiwanese-produced car with an electronic park brake.

Standard safety equipment includes ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist, all-wheel disc brakes (276mm ventilated up front, and 260mm solid discs at rear), and electronic stability and traction control.

The exact number of airbags remains a mystery, but Luxgen claims the vehicle will perform well in a crash, following 800 simulations and 34 real-world tests in which it says a maximum score for pedestrian leg protection was achieved.

The manufacturer claims the sedan will meet the second stage pedestrian safety requirements to be introduced in Europe in 2013.

Other notable features built into the vehicle include hill-start assist, a dozen interior storage spaces (including a heated/cooled centre console box), eight cup holders, 60/60-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone operation and a nine-inch touch-screen and multimedia system that runs to satellite-navigation and smartphone compatibility.

The interior designers aimed to create a dynamic interior with a wrap-around front compartment that creates the impression of a yacht cockpit. There is a floating centre console design for a hi-tech feel, along with an LED layout across the dash.

The exterior design has a slippery 0.28Cd drag coefficient and follows the market trend of attempting to create a coupe-like silhouette with a four-door sedan, and Luxgen claims it has captured “the essence of a two-door coupe”.

“The Luxgen5 sedan has been designed for global markets since its inception,” says the company, pointing to a highly developed chassis and extensive vehicle testing in Europe, Taiwan and China covering extremes of temperature and high dust and altitude.

“Luxgen has made a name for itself in the market and won the support of consumers just three years after its establishment through ‘differentiation’ in its brand, product, sales and service.

“The Luxgen family of vehicles, featuring intelligent technology, has also provided owners with a different driving experience.

“The preview of the Luxgen5 sedan heralds the entry of Luxgen into the executive sedan market. In the future, Luxgen will continue to develop all-new products in other classes in order to meet consumer demand for a full range of automotives equipped with intelligent technology.”

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