By Shereen Shabnam
When Geely Auto asked me to drive the flagship Emgrand GT, the luxurious four-door ‘fastback’ sedan, I jumped at the opportunity given that I loved the sporty profile of the model.
Via an exclusive dealership arrangement with Union Motors, a division of UAE-headquartered MAN Investments, the Emgrand GT breaks the mould in terms of Chinese car design, and it is the first domestic vehicle to win The 2016 China Car of the Year, presented during the 2015 Guangzhou Auto Show.
The vehicle, designed by industry veteran Peter Horbury, evokes Geely’s new design language, a blend of modern Chinese design and state-of-the-art technology from Volvo. Horbury previously worked with Ford and Volvo before moving to Geely as design vice president.
With a dynamic, muscular stance, the Emgrand GT is the first result of Geely’s new design language, spearheaded by Horbury, who brings a ‘global yet local’ ethos to the privately-owned marque’s flagship vehicle.
The sleek, sporty lines of the Emgrand GT’s chassis sit atop 18 inch alloy wheels with Michelin tyres as standard. Stylish LED lights were developed in partnership with French automotive supplier Valeo, providing extreme reliability, low energy use and a long lifespan. As owner of Swedish auto giant Volvo, Geely has incorporated the Nordic marque’s obsession with safety into the Emgrand GT.
The Emgrand GT’s exterior may well be dramatic and powerful, but the interior provides a relaxed, calm, luxurious cabin environment. The lines on the instrument panel and doors follow the sweeping lines of ancient Chinese bridges, with traditional Chinese architecture also featured on the speaker covers, another subtle nod towards Geely’s Chinese roots.
The Emgrand GT is packed with state-of-the-art technology as standard, including cruise control, rear parking camera, parking radar and Geely’s multimedia system that allows for drivers and passengers to access content such as radio, videos or use the system to control phone calls safely. Eight speakers make for a cinematic listening experience.
A rear camera makes parking a breeze, and a panoramic sun roof adds an even more spacious feeling to the already capacious interior. In a deal with Apple, future Geely models will further enhance the driving experience by bringing all of Apple’s leading services directly into the centre of all future vehicle consoles in a format familiar to all iPad and iPhone users.
The introduction of Apple’s CarPlay system will allow Geely owners to interact directly with Apple’s Siri, the intelligent personal assistant, to find places of interest in their locality or destination and allow access to favourite Apple apps.
Geely is also working towards vehicles with zero emissions, hybrid and electric vehicles. Under the name ‘Blue Geely’, it plans to replace its entire line up with environmentally sound vehicles by 2020.