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Deepal’s new SUV aims to remedy some of the downsides associated with hardcore off-roaders, creating a more well-rounded driving experience inspired by space travel 

In today’s market, the existence of ‘hardcore’ SUVs has come under question. These have historically been associated with several obvious drawbacks but Deepal has addressed these head on with the G318.

A process of thorough research has led to what the brand describes as a ‘unique solution’ that tackles the four traditional pain points: uniform styling, poor driving experience, poor fuel economy and cramped space.

Changan G318 EXT 4

The G318 elevates the traditional silhouette of a hardcore SUV 

In particular, the design team felt it was time to give a new look to the hardcore SUV segment, moving it beyond the boxy design associated with icons like the G-Class or Wrangler. “With the passage of time, the aesthetic fatigue of consumers has begun to show,” the Deepal design team says, leading to a new sci-fi inspired design language that is exemplified by the ‘space door’ at the rear of the car. In addition, the Space Gate design of the rear adds to the futuristic feel.

Through ‘design subtraction’, the overall look has been streamlined and is inspired by the collision of a cosmic meteorite. The hexagonal shapes seen in the surfacing enforces a feeling of strength while moving the design away from the traditional square, boxy look. A line that flows from front to rear creates “an unforgettable side profile,” the team emphasises.

Inside, the cockpit has been built around the expectations of Generation Beta – the next generation of young drivers – and continues the space-age theme.

The Interstellar Cabin uses a mixture of digital and physical touch points, almost creating the feeling of manning a space ship. And this is not just an analogy: the Deepal design team actually built the driver’s seat around the theme of a “captain’s view” with a wide, unrestricted view of the landscape ahead. “It brings a cosmic feast,” they say.

The G318 has been tuned to provide a comfortable ride, with the ‘magic carpet’ air suspension filtering out unwanted vibration

But the design does not compromise on the underlying principles of a dedicated off-roader. Quite the contrary, the design team has worked closely with the engineering side of the business to address structural challenges that come when subjecting a vehicle to harsh off-roading. “In order to cope with the deformation of the body in fierce cross-country driving, most traditional hardcore SUVs adopt a non-load-bearing body, sacrificing ride comfort,” the team explains.

In contrast, the G318 uses a ‘seven-ring network’ body structure, with core load-bearing components made almost entirely (99%) from high-strength steel. The team describes the overall structure as “a safety fortress” with excellent torsional stiffness.

Away from the bumpy stuff and back on smooth tarmac, traditional off-roaders have not always provided the best ride and handling. With the G318, the emphasis was on providing a strong level of feedback from the road without creating a harsh ride. 

“Traditionally, the body is prone to shaking and the overall comfort is always poor,” the team says, “but the chassis of the G318 has been tuned to provide a comfortable ride, with the ‘magic carpet’ air suspension filtering out unwanted vibration. In fact, Deepal’s design team goes as far to say that the ride is comparable to that of a city coupe.

By breaking the stereotypical image of hardcore off-roaders, the G318 reinvents the aesthetic value of cars in this segment, now built around a futuristic design with technology at the core.