The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), was founded in June 1997 as the first Sino-foreign automotive engineering and design joint venture, co-owned by GM China Investment Corporation and SAIC Motor in China.
With the continuous development of the market, China’s automobile consumption is about to enter the era of diversified products. Seeing the current hot sales situation of SUV models, we cannot help but wonder what the next ‘hot spot’ is.
We are trying to find a new product positioning and body style, combining the characteristics of an SUV and a sedan into a totally new crossover model, based on the Chevrolet brand’s design language and a ‘fun to drive’ spirit.
As well as fitting the youthful, sporty, innovative brand, it must also fit the free and diversified lifestyle of the post-1990s new-generation consumer groups known as ‘millennials’.
As a further discovery and application of Chevrolet’s ‘Find New Roads’ strategy thinking, the original idea is to combine the visibility and utility of an SUV’s high ground clearance with the sporty and fun feeling of a sedan’s low seating position; and to lengthen the rear overhang properly and enlarge the trunk space to reach the storage and versatility of a wagon.
This ‘cross and change’ has become the source of inspiration for the entire design team.
Deciding how to interpret this free and diversified lifestyle of the future becomes the design starting point of the project. After a short round of brainstorming, the design team reached the consensus of a multi-function, multi-scene, and multi-character machine, which gradually became the Chevrolet FNR-X design concept.
The core ideas of the FNR-X are of ‘one vehicle with multi-function’ and ‘high performance, compatible with full functionality’. The vehicle can switch between different scenes and purposes, not only satisfying the fast pace and speed of urban life, but also having the all-terrain ability and load space for outdoor sports – a fully-functional, but sporty vehicle.
At the same time, it is also the combination of ultimate advanced design and technology.
The FNR-X exterior design comes from the ‘Life Aesthetics’, with the crossover body, powerful and dynamic styling, a simple and short DLO corresponding to the floating roof and solid C-pillar. These features are testimony to the sporty genes in the Chevrolet family. Vigorous and powerful surfaces intersect with strong curves.
This is our new exploration of Chevrolet’s ‘Lean Muscularity’ design language.
The inspiration of the LED-matrix lamp design comes from Chinese traditional craftsmanship, particularly the ‘tenon-and-mortise’ joint structure. Flexible design replaces the complicated fixed method, for weight saving and high efficiency.
The integrated headlamp and front grille highlight the upscale technology and sporty feeling. The black lower mask contains the Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) module.
The idea of the FNR-X is ‘one vehicle with multi-function’. By adopting the freely selectable ‘V’ (Versatility) full function and ‘S’ (Sport) high performance variable modes, the adjustable suspension and active aerodynamics suite can be optimised.
When in S-Mode, the FNR-X chassis automatically lowers by 60 millimetres and the active aero suite opens up at the same time. The concept car crouches close to the ground, changing into a ‘roadster’ with a feeling of flying on the ground.
During driving, the active grille shutters and the intelligent wheel blades can be adjusted simultaneously to achieve the best driving efficiency and handling experience.
Once switched to V-Mode, the FNR-X will transform into a crossover with true off-road ability. The active body kit switches to protection mode, providing full protection for the lower body. The roof-mounted auxiliary searchlights activate, providing clearer guidance in complex conditions.
When driving on tarmac at high speed, the central part of tyre surface with low rolling resistance effectively helps fuel economy; when driving on non-paved road, anti-skid parts on the sides of tyre will provide extra grip.
The interior design of the FNR-X is mainly focused on the brand’s DNA of a dual-element cabin, as an inspiration basis. By layered design of materials and lighting, the visual proportions from cabin have been extended horizontally, combined with intuitive operation as key interface design, highlighted the high-tech and passionate driving.
The FNR-X can automatically recognize the preferences of interior mode according to the driver’s personal intelligent device, automatically changing the interior ambient lighting, HVAC, seats and other personalized settings, both convenient and intelligent.
The themes of the ‘V’ and ‘S’ modes can be switched between Ice Blue and RS Red, and display different information according to scenes.
The ‘floating’ front seat design uses a lightweight aluminium bracket and the three-dimensional backrest, which provides excellent support and yet better leg room for rear passengers. Electric folding rear seats and a spacious trunk make the interior space more flexible and space-efficient.
The rear seat can be folded flat, or configured to form personalised storage space according to different demands. Loading Mode lowers the height of the vehicle body when tailgate is open, allowing convenient loading and placing of large objects.
Colour & Trim inspiration comes from metal and graphite, which stand out as PHEV hybrid attributes. The exterior body colour uses water-based paint named ‘Zirconium Light Silver’, suited the protection and recycled interior material ‘Carbon Grey’.
The interior parametric texture design is inspired by graphene molecular structure, and perfectly matched by the audio system. Exquisite and passionate red pipes and stitches interspersed among the combination of multiple materials, reveal a hint of mystery from technology, embodying the beauty of the material itself.
A Look Into Our Future
As the second Chevrolet concept car comes out from PATAC Design, Chevrolet’s FNR-X inherits the Chevrolet philosophy, to ‘Find New Roads’, with a totally new design language and advanced technology. It explores future vehicles’ high-performance and functionality, and freely imagines the multi-mode future of transportation.
It embodies Chevrolet’s spirit of exploring the future, surpassing the dream, as well as prospective thinking about the people, vehicles and life in the future.