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Chinese SUV-maker Haval has again hopped onto the coupe crossover bandwagon, revealing a slinky concept car at this week’s 2017 Auto Shanghai called the HB-03.

The BMW X4 lookalike sports what appear to be largely production-ready lines, and cloaks a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

The HB-03’s lines — especially the rear three-quarter shoulder line — make sense when you consider the lead designer was Haval’s styling director, Pierre Leclercq, who designed the original BMW X6 in his days with the Bavarian brand.

Leclercq said at the show that the HB-03 was a continuation of the HB-02 concept from the Beijing show in 2016, but that this iteration was much closer to production form.

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“It’s very sporty, mature and full of muscle,” he reckons.

“In profile, it clearly exhibits the centre line of a coupe with very dynamic attitude, but with no compromise on headroom and comfort of rear seat passengers.

“The vehicle features a lot of full surfaces as our form language. There are very sexy sheet metal movements and highly technical details that show the DNA direction for Haval.”

The cabin is a little louder than the brand’s staples, with a mix of orange leather, plus carbon and black chrome. The instrument panel has horizontal theme and a number of small details that suggest this is essentially showroom-ready.

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The concept vehicle is powered by the “intelligent hybrid” drivetrain Haval unveiled in Beijing in 2016, which apparently offers more than 200kW and 450Nm, while consuming a claimed 2.1 litres pr 100km of petrol. Bold claims.

The drive unit combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and transmission. The motor is linked to a rear-mounted NCM lithium-ion battery.

In Pure Electric mode, drive is provided solely by the electric motor. The 95kW/278Nm motor is fuelled by a 13kWh battery, providing a claimed EV range of 65km — a figure that exceeds many German offerings, plus the Outlander PHEV.

Haval says the battery can be recharged in about four hours from a standard household power point.

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There’s also a Power mode, where drivers get the combined performance of both energy sources. On start-up, there’s the typical instant response of the electric motor, with the petrol engine maintaining the acceleration. The claimed 0-100km/h time is 9sec.

The default mode is Hybrid Drive, which is designed for everyday use. Here, the vehicle will automatically alternate between drawing power from the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine and the electric motor to deliver the best overall consumption.

It’s clear that Haval, which sells the H2, H6, H8 and H9 in Australia via a factory distributor — and which will soon launch the H7 — is continuing to move upmarket. We look forward to seeing the road-going version should it be made in RHD.

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