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Intrepidation

Shanghai 2009: Roewe N1

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Chinese automakers have been on the receiving end of barbs for some time now, particularly when it comes to styling. In terms of both originality and proportion, most Sino automakers have struggled to find both balance and identity, but among them, SAIC Roewe has been able to build on its Rover roots and churn out some rather attractive designs. Case in point: The N1. Now showing in Shanghai for the first time, the N1 sedan is quite well resolved from most angles, and its design is widely expected to make it into production unscathed. That the car's styling jibes with Western sensibilities is important, because the company plans to roll a production N1 out not just to domestic audiences next year, but likely to European audiences a short time later.

Unlike some previous Roewe offerings, the N1 sits on a new chassis, but it will reportedly still rely on updated versions of the British automaker's K-series four-cylinder powerplants.

Inside, the N1 is rather more ambitious, featuring a touch-screen interface with full-on internet connectivity, a "3D" digital gauge cluster, and a navigation system based on open-source coding. The car's high-tech dashboard gubbins are likely to remain a showcar-only detail for the next few years, however.

Autoblog

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:scratchchin: I see a knock off of the current Acura body styling with Audi headlights.

Not my cup of tea, but it is an interesting auto.

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:scratchchin: I see a knock off of the current Acura body styling with Audi headlights.

Not my cup of tea, but it is an interesting auto.

Which Acura?I can't think of any that is this coherent. The headlight's aren't an Audi knockoff as Audi's headlight shapes are pretty rectangular for the most part. The LED thing is nothing new.

It looks very nice...but I wonder how big it is? Looks small, like Cruze small.

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Which Acura?I can't think of any that is this coherent. The headlight's aren't an Audi knockoff as Audi's headlight shapes are pretty rectangular for the most part. The LED thing is nothing new.

It looks very nice...but I wonder how big it is? Looks small, like Cruze small.

I actually thought it was subcompact, or Aveo, size. If only the Aveo looked this good. I thought the 550/MG6 was compact, or Cruze, size. That was my impression, but I could be wrong.

If Saturn's dealership network had to sell Chinese branded vehicles, then I think Roewe/MG would be the best pick of the litter.

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I actually thought it was subcompact, or Aveo, size. If only the Aveo looked this good. I thought the 550/MG6 was compact, or Cruze, size. That was my impression, but I could be wrong.

If Saturn's dealership network had to sell Chinese branded vehicles, then I think Roewe/MG would be the best pick of the litter.

Roewe 750 = Rover 75 = large

Roewe 550 = Rover 45 = midsize

Roewe N1 = Rover 25 = compact?

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