“By combing Chinese elements and the vastness of space, Geely was born”
Recent large movements by Geely’s space arm, Geespace, have led many to believe Geely has big plans for space, but Geely believes you don’t need to go far for a ‘cosmic’ experience.
The recent movements of the Geely Group, including plans to begin manufacturing of low-orbit satellites, the recruitment of space engineers, and the construction of an intelligent satellite production and testing centre, have led many to believe that the group has big plans for space.
To an extent, this is true, as Geely’s Geespace races forward with plans to test, and then launch satellites into low orbit space this year, with the aim of improving vehicle-infrastructure communications and data transference, namely for use with the autonomous vehicles of the future.
But you don’t need to look up to see Geely moving closer to the stars – on the contrary, Geely likes to consider that through their cars they bring the stars to you. Many models under the Geely Auto brand pay homage to the cosmos, sometimes subtle design elements in the cars’ aesthetics, at other times more subtle nods like in the names of the cars themselves.
Taking the Xing Yue, Geely Auto’s performance fastback-SUV, as an example, the name can be translated as ‘surpassing the stars’, and much like a space exploration vehicle it aims to explore and push the normal bounds of mobility. This name acts a marvellous precursor to catching sight of the actual car, with a unique design that pays homage to the wonders of nature, both on earth and more far-reaching. As Guy Burgoyne, Head of Geely’s Design Centre in Shanghai explains: “the Xing Yue’s design inspiration comes from those dynamic moments found throughout the cosmos and in nature.”
This theme is even more evident inside the car, as interior design choices immerse you in a cosmic experience. As Guy explains “Inspired by the sharp and powerful movement of an arrow breaking through the starry night’s sky, we’ve used this visual imagery for the LED daytime running lights on this Sports Coupe SUV.”
The Xing Yue is not unique in this regard. The out-of-world themes resonate through most of Geely’s range of cars, sometimes in the form of a striking design characteristic, such as the Emgrand range’s “cosmos grille” or sometimes more subtly like the Coolray’s “jet-thruster-inspired thruster” (shifter) or dashboard with an orbiting-planet style theme.
Late last year, Guy Burgoyne met with ZhangBo, Concept Design and Set Director of the science-fiction masterpiece, The Wandering Earth, to discuss creating fantastical and wonderful designs inspired by space and the future.
In fact, creating conceptual car designs and writing a best-selling science fiction share many similar elements: creativity is a must, and even in the design of a car a fascinating and inspiring story must be created using a balance of the familiar combined with the more spectacular. In the case of Geely’s design team, this means starting with the brand’s routes in its native country of China and building upon them. This is perhaps best summed up by ZhangBo: “By combing Chinese elements and the vastness of space, Geely was born.”
With a design language that includes “Accelerating through time” (a usage of words that would not look out of place as the title of Liu CiXin’s next blockbuster) Geely is racing ahead with its plans for future in establishing a mobility networking that encompasses ground space, the air, and further beyond. While design elements throughout the cars give us a taste of great beyond, it will not be long before we are directly connected, through Geely’s connected cars of the future, to space.