JAC have yet to obtain permission to sell passenger cars in China (they are a successful commercial vehicle producer). This car was therefore displayed on the JAC stand but is expected to sell under a new, yet to be created, brand name. For this reason it also had no model name and was referred to only by its internal project code: C926.
Dimensionally, the car is the size of a European E-sector car such as the Mercedes E-Class, but aesthetically it shares more with the previous generation Mercedes S-Class, especially at the rear. Its doors and body panels evoke the previous-generation Volkswagen Passat, while the front aspect bears resemblance to a Lexus LS430.
The car is expected to go on sale in October and compete directly with the BYD F6 and the Ital-designed (and Pininfarina-facelifted) Brilliance BS6.
JAC are unique as a Chinese car company in having a European-based design studio. We understand this to mean that this model will likely be their first and last derivative design before they begin producing their own original designs.
The sketches from its Italian studio displayed on the stand are further evidence of JAC's greater commitment to car design over its other Chinese car company rivals.
This new D-sector four-door sedan is an archetypal Shanghai debut: handsomely conservative in its proportions, well-resolved, and mixing elements of existing Western car designs. In this case the car features a Honda Accord body side with a slightly Hyundai Sonata front, a truncated Mercedes S-class rear (which we saw Olivier Boulay, head of the DaimlerChrysler Tokyo design studio, wryly observing), and the BMW-like BYD logo mark.
Both F6 cars on the BYD stand were locked, like most of the new cars presented in Shanghai. But after much persuasion, Car Design News was allowed access to the interior. Upon inspection we realised how indistinguishable it was from that in the Honda Accord in both its form and use of materials.
The gloss black exterior of the display car showed-off relatively poor panel quality and the 16-inch wheels seemed rather small for a display car. Indicators in the mirror housings, handsome projector lens front lights, and the overall resolution of this derivative design however, has resulted in a very appealing car that will sell for approximately half the price of a real Honda Accord.
The FRV is a fairly generic, slightly old-proportioned C-segment hatchback making its show debut in Shanghai in one of the most popular current car colours in China: green.
Visually, the FRV bears resemblance to the Hyundai i30 that debuted in Geneva, particularly in its rear aspect. Otherwise the car does have some distinctive design elements, such as the way the DLO wraps down into the front door shut; its pronounced fender forms and distinctive lights; and its lower body side crease that oddly breaks with convention and runs down as it goes rearwards.
This was another production car debut with locked doors, but the strong use of colour splashed around the interior was again repeated in this car, along with extensive use of pale blue fabric. We suspect that this colour and material may have just been for the show and is not necessarily representative of the series-production FRV.