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Shanghai show: Aussies smooth road for Landwind

Down Under: The Landwind X7 might has raised eyebrows with its Evoque-style design, but at least it has an original suspension set up, courtesy of Australia’s Premcar. Picture: Autocar.

Controversial Landwind X7’s suspension tuned by Australia’s Premcar

Landwind logo29 Apr 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

THE Landwind X7 has been getting a bumpy ride from critics due its design mimicry of Range Rover’s Evoque, but the vehicle’s buyers in China should have a much smoother experience thanks to suspension tuned by engineers from Australia’s Premcar.

The Chinese-built X7 was one of four vehicles on display at the 2015 Shanghai motor show to get engineering input from the Melbourne-based Premcar, an independent automotive engineering consultancy that evolved out of Prodrive’s Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) operation.

Others included two models for Volvo-owned Geely – the new GC9 large luxury sedan (called Borui in China) and facelifted MK small car.

An upcoming Geely SUV is also getting the Premcar treatment at the company’s main engineering centre at Campbellfield, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, where it once developed vehicles such as the Falcon-based FPV GT and its supercharged Miami 5.0-litre V8, in league with Ford Australia.

Premcar also operates a facility in Shanghai where it liaises with Chinese motor companies that need the services of experienced engineers to give their products western levels of ride and handling.

The Landwind X7 raised a storm when it was shown in concept form at China’s second biggest auto show, in Guangzhou, in November last year.

Britain’s Land Rover immediately saw red, but appears to have stopped short of legal action in China where the real Evoque was launched in February.

Landwind is owned by Jiangling Motors Holdings (JMH), a joint venture between two Chinese motor companies, Changan Auto and Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC).

Both companies have links with Ford, with Changan operating a joint venture with the Detroit company to produce Ford cars for the Chinese market.

JMC is part owned by Ford, and produces Ford-branded light-commercial vehicles such as the Transit van, as well as – soon – the Australian-developed Ford Everest.

Curiously, Ford once owned Land Rover, but sold it to India’s Tata.

The Landwind X7 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine sourced from Mitsubishi, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, presumably supplied by ZF.

Although Landwind spells its name as one word, the badges on the X7 are two words, Land Wind, similar to Land Rover’s badges.

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