The Geely GC9 is the first Geely branded vehicle to be shaped by Peter Horbury, Volvo’s former vice president in charge of design.
Unlike some homegrown Chinese vehicles, the Geely GC9 looks professional, if a little anonymous. According to Geely, the GC9’s side profile is inspired by jet fighters, supercars and “the empowering stance of cheetahs at high speed”.
The company hasn’t detailed the GC9’s dimensions or its powertrain options, although the car pictured here wears a V6 badge on the boot.
In Geely’s words, the GC9’s interior clearly separates key content areas as it was modelled on Chinese stone bridges. From the one moodily lit photo supplied to us, it’s impossible to see the car’s dark wood highlights or the traditional Chinese gown-style seat stitching.
Chrome piping and silver plastic are visible though, as is the high-mounted entertainment and navigation screen, which is controlled via an Audi MMI-style control knob and button array aft of the gear lever.
The GC9 will also feature push button start, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, electric seats with multiple memory settings, and satellite navigation.
In the Chinese market the GC9 will be marketed under Geely’s more premium Emgrand brand. The GC9 will make its public debut towards the end of November at the Guangzhou auto show.
England-born Horbury was appointed as Geely’s chief designer in 2012, two years after the Chinese company completed its takeover of Volvo from Ford. The Englishman first joined Volvo in 1991 and was tasked with giving Volvo a sense of style that it had missed since the demise of the P1800.
So successful was he in transforming Volvo’s look, he was made head of design at Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which encompassed Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo. After a stint as Ford’s North American design director, Horbury rejoined Volvo in 2009.
Geely-branded vehicles are currently only available in Western Australia. In addition to Volvo, the company also produces the London Taxi TX4, which we recently tested on the streets of Melbourne.