Baby panda’s big paws

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By NEIL DOWLING

THERE al­ways seems to be at least one crazy at any mo­tor show.

Once-con­ser­va­tive China is leap­ing aboard the out­ra­geous con­cept-car wagon with Geely— one of China’s big­gest car man­u­fac­tur­ers with a $24 bil­lion turnover in 2012 — trot­ting out its baby Panda with a 4WD un­der­car­riage.

Suit­able for Shang­hai and Bei­jing crowded city streets? Def­i­nitely.

The shoe­horn­ing of a big truck frame be­neath the Panda— nor­mally a breath­less 63kW bub­ble car — is purely to draw a crowd. Pity Geely didn’t ap­ply the same graft on one of its ex­ist­ing four-wheel drive utes.

The Panda — called LC in ex­port mar­kets in­clud­ing New Zealand — was on the cards for Aus­tralia but was knocked back this year be­cause of the lack of elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

It does, how­ever, have a five-star crash rat­ing on the China-NCAP test pro­gram.

The car can’t be called a Panda in most mar­kets be­cause the name is al­ready reg­is­tered by Fiat.

To re­it­er­ate the Panda name in China, the car’s de­sign fea­tures Panda paw­shaped tail lights.


Geely’s wacky con­cept car mar­ried a Panda body with a 4WD un­der­car­riage

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