Official pictures of Chinese-made saloon based on the Rover 75
18 April 2008

This is the new Roewe 550, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation’s successor to the Rover 45. Designed and engineered in Britain, the 550 is due to be unveiled on Sunday at the Beijing motor show.Based on a cut-down but updated Rover 75 platform, the car that has become the Roewe 550 was in development before MG Rover collapsed in 2005.UK consultancy Ricardo has been closely involved with finishing the car, and has been helping SAIC to tune it to European tastes. SAIC is looking at bringing the car to Europe, but has yet to confirm such a move.The 550 is certainly one of the more appealing Chinese exports, with a crisp, contemporary exterior design and a clean, neat interior. The all-digital dash looks a little fussy and some of the trim, especially the wood, seems to be made of shiny plastics, but the 550 looks set to prove that the Chinese can produce more modern, less derivative cars.The engines aren’t too modern, though; they’re updated versions of the 1.8 and 1.6-litre Rover K-Series four-cylinder units. There will be a 2.0-litre diesel as well. The car’s crash-worthiness should not in question: the 75 chassis was impressively strong.There is a chance that this car could also be sold as an MG, because SAIC now owns Nanjing Automotive, the Chinese company that bought the MG name. SAIC could easily badge the Roewe 550 as an MG for European sales, which would get round the fact that the Roewe name has totally unknown outside of China.

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Comments
11

GD

18 April 2008

Yes, all very well, but will it make it to production? Recent news about the likely fate of the MGF suggest a wait and see approach. It certainly looks OK, just a pity that Rover had not been able to get it to the buying public in time. Before my current VW, I had a succession of five 800s culminating in a 2.5 SLI kitted up to near Sterling levels. I loved them all. The last one died rather spectacularly on the motorway with a very sick cylinder head that caused a potential £4000 damage, at a mere 58,000 miles, so maybe Rover deserved its reputation.

GB

TUK

18 April 2008

This could have been designed AND built in Britain if MG-Rover hadn't been strung along to the point of bankruptcy then asset stripped by the company that may now be trying to sell the almost developed 45 (now Roewe 550) in this country. I'm sure the UK engineering firms have done a great job completing the development of this car, but it really doesn't deserve to sell here.

18 April 2008

I think that looks rather neat! If they can do something with it to make it sportier to deserve the MG badge then great! Also, need to make it into a hatch, cause it wont sell in many numbers otherwise

19 April 2008

Is it just me or is this Rover interior near identical to the new Vauxhall Insignia??? Steering wheel, center console... near everything?

19 April 2008

It's not a bad looking car, but the back is very reminiscent of the C5. Another classic case of Chinese design plagiarism?

19 April 2008

Why don't they just drop it?? The time has come to let Rover die and give MG a rest. Cut the ties, put the regrettable past behind and start fresh. Maybe in the future the MG name can be successfully resurrected by being associated with a deserved car.

www.eco-trainer.net

19 April 2008

[quote theoriginalshoe]The time has come to let Rover die and give MG a rest.  Cut the ties, put the regrettable past behind and start fresh. [/quote] I agree. Many years ago a friend of mine had a Rover SD1 Vanden Plas 3500 auto which was very, very nice - both to drive and to ride in - by the standards of the day; I think that must have tbeen the last time I really liked a Rover. The first Rover I was aware of was a 2000 that my dad had in the early 1960s when I was ten years old, the first of a string of similar models ending in a 2200TC in which I learned to drive. Those were the days.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

19 April 2008

Looks like an interesting design, inside and out, that is not quite as derivative as most other Chinese designs I have seen. It will be interesting to see if they ever organise themselves to get around to selling it in UK and then whether they can persuade the public that the cars are well enough built to be safe and reliable. I believe they will find that difficult to do given the quality issues raised in other spheres of manufacturing in recent months.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

19 April 2008

Anyone else think the front has a hint of the passat at the front?

19 April 2008

Very good job inside and out. Looks both modern and a good quality product, I don't know what some posters are whinging about! Is it the old 'self-harming' attitude for anything remotely British?

If this is going to be as cheap to buy as I think, it should mop up quite a lot of sales below the established volume manufacturers. Which puts the boys stuck in the middle below the luxury brands in a crushing vice I can't see them getting out of.

VW, Ford, Vauxhall, Mazda, Honda, Peugeot et al are faced with a scizo market where the only things that sell are highest quality (Versace, Gucci etc) or the lowest price (fake Versace or Gucci). Anyone in the middle market (M&S, Next, Burtons etc) gets left high and dry.

I fear for their futures when the flood of ultra cheap Chinese and Indian automobiles come into Europe over the next 5 to 10 years and hoover up much of the volume in the market. Ford getting rid of Jag & LR looks even more stupid by the minute!

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