http://auto.sohu.com/20090610/n264432172.shtmlFrom China car Times:
When Roewe first came to be, the first car that rolled off the line was the gentry like Roewe 750 with a big 2.5 V6 engine, over a short time Chinese consumers have quickly adapted to high oil prices and are quickly shying away from gigantic power plants that suck their purses dry to smaller turbo assisted engines that pack the punch of a 6 cylinder engine but with the economy of a 4 pot. Roewe are responding well to market conditions with the introduction of 1.8T, and future 1.5 and 1.5T engines, the 1.5 will also fall into a lower sales tax bracket meaning more sales all round.
The Roewe N1 concept at the Shanghai Auto Show showed that Roewe are thinking smaller, and more compact than their current Roewe 550. The Roewe N1 concept looks set to become the Roewe 350, and the first rendered images were leaked to the internet.
Of course this isnt the first time this particular vehicle has been spotted, a test mule was sighted in Australia earlier this year undergoing road testing.
This particular car has been codenamed the AP11 project, and is being worked on by both MG and SAIC. Plans for the 350/AP11 are plentiful with both four door sedans, the AP12 will be a 5 door hatch, and the AP13 will be a small SUV, and the final car on this platform will be the AP14, an estate/wagon. auto.sohu.com are reporting that the 350 is riding on a heavily modified Rover 45 platform, which in turn was a much older Honda Civic platform.
Around 60 AP11 vehicles have been handbuilt to date for testing, which could mean that some of these vehicles are in the UK for testing as well as Australia and China.
SAIC are hoping to show off the Roewe 350 sedan on January 30th and begin production on Feb 28th 2010. SAIC are going for sales of 60,000 per year with this year, or monthly sales of 8000-10,000 (at least according to auto.sohu.com), although these sales figures might be across the range (hatch, sedan, wagon, and SUV).
The Roewe 350 might be SAIC’s answer to the highly popular Brilliance FRV (which is currently selling at a record rate) in hatch, and crossover form, and will be joined by a sedan brother later this year.