By on October 5, 2009

Ask a gearhead about Chinese auto styling, and the adjective most likely to come up is “derivative.” Or at least “crude.” Cars like the Rolls-aping Hongqi HQD helped build these unflattering associations, but this picture proves that they aren’t always true. This HQE, the chosen chariot for Hu Jintao’s National Day parade appearance [via Gasgoo], reaches back to FAW-Hongqi’s own heritage (rather than, say, the Robb Report) for inspiration.  That’s a good trend for an industry that was fast becoming a car blog punchline.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

26 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: China Embraces Its Styling Heritage Edition...”


  • avatar
    Autosavant

    the ugly grille looks like stolen from god-awful Soviet Era designs like the VOlga and larger Commie Commisar-mobiles.

    Ludicrous.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Ha! That’s cute. They are learning the way, still trying out the formula. Give them ten or twenty years, and Rolls-Royce will ape their design traits.

  • avatar
    snsr

    Reminds me of this

  • avatar

    Looks better than most of what’s on the road in t he USA

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I kinda like it. But then, I have always had a soft spot for Checkers and 47 DeSotos.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Ingvar :
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Ha! That’s cute. They are learning the way, still trying out the formula. Give them ten or twenty years, and Rolls-Royce will ape their design traits.”

    I don’t know what in the world you are smoking, but I sure would want to find out.

  • avatar
    Srynerson

    It’s filtering plankton for biodiesel….

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    The grille and esp. the headlights are GOD-AWFUL. “Junkyard chic”.

  • avatar
    tscurt

    What is Mandarin for “Eeeeek!” ?

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Autosvant:

    My point was, they are still trying things out, as an automotive nation. This must be the first Chinese retro car? Going from copying everybody else, to copying their own past is quite an achievement. Considering that it took twenty thirty years for both the Koreans and Japanese to find their own way. Watching the Chinese is like watching our own past as if it were a rerun, though this time it unwinds in double speed. I think it’s cute…

  • avatar
    50merc

    Man, that is one good-looking car. I haven’t seen frenched headlights done that well since the ’56 Ford. And does anyone know where I can get one of those bitchin’ roof mounted quad-microphone rigs?

  • avatar
    26theone

    Hey this post could serve dual duty as the “Positive Post of the Day”. Just refer to it as the Chrysler could be this bad but isnt edition.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Behind the grill, it’s not bad.

    As for the front, didn’t know Bangle was designing for the Chinese as well as for BMW.

  • avatar
    sellfone

    I kinda dig it….looks like a Bentley with a late 60′s Peugeot nose grafted on.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Looks like a giant Chevy Vega with a lowered bumper.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Looks like a giant Chevy Vega with a lowered bumper.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Ingvar wrote: “…Going from copying everybody else, to copying their own past is quite an achievement…”

    What are you talking about? The chinese did NOT copy ANYTHING of their own past in this ugly-ass design, they copied the ugly Russian designs, plus a little from Buick grilles!!

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Ingvar :
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Autosvant:

    My point was, they are still trying things out, as an automotive nation. This must be the first Chinese retro car? Going from copying everybody else, to copying their own past is quite an achievement. Considering that it took twenty thirty years for both the Koreans and Japanese to find their own way. Watching the Chinese is like watching our own past as if it were a rerun, though this time it unwinds in double speed. I think it’s cute…”

    You are obviously not familiar with SOviet-era Volgas, the front end is almost identical. The chinese are NOT, as you say, trying to develop anything original here. ANd ther grille also has strong influences from their beloved Buicks. LOL.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    The roofline, mirrors, wheels, and rear quarter look like they came out of any shop that up armours limosines. The rest (the front clip) is classic Chi-Com ‘we’re not decadent westerners and damn proud of it’ false modesty turned niche elitst motif.

    I like the headlights and brightwork, it has a sort of surprised look to it, all that’s missing is a set of eyelashes. The suicide doors are a nice touch too; I’ll leave that metaphor for someone else.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Autosavant:

    Yes, I know the history of Volga, I know what they look like. But you seem to be missing the point. The point is not that this car looks like a Volga, the point is that this new Hongqi looks back to ITS OWN HISTORY and tries to apply the Hongqi look of yesteryear, however much it looks like a Volga. That the 60′s Hongqi was a carbon copy of a Volga is besides the point, the point is that this is, to my knowledge, the first Chinese retro styled car, that is self referential to its own history.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    @Autosavant:

    “What are you talking about? The chinese did NOT copy ANYTHING of their own past in this ugly-ass design, they copied the ugly Russian designs, plus a little from Buick grilles!!”

    Perhaps you should look at the picture of the 60′s Hongqi that Edward Niedermeyer embedded in the article? The new one is trying quite successfully to apply its own heritage of design traits.

  • avatar

    Sure it looks like a Rolls Royce Phantom with a Volga grill, but it’s no more comical than the armored car in a Cadillac suit that President Obama rides around in.

  • avatar

    I have hearts for the spiky eyelashes around the headlights…..do the eyelids blink too?

  • avatar
    DearS

    Quite priceless. It says made in china pretty vividly. The back end is pretty nice, its a phantom design after all. I think its sad where China is when it comes to style. Although the US has been pretty bad too. The 70-90s where a scary time to be an American car buyer. Now so many cars look so alike I’m almost bi-polar, Not sure whether to be depressed or feel superior to another. The New Buick looks like an Acura that looks like an Accord that looks like a Hyundai, That looks like a Kia that looks like a Ford.

    I may be cocky, but I think its sad that China can’t do better. Their are plenty of asian anime cartoons to learn from.

  • avatar

    I love chinese car design.
    It’s like they photoshop a current Western model with an Etch-A-Sketch.

  • avatar
    John Holt

    Are those… eyelashes???


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India