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Taiwan launches Luxgen

Made in Taiwan: The Luxgen7 SUV will soon join Taiwan's first self-designed vehicle, the Luxgen7 people-mover.

Taiwan's first auto brand emerges as Luxgen unveils luxury SUV and plug-in MPV

12 Mar 2010

TAIWAN has long been a global manufacturing powerhouse that has produced a range of vehicles, including a number of Ford models in a joint-venture with Lio Ho that began in the 1970s.

Now, however, the Republic of China’s largest island has also established its own vehicle brand – Luxgen, an amalgam of ‘luxury’ and ‘genius’ – that was established just two years ago and formally launched outside Taiwan at the 10th Dubai motor show in late December.

Luxgen’s first model, a luxury people-mover named the Luxgen7 MPV, will soon be joined by the Luxgen7 SUV and even more luxurious Luxgen7 CEO, and all three seven-seat models could be the latest Asian-made vehicles to be exported to global markets.

164 center imageFrom top: Luxgen SUV (brown), MPV (silver), CEO (black) and EV+ (bottom).

While the MPV, Luxgen’s only current production model, is the most likely vehicle to be exported from Taiwan first, it has also spawned the zero-emissions Luxgen EV+ electric car concept.

It replaces the front-wheel drive MPV’s 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a 180kW/265Nm electric motor powered by a floor-mounted Lithium-Ion battery pack.

Luxgen says its plug-in people-mover, developed with US EV technology company AC propulsion, delivers better performance than similar petrol-powered vehicles by accelerating to 100km/h in 8.6 seconds and offering a 145km/h top speed. It claims a driving range of 350km from a single charge – at a constant 40km/h.

The production Luxgen7 MPV’s turbo-petrol engine - fitted with a Delphi engine management system, Garrett turbocharger and five-speed 10-mode Aisin automatic transmission – develops 235kW at 5500rpm and 275Nm of torque between 2500 and 4000rpm.

Luxgen says the people-mover’s European-inspired chassis tuning was co-developed with both Magna International and Prodrive, but it the advanced technology that lies within the MPV’s luxuriously specified cabin that is most impressive.

In line with its plan to focus on automotive IT as a means to carve out a global niche for Taiwan’s automotive industry, Luxgen says its Think+ “intergral car PC” – developed with leading Taiwanese smart-phone maker HTC and comprising 23 electronic control units – is like no other central vehicle control system.

Luxgen’s answer to BMW’s iDrive, Audi’s MMI and Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND systems, Think+ is based on Windows CE architecture and comprises multimedia, phone, navigation, safety, information and settings sub-menus.

The advanced MPV – which measures 4845mm long, 1876mm wide and 1768mm high - also comes with locally-developed ‘Side View’ blind spot monitoring, ‘Eagle View’ 360-degree surround imaging, night vision and lane departure warning systems.

Like the Luxgen7 SUV, an even more luxurious version of the MPV, dubbed the Luxgen7 CEO, will soon be added to the inaugural Taiwanese brand's domestic line-up.

Luxgen, which clearly hopes to establish itself as a maker of luxury rather than affordable vehicles, is yet to formally announce details of its export program, but has targeted major growth regions including the Middle East, South East Asia, Central America, Russia and China.

Established by Taiwan’s Yulon Group, Luxgen says it is a fully-fledged auto-maker and a “dedicated integrator of automotive and smart IT technology”.

Founded in 1949, Yulon’s operations include research, development and manufacturing in the automotive, textile, IT and technology sectors, as well as real estate, finance and publishing.

Yulon began manufacturing vehicles in 1953 and now claims to be Taiwan’s largest automotive manufacturer. It has production plants in Taiwan, mainland China and the Philippines, and supplies local markets with more than two million vehicles built in association with Nissan, Mitsubishi, GM, Chrysler and Mercedes, among others.

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