Chances are, you've never heard of LUXGEN. But this Taiwanese company is embarking on a worldwide campaign to put its country firmly on the automotive map.
Of course, many vehicles are already manufactured in Taiwan but LUXGEN aims to be the premier luxury brand from the region, with its intentions made perfectly clear with a press release stating "LUXGEN ANNOUNCES ITS AMBITION TO THE WORLD".
The name comes from a combination of "luxury" and "genius", with the company boasting its car-building credentials by virtue of its being part of the Yulon Group. Yulon has been a key manufacturer for companies such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, GM, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz and others, and with Yulon's automotive division beginning in 1953, LUXGEN has a fair bit of experience behind it.
Spearheading the campaign is the release of the LUXGEN7, a six seat MPV. With a turbocharged 2.2-litre petrol engine, the basis is there for a decent powerplant. The figures, though, a different story. With only 130kW and 275Nm, mated to a Aisin five-speed automatic, the drivetrain is a bit of a let-down, however the interior detailing seems to be a little better.
Wraparound headrests, movable leather seats, decent storage, air-con for all three rows, plenty of AV inputs, two 10-inch screens - it's not bad, depending on how it's priced. And at this stage we have no idea what LUXGEN will be asking, dollars-wise.
What we do know is the chassis is engineered by Prodrive in association with Austrian company Magna, with Delphi taking care of the ABS system, and that it will be front-wheel-drive only.
LUXGEN's PR spin goes as far as telling us that its vehicles will "think ahead". An onboard computer called ‘Think+’ is built by HTC using Windows CE as a platform. It covers six main features, including video and audio entertainment, telecommunication, GPS navigation, safety alerts, car-owner exclusive applications and system settings.
LUXGEN's cars also have - and I quote - Eagle View+ (a 360 degree surveillance camera), Night Vision+ (a highly sensitive night visual aid system), Side View+ and LDWS+ (Lane Departure Warning System).
Mr. Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer of HTC said: “HTC is proud to partner with LUXGEN to create a new generation of intelligent vehicles. We have worked with LUXGEN to develop a sophisticated onboard program designed to ‘think ahead’ for drivers, creating a new level of road safety.”
No word as yet on whether it will make it to Australia, but based on the above information, how keen would you be to be behind the wheel of a LUXGEN?