Roewe 550: design story

Production Cars 17 Apr 2008
Roewe 550: design story

The exclusive official design story of the SAIC Roewe 550, that will debut at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show. Created by an international design team, the 4-door sedan features a bold and modern style.


The SAIC Roewe 550 showcases a modern design based on the W2 concept unveiled at Auto Shangai 2007, with some influences from European and Japanese premium sedans. Below we report the official design story.

From the official release:

Roewe 550 - Exterior renderingThe SAIC Design Team was briefed to create a brand new 4 door sedan to sit alongside the Roewe 750 in the Chinese market but also write a new chapter in the Roewe Brand’s development worldwide.

Being an all new design, this was a chance to produce a modern world class medium sized sedan, retaining the British-influenced dignity and elegance of the 750, whilst forging a new distinctive Chinese dynamic image and character for the first in a range of many new products from the SAIC’s Roewe premium brand.

A close knit International design team, based in UK and Shanghai, was led in the UK by SAIC Design Director Anthony Williams, and SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre General Manager, David Lindley.

Roewe 550 Roewe 550 Roewe 550
Above: the official photos (source: Auto Sina via Autoblog.com)

This team developed the Design from initial sketch themes to final approval model in just 7 months.

Exterior Design-Development

The UK part of the Design Team with the IP21 Design Model The UK part of the Design Team with the IP21 Design Model
from left to right: Principal Designers Dan Bowen, Matt Dillon and
Peter Andrews; Tony Williams (SAIC Design Director)

The final theme was selected for its calm yet dynamic style, with a characterful front-end identity design to enhance a strong link with the Roewe 750.

The final aesthetic retains a premium feel in line with Roewe core brand values along with dynamic and confident imagery.

In particular the headlamp style was strongly influenced by Roewe 750, whilst offering a more progressive and youthful hi-tech detail with low-beam projector units as standard feature.

In harmony with the dramatic front end pan view form, 550 offers a bold and imposing statement.

The side view ‘cigar-shaped’ character, again, is derived from Roewe 750 with its obvious curved shoulder and belt-lines, designed to reflect the chrome detailing of 550 and present a dynamic and youthful character.

Roewe W2 Concept Roewe 750
The Roewe W2 Concept (2007) The current Roewe 750 model

Roewe 550 - Exterior renderingA confident stance is enhanced by the gently curved sill line.

Subtly curved surface treatment and pronounced arches offers a balanced language.

The depth of the bodyside reinforces the car’s engineering requirement to conform to the highest international safety targets.

Interior Design

The design fuses the trend for premium ‘simple flowing forms’ with the Asia Pacific taste for ‘technology on show’ enhancing SAIC position as the major force in Chinese car manufacturing.

The design has been carefully developed to ensure colour options are harmonious to the theme.

Roewe 550 - Interior rendering Roewe 550 - Interior rendering

The Roewe 550 is offered in two colourways; the warm option is offers familiarity to the Chinese customer with a bold horizontal colour-split and ‘matt’ wood finish whilst the all dark-grey option with ‘black’ gloss wood finish enhances the 550 dynamic and culturally balanced character possibly bringing a European feel to the more progressive customer.

(Source: SAIC Roewe)

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