grey option with ' black' gloss wood finish enhances the 550' s dynamic and culturally balanced character, possibly bringing a European feel for the more progressive customer. MG6 Concept As well as the success of the Roewe 550 launch to the market, the SAIC Design teams have developed several concepts, launched at Beijing and Shanghai Autoshows. In 2009, SAIC showed the MG6 concept, penned by the SAIC design team to launch a potential market concept - the fastback - to the Chinese market. As the first of a new range of MGs to be launched by SAIC, the MG6 programme was an opportunity to evolve and enhance the MG brand with a modern focused identity. The use of the IP platform ensures high levels of vehicle safety and exemplary handling with a sporty bias - Something with which the MG brand has become synonymous. Led by Tony Williams, the international design team approached the MG6 project with a balance of respecting MG's 85- year heritage of authentic, sporting sedans whilst integrating contemporary advanced design. The team referred to examples of clean, modern and elegant British design, as well as MG's own rich history. The predominant ' Faceted Flow' theme became the core of the project's design language ( flowing surfaces containing faceted features meeting at angular intersections). Exterior designers, in both the UK and Shanghai, started with the octagonal MG badge. A unique and instantly recognisable emblem, which the design emphasises by surrounding it with deep chrome bevelled plinth set into the front face. It was important to develop a front graphic that would balance aggressiveness with an acceptable refinement. The market has developed beyond answering simply the needs of the customer. Now, there is a more demanding environment - wants must also be addressed. The MG6 concept previews the aesthetics of the next generation of MG products with a large lower central
aperture, supplemented by a slim upper grille, enhancing the sporty nature of the world- renowned MG brand. The Faceted Flow design language is visible in the three- sided plan shape of the front bumper and the rear deck, in the gently faceted line of the headlamp periphery and in the front lower spoiler with its raised centre section. The body colour sills visually pull the car closer to the ground while a black strip running the length of the car emphasises its length - value for money is very important to Chinese customers. The side window graphic and roofline give a coupé- like appearance, rather similar to the Jaguar XF and Mercedes CLS. This fastback design with opening tailgate represents a new direction for the Chinese market offering balance between sportiness and practicality. The driver's interaction is complimented by the split rim sports steering wheel and gearshift, accented with the use of aluminium trims. Modern, deeply sculpted sports seats add to the MG pedigree. SAIC Global Design Team SAIC's design team, as part of the Shanghai Automotive Technical Centre ( SMTC), is based in various locations in both Shanghai and the UK. Each team is led by its own design director, who takes responsibility for design development of all new Roewe and MG projects. Overall responsibility for projects is shared, very much in line with President ( of SMTC) Gao Weimin's vision of ' one family' working philosophy. This approach guarantees a clear understanding of both brand attributes and cultural values.