Beijing 2018: Geely Borui GE hybrid variants unveiled – PHEV and MHEV D-segment sedans, 1.5T 7DCT

Geely Auto has unveiled its flagship new energy sedan at the 2018 Beijing International Auto Show. The Geely Borui GE is the hybrid version of the existing Borui sold in the Chinese market. The Borui, a large D-segment sedan, is Geely’s existing flagship model.

There are two variants of the Borui GE – the PHEV plug-in hybrid and MHEV, M for mild. The PHEV powertrain combines a 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Jointly developed with Volvo, which Geely owns, this powertrain’s fuel consumption is rated at 1.6 litres per 100 km. Geely is proud of the powertrain, which it says surpasses international brands in FC and performance.

Volvo’s version is called the T5 Twin Engine, where the engine puts out 180 hp and the electric motor 55 kW. The T5’s total system output is 250 PS and 400 Nm. The DCT used here is Volvo-designed and not the previously employed Ford Powershift (Getrag) unit. More details on the Borui GE’s PHEV unit soon, as we navigate Geely’s packed stand.

Besides the PHEV, the Borui GE also gets a new regular (non plug-in) hybrid MHEV variant that uses the same 1.5 litre turbo engine. This 48V mild hybrid employs a battery starter generator (BSG) unit to give it fuel consumption of 5.8 litres per 100 km, which is 15% lower than what the engine alone will do alone.

Launched in 2015, the Borui is a D-segment sedan designed by Peter Horbury, the former Volvo designer who is now Geely’s senior VP of design. The three existing petrol engines are a 1.8T, 2.4 NA and 3.5 V6.

This debut is part of Geely’s green mission, which is to be China’s leader in new energy vehicles.

“China will ultimately become the global centre of a new energy revolution that will reinvent the car as we know it, hence making its automotive industry stronger and more resilient. As a leading Chinese automotive brand, we’ve realised that competition in this new era will come in the form of a technology war and that we must lead through technological innovation to become the vanguard of this new age,” An Conghui, president and CEO of Geely Auto, said at the Borui GE’s unveiling in Beijing.

“Geely realised this 12 years ago as we began our foray into the new energy sector by investing heavily in research and development, integrated our global resources, as well as strengthen the strategic collaboration we’ve had with Volvo. We’ve employed about 2,500 brilliant minds globally in new energy engineering to focus on the development of hybrid, pure electric, fuel cell and alternative fuel technologies,” he added.

In the Blue Geely Initiative announced in late 2015, the company aims to mass produce new energy vehicles by the year 2020, targeting a 90% sales rate for electrified vehicles. In the masterplan, 35% of the green cars will be full EVs, with the rest made up by hybrids and PHEVs.

Of the two new green variants of the Borui, An said. “These cars serve as a prelude of Geely’s entry into an age where new energy vehicles will dominate our roads. This year alone, we shall be launching a whole array of new energy models and in the not so distant future, all of our platforms and product series will be fully electrified.”

Design highlights include the Geely signature “expanding cosmos” grille – which represent the company’s expanding universe – and front/rear lamps with 3D graphics inspired by traditional Chinese fans and the twirl of a gymnast’s ribbon.

The cabin is rather spectacular. The main event is the Full Vision dashboard that was first previewed on the Emgrand Concept in 2015, now in a production car. Also included in the flagship model are Geely’s recently launched GKUI smart ecosystem and the Energy Hub, which offers wireless charging for mobile devices. The Borui GE PHEV and MHEV will be officially launched in China on May 28.

The Geely Borui would be a good base for a next-generation Proton Perdana, no? What do you think?



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