• Apr 20, 2009
Roewe N1 Concept - Click above for high-res gallery

Chinese automakers have been on the receiving end of barbs for some time now, particularly when it comes to styling. In terms of both originality and proportion, most Sino automakers have struggled to find both balance and identity, but among them, SAIC Roewe has been able to build on its Rover roots and churn out some rather attractive designs. Case in point: The N1. Now showing in Shanghai for the first time, the N1 sedan is quite well resolved from most angles, and its design is widely expected to make it into production unscathed. That the car's styling jibes with Western sensibilities is important, because the company plans to roll a production N1 out not just to domestic audiences next year, but likely to European audiences a short time later.

Unlike some previous Roewe offerings, the N1 sits on a new chassis, but it will reportedly still rely on updated versions of the British automaker's K-series four-cylinder powerplants.

Inside, the N1 is rather more ambitious, featuring a touch-screen interface with full-on internet connectivity, a "3D" digital gauge cluster, and a navigation system based on open-source coding. The car's high-tech dashboard gubbins are likely to remain a showcar-only detail for the next few years, however.



Photos copyright ©2009 IceBin/ Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Autoblog Simplified Chinese]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only thing I don't like about the car is it's name. Save the "N1" nomenclature for N1 Group Racing cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those headlights are straight off the Volt. I guess they got them from same supplier? Tail is nice although a complete copy of a Chinese-market Buick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dude, who cares about the steering wheel. They might very well be the same basic frame design because SAIC builds the damned Buicks in China and it's cheaper for GM and SAIC to source components together to save money.
        What do you want them to do, randomly make the steering wheel an inch bigger and shove more spokes in? They obviously spent time making the steering wheel look fairly unique anyway, nitpicking the fact that it has the same number of spokes and is probably the same size is ridiculous. They're clearly capable of designing their own unique exteriors and interiors, and the underpinnings are their own IP too, so for you to focus on the fact that the steering wheel has the same number of spokes as the Buicks they build is pretty f'ing ridiculous.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Did you not even look at the pics of the steering wheel?

        Same spoke configuration (exactly), virtually identical controls on the wheel. Only the horn button/airbag is different in shape, and it isn't that much different.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not just the same number of spokes. It's the same config of spokes. The bottom spokes even are color split on both. And the control wheels are in the exact same spot.

        I don't agree "they obviously spent time making the steering wheel look unique". If they did so, it wouldn't look so much like the Buick one. Did you even look at the pics?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've got to agree with you for once--that whole CAR is straight of the Volt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        big J
        3:56PM (4/20/2009)
        Steering wheel? You got to be kidding me, its a friggin circle dude. Should they turn it into a square or something or how about a star?




        you got me Big J
        LOL Laughing Out Loud on this one..............the star.............iguess peoplejust too sensitive on china just relax,it is a car.........i mean a car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        True, plus looking at pics, the Vole ones are more elongated. They still give an overly-similar impression.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Credible design that looks like a cross between a Honda Civic and Volt, and a steering wheel with controls that are lifted from the previous gen Audis. Colour me unimpressed with the design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not a bad looking design really. I think it would transition to our market pretty well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The blue ambient lighting under the armrest and shifter column is a sweet touch. The rest of the interior is decent, though, I'm not understanding why the navigation screen and climate control readouts are under that large sheet of blue plastic. That's just odd to me. The gauges are cluttered, and yes, overall, it does have an overly Civic-esque vibe to it, but regardless, it's still nice enough to make me forget it's a Chinese vehicle. Progress is good. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the dash board. The built-in iPod dock is a nice touch, too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the interior looks like it came strait from the chevy cruze.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And what does the Chevy Cruze's interior look like it came from then, smartypants?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is the model wearing Batman's breatplate?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably because she's sick of people staring at her parts, so she took a leaf from Audi's book.
        • 5 Years Ago
        indeed, who ever is in charge of model costumes needs to go NOW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good looking car, and despite everyone calling out different "copycat" aspects of it, it's really no more derivative than, say, a Honda Accord.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the idea of adaptive digital-display information systems.

      But jeez, that picture of the guage cluster hurts my eyes, just from the picture.

      Cluttered like crazy, and BLUE. Blue is one of the harshest colors of lighting, especially at night.

      Good luck keeping your night vision with blue interior lighting like that... and good luck actually reading that cluttered jumble.

      It is bling, but bling is not the best thing.

      Projected HUD, and simple, un-cluttered gauge and console displays, preferably in OLED, rather than backlit LCD. (even black in an LCD panel gives off some light, as LCDs cannot be completely opaque, and some backlighting comes through.)

      There is a lot of potential for this sort of thing, but it is most certainly not this show-car bling.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. It's too much clutter, would look much better if it were simpler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nicely done!
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