Toy looks but serious intentions
Meet Chinese car designer Li Guangming, whose wackily-styled and equally wackily-named creations have rocked Detroit Motor Show visitors on their heels.
Li is a fan of VW’s original Beetle’s styling, and aims to design and build cars that reflect Chinese culture and help protect the environment as the world’s largest nation takes to motorised personal transport more and more.
British website Newspress rated the three tiny, toy-like concepts the oddest-looking and most bizarrely named cars at the Detroit show.
But it adds that Li, whose creations are named Tang Hua Book of Songs, Piece of Cloud and Detroit Fish is deadly serious in his intentions. Li says he wants to create a unique Chinese design language – and the rounded little cars are a starting point.
“There will be no Chinese national cars of significance if the Chinese spirit is absent from their design,” he says.
Newspress says Li’s dream is to create an iconic car for China that would be comparable to the Ford Model T in early 20th century America, or the VW Beetle in post-war Germany.
He’s clearly a fan of the Beetle, and believes a “rounded, friendly” look is indicative of Chinese culture.
The three Detroit concepts – and others produced by Li’s Beijing-based consultancy – are all electric cars.
He says it’s vital that China explores alternative energy sources.
“If China and India burned gas at the same rate as the US, they would consume four times the fuel reserves of the entire planet.
“The future must point to the EV field – that’s one of the reasons why I’m exhibiting here at Detroit,” he said.
The Detroit Fish – so named because it is amphibious, and has been specially designed for the show – has a 3.5kW electric motor and Lithium Ion battery pack, giving a range of 150km and a top speed of 45kmh.
Li believes such small cars can have uses in “tourist spots, large communities, university campuses and small towns.”