• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Italian styled GS5 undergoes 112km litmus test

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What a good way to start the week. Ever since the 2005 Argungu Motor Rally involving the Mercedes model line-up which was flagged off at the Eagle Square, Abuja to begin the over 800 kilometer race to Argungu, the Nigeria motoring journalists have not had any other experiential test drive so close like the one that took place last Monday with the new Trumpchi GS5 SUV. The test drive as part of the brand’s elaborate plans to launch itself fully into the Nigerian auto- market.

The reason for the historic brain and brawn was very simple and very clear, and that is, as a prelude to the official launching of the new brand into the country, CIG Motors, franchise owners of the GAC nameplate wanted the Nigerian motoring press to subject the new Trumpchi GS5 Sport Utility Vehicle  from the Victoria Island soon-to-be-ready CIG dealership on Ligali Ayorinde through the smooth, bumpy and rough Lagos-Ibadan expressroad  with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan as final destination.

It was an exciting road test six units of orange, black and white-painted Trumpchi GS5 with a pilot car leading the convoy while the day-long driving lasted. Based on the Alfa Romeo 166 platform, and derived from the 2009 concept X-power, the production SUV was unveiled in 2011 at the Guangzhou motor show.

While the motoring journalists including BusinessDay relished the hospitality and nostalgic feeling from the vehicle, the drivers also tried to religiously adhere to the rules of engagement during the day and that is that nobody on wheels should exceed more than 100 km per hour. The exercise provided very useful information on take-off, road handling and stability of this particular Chinese nameplate that blends Italian styling with European technology even high speeds. It takes on pot holes and craters with ease, once again, flaunting the tensile strength of the shocks and suspension systems.

Inside and outside, the Trumpchi SUV mixes the aesthetics of the dominating family grille inspired by the ‘Chinese dragon’ and large headlamp graphics, which are clearly linked, as is the more intricately detailed hood. The flanks displays a ‘waterfall’ tension line that intersects its sculpted panels, while the GS5’s shallow DLO and diving roofline give the car a sporty stance. The rear LED lights now sport a ‘Phoenix-wing’ graphic, visually widening the SUV.

Inside, the instrument panel (IP) and center console continue the subtly sporting theme, with a flowing line that continues through the central stack into both door cards, visually separating driver and passenger into two separate compartments.

The atmosphere that was glitz; glamour and fun as CIG Motors unveiled the unique selling points of GAC brand of vehicles to key media stakeholders during a one-day test-drive exercise from Lekki – Epe expressway, to Akobo, Ibadan via the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday.

For the sales and marketing director of CIG Motors, Kayode Adejumo, the exercise for his dealership is a new statement in the annals of automotive business in the country, and serves as a sign of good things to come for prospective car buyers.

The test drive which was greeted with glitz and glamour as on-lookers and passers-by could not help but turn their heads any where the convoy cruises past, and would not have come at a better time than now.  The exercise was the first major ‘grandiose entry behaviour’ by CIG  Motors to formally unveil the GAC brands to newsmen in grand style as well as getting car freaks and fleet buyers gain insight into the unique selling points of the brand.

He stated that the launch of GAC brand into the country was informed by the need to offer discerning and quality conscious Nigerians the best from China with highest standard applied in vehicle manufacturing giving value for money with the most advanced technologies imputed. The first set of models to be launched into the market which were used during the test drive exercise is the GS5 2-liter engine, the mid luxury SUV, currently the flagship.

MIKE OCHONMA