The Enverge concept car unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show is from the relatively unknown Chinse brand GAC. Picture: AFP PHOTO, JIM WATSON.
The Enverge concept car unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show is from the relatively unknown Chinse brand GAC. Picture: AFP PHOTO, JIM WATSON.

Chinese concept car upstages the big guns at Detroit

IT has doors inspired by a Lamborghini and an electric driving range to outpace a Tesla and - until now - few people had even heard of the Chinese car company that made it.

The GAC Enverge is not just a concept car, it was a warning shot to the global car industry that it means business.

While the Enverge is a flight of fancy - it's a concept car and not due to go into showrooms - it was a sign of things to come from one of China's big players.

GAC Enverge electric car has doors inspired by a Lamborghini. Picture: AP Photo, Carlos Osorio.
GAC Enverge electric car has doors inspired by a Lamborghini. Picture: AP Photo, Carlos Osorio.

The Enverge doesn't need a power cord: inductive charging means it merely needs to park over a compatible charging bay.

It has a 600km driving range thanks to its 71 kWh battery, and a 350kW fast charger can give the Enverge 400km of driving range in just 10 minutes.

Four electric motors - one on each wheel - promise zippy performance, although GAC wasn't making a claim.

The roof pod houses a Segway motorised scooter so you don't need to walk once at your destination.

The interior looks like the cockpit of a plane. A pod on the roof houses a Segway scooter. Picture: AFP PHOTO, JIM WATSON.
The interior looks like the cockpit of a plane. A pod on the roof houses a Segway scooter. Picture: AFP PHOTO, JIM WATSON.

While the Enverge was just motor show tease, GAC unveiled a range of vehicles alongside it that would look at home in any mainstream showroom: small and medium SUVs, a seven-seat people mover and a Toyota Corolla-sized sedan.

GAC is due to launch in the US in two years but its plans beyond that are unknown at this stage.

The company sold 500,000 cars in China last year, which is more than the Australian car industry combined in any of the past 10 years.

GAC has a range of cars and SUVs ready for launch in the US in two years. Picture: Joshua Dowling.
GAC has a range of cars and SUVs ready for launch in the US in two years. Picture: Joshua Dowling.

A representative for the company told News Corp Australia there were no immediate plans for right-hand-drive or for Australia.

However, once it gets a foothold in the US - the world's biggest car market outside China - GAC is expected to expand its horizons.

Despite bold ambitions, Chinese cars have struggled in Australia since the first Great Wall utes arrived in 2009 and an asbestos scare in 2012.

Last year the LDV T60 became the first Chinese ute to score five stars for safety but it and other brands are yet to show promise on the sales charts.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling



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