26 March 2016, Ningbo China. Geely Auto Group (Geely Auto) today unveiled its latest SUV as part of its transition to SUV strategy that will see the company utilize its strength in the sedan market to create a series of market leading SUVs.
The introduction of the Geely GC9 in December 2015 cemented Geely’s claim to the sedan market and heralded the introduction of a highly competitive Chinese domestic product that was capable of taking competition directly to international brands. Since its market launch in April 2015, the GC9 has continually outsold many of its major international rivals in the Chinese market and has become the best selling domestic B-segment sedan.
The Bo Yue is to follow in the trail blazed by the GC9. As with the GC9, the BoYue was developed in Geely Auto’s Hangzhou R&D center where over 3000 staffs are on hand to develop the vehicle. The Bo Yue was developed around a “Three Outstanding” principle in that the vehicle must be outstanding to drive, offer outstanding safety and outstanding levels of automotive intelligence.
The Bo Yue measures in at (LxWxH) 4519×1831×1694mm with a wheelbase of 2670mm –making the Bo Yue one of the biggest vehicles in the compact SUV segment allowing Geely Auto engineers and designers to maximize the level of comfort available.
Peter Horbury, Geely Auto’s Vice President of Design was responsible for the Bo Yue’s design with input from the four global design studios located in California, Barcelona, Gothenburg and Shanghai where there are currently 300 global designers employed. Peter Horbury commented: “With the Geely Bo Yue wanted to make a vehicle that was tough and bold as an SUV should be, but at the same time it should have a graceful look that fits into the Geely brand character, we also wanted to create a new benchmark for Chinese SUV’s, and I believe we have created a high standard for others to try and reach.”
The Bo Yue was set to be developed as a vehicle developed around its target market; created for young minded individuals that place aesthetics, technology and connectivity at the forefront of their daily lives, therefore the Bo Yue had to be created as an extension of the individuals personality;strong, unique, connected, safe and secure.
Geely Auto’s signature design language that was developed by Peter Horbury’s design team is very much at play in the Bo Yue; a leaping leopard in motion with a strong shoulder line over the front wheels and a muscle line that reverberates throughout the body to the rear tail line. This line was first featured on the Geely GC9 and has also been seen on the Emgrand Concept that debuted at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, this feature will become a mainstay on all future Geely vehicles.
The Bo Yue was designed to be sporty and has a powerful stance that makes it stand out. The high level of refinement and strength in both exterior and interior reinforce the perception of an exceptionally tough vehicle.
The face of the Bo Yue demonstrates a robust quality; with a high mounted front upper grill that acts as a shield for the athletic forms on the hood which then run into the shoulder and body line. This muscular curvature continues on directly into the unique beltline, and into tail lamps that wrap into the body side to give the Bo Yue its very own visual identity. This is important in a time where there are many cookie cutter designs as well as copies in the SUV market.
When developing our new vehicles we always wanted to create a sense of national pride for Geely; our design team looked to China’s rich heritage of art, history and culture to help define how the car should look and feel.
As on the Geely GC9 and Emgrand Concept, the classical Chinese bridge has been made a part of the dashboard design, sweeping across the interior and arching over the center air vents.
The central infotainment panel was inspired by the terraced fields of South Western China, protruding slightly to give the drivers the feeling of being in control. Here, drivers will be able to easily access leading technologies such as Apple’s CarPlay system.
The center grab handles have a combination of both strength and attractive looks as if they were drawn using a Chinese calligrapher’s brush.
The Bo Yue’s steering wheel is covered in Nappa leather, giving the driver a feeling of luxury in his or her hands whilst a full moonroof measuring at over 1 square meter brings strong levels of light into the vehicle.
Power for the Bo Yue is derived from two powertrain options. Geely’s tried and tested 2.0L naturally aspirated paired with the choice of a 6 speed manual gearbox or a 6 speed automatic gearbox from DSI Transmissions will be offered.Geely’s own self developed 1.8 Turbo Direct Injection engine is offered on higher range models, this powerful engine is capable of producing 184Ps at 5500RPM and offers 285Nm of torque which can be sent to all four wheels via a NexTrac system. Geely’s 1.8TD engine was voted one of the ten best engines in 2015 and has been updated for 2016 to improve torque by 16%, NVH abilities by 5% and reduce fuel consumption by 3.7%.
The British engineering company, MIRA, assisted Geely with the development of the Bo Yue’s chassis with strong input in terms of handling,comfort and off road ability.
As with all Geely Auto vehicles, safety was paramount during the development and production process; the Bo Yue utilizes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for speeds of up to 150 km/h for highway travel by tracking the distance of the vehicle ahead and should another vehicle enter ahead of the Bo Yue, the vehicle will automatically slow and create a safe distance between the cars in front and behind.
The Bo Yue is packed with safety features such as a 360 degree camera system that eliminates all blind spots from around the vehicle and also incorporates lane departure warnings to alert drivers should they begin to drift.
As on the GC9, the Bo Yue also features an air purifying system to keep the cars interior air quality to excellent levels – filtering out harmful PM2.5 particles for all passengers.
The Bo Yue is a car with its own voice: simply saying “Hello Bo Yue” willactivate the cars intelligent G-Netlink system that features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems that will sync with the passengers cellphones. Asking questions such as “Hello Bo Yue, what is the weather in Hangzhou like today?”will get instant answers as the G-Netlink system is fully connected to the internet via a 4G internet connection that can be shared with car passengers allowing for full connectivity on the go. The Bo Yue is the first Chinese domestic SUV to feature Apple’s leading CarPlay system – this system will be rolled out to other Geely vehicles in the near future.
As the first vehicle in a range of Geely SUVs that are coming to market in the next 12 months, the Bo Yue has set a high barometer for the Chinese and wider global SUV market. By leaning on its success in the sedan market, where Geely has leading domestic products in every segment, Geely is aiming to position itself in the SUV market and continue to fully develop itself.