Is it possible to design a coupe-SUV that retains full usability of the rear seats? It’s a challenge that the Geely Design team at its Shanghai studio readily accepted.

Armed with protractors, the team analysed countless coupes’ styles from the history of car design around the world, the result is the Xing Yue. “Combining all we’ve learned, we found the optimal solution. The roofline starting from the driver’s head slips back at a 14-degree angle towards the rear. This is the golden angle for a ‘fastback design’. It not only ensures a fluid exterior line but also optimises the amount of interior space,” says Guy Burgoyne, Vice President of Geely Design China. This means that in spite of the Xing Yue’s sleek lines, there is still plenty of space in the back for the taller man or woman.

Drawing inspiration from life and nature the Xing Yue is designed around the concept of ‘the moment’: “We have found that the most memorable creatures in nature are those filled with exciting dynamic moments. Inspired by these creatures with the most potent energy, we were able to give Xing Yue the most beautiful form” explains Guy.

Giving inspiration at the front is the tiger – a very important creature in Chinese culture and one of the 12 zodiac animals. Guy talks us through: “We capture this moment in the front face of Xing Yue, its slightly squinting eyes extremely sharp, fangs revealed, and suddenly a mountain-shaking roar. This moment gives off an energetic and confident feeling.”

Fitted in between the ‘squinting eye’ lights is Geely’s famous expanding Cosmos Grille. On the Xing Yue, whose name translates into English as ‘leaping stars’, this is all the more relevant. As with all Geely cars, the Xing Yue gets its own version by adding three-dimensional layering and tension to it. This centres on Geely’s newest all-black badge, helping to project a distinctive and confident look.

With the car’s waistband, inspiration is drawn yet again from the big cat family. The movement of a leopard leaping towards its prey is replicated in the waistline, creating a dynamic visual expression of strength and power. Accentuating this are the ‘strong claws’ of the blackened wheel rims which give the driver a feeling of confidence on the road.

The Xing Yue is the first car from Geely’s catalogue that utilises the CMA architecture developed in conjunction with Volvo, giving it a low posture and wide stance. Much like a leopard crouched and ready to strike, the car has better grip for quick changes in direction and speed.

Finding inspiration from the night’s sky, the side mirrors are lifted and accentuated, mirroring the horns of the mighty Taurus constellation. And just as an arrow moves through the sky, the daytime running lights create a ‘digital arrow’. Echoes of elements first seen on the Bo Rui GE can also be seen, such as with the Twisting Chinese Fan Brakelights.

Finishing the exterior is a range of specially curated dynamic colours. Fittingly for Geely’s new flagship, a whole new “Star Gold” colour is available. “Gold has always represented things that are dynamic and outstanding, evoking strong emotions in people. No matter where they are, gold will always make them the centre of attention” says Guy.

The sporty Coupe-SUV looks extend to the inside, with its flat-bottomed steering wheel, racing car-like paddle shifters and jet fighter throttle-inspired shifter. A driver-centric experience, the ‘cockpit’ of the Xing Yue is guaranteed to ignite the passion to drive.

Geely has become well known for its use of elements inspired by Chinese culture and the Xing Yue’s interior is no exception. “When our designers first thought about the instrument panel,” Guy explains “we hoped to create a sense of safety. We thought about the design of the Hanfu neckline, which has not only become a breakthrough in design, it also adds a sense of safety.”

A real driver’s car, the interior uses an asymmetric design. Focusing on the driver, the large infotainment screen tilts slightly towards the car’s ‘commander’. Stitching on the seats matches the colours of the ambient lighting and dashboard.

But none of this sporting prowess is worth anything without the engines that complement the Xing Yue. Luckily there is the choice of three hefty powertrains, including a mild hybrid using 48V technology and the range-topping plugin hybrid which has a combined power of 190kW. Both the hybrids use a 3-cylinder 1.5T unit which skilfully balances power and economy. There is also a 2.0T option for the Xing Yue which delivers a 0-100km/hour time of just 6.8 seconds, truly a formidable force.