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Beijing show: Geely goes 1980s retro with Icon

A bit square: Geely’s Concept Icon blocky design was inspired by early computer graphics.

Blocky Geely Concept Icon sits on the Volvo-developed CMA platform


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26 Apr 2018

GEELY’S Concept Icon SUV might be a flight of fantasy by the Chinese company’s designers, but its underpinnings are real world: it sits on Geely subsidiary Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that makes its debut under the all-new Volvo XC40 in Australia next week.

Revealed at the Beijing motor show this week, the five-door Icon apparently draws design inspiration from blocky retro-style computer icons from the 1980s era of 8-bit computers and game consoles. Think early Super Mario Brothers.

Geely designer Guy Burgoyne said the blocky upright contour pushed the design “slightly away from the traditional crossover shape and brings the car’s design back to a flatter, 8-bit inspired design”.

“Both surfaces and graphics have been distilled down to their minimalist form that is much in-line with present day gadgets.”

The design includes an hour-glass ‘infinity’ shape on several components, including the headlights and tail-lights. The roof is almost entirely glass, while the instruments shine through a fabric screen for a warm, fuzzy feel.

It is unclear if it will go into production or when, but if it is produced under the Geely brand, it is unlikely to make it to western markets.

The Chinese giant already has two new SUVs destined for western markets under its Lynk & Co brand – the 01 and 02 crossover vehicles – which are to be built for Europe at Volvo’s Ghent plant in Belgium from 2019.

Although a petrol version of these vehicles will be offered in China, both will only have electrified powertrains for Europe where sales will start in 2020 in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and London.

A plug-in hybrid version of the Lynk & Co 01 was also unveiled at the Beijing show, sporting a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine linked with an electric motor. All-electric driving range is said to be 50km, while claimed fuel consumption is 1.7 litres per 100km.

Apart from Lynk & Co’s two SUVs, Geely also is reportedly planning an SUV developed by its other western marque, Lotus.

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