Geely may not sound too familiar to you, but its intentions of becoming an important player in the automotive world were pretty clear after has bought Volvo from Ford.

Now, the company wants to build the world’s cheapest car, a title that until now was carried by the Tata Nano. Moreover, the Geely plans to make its small city car significantly more efficient than its Indian rival, by throwing electric technologies into the mix.

The new car is named the IG (which stands for Intelligent Geely) and was received with opened arms by the public when made its big debut at Beijing in 2010.

The company said that the IG will have a starting price of only $2500 and it will be of better quality than the bare-bones Nano.

The electric model will be available since 2014 or 2015, featuring a lithium ion battery, an 80bhp/133lb ft electric motor and an estimated range of 93 miles. Additionally, the IG will be also offered with a conventional engine, which comes with 70 hp on tap.

Design

2010 Geely IG Exterior
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Judging by the exterior proportions, it seems that the Geely IG draws inspiration from the Fiat 500 model. Though, there are only minor similarities between these two models, so we can’t talk about cloning.

Up front the car comes without a grille, but there is a wide, trapezoidal air intake mounted low into the bumper. The bumper is slightly rounded, enhancing the bulky design of the body, while the front wheel arches are a bit oversized reminding us about the Volkswagen Beetle.

The front lights will be a major point of interest for anyone’s eyes, as they look outrageously long, running along the entire length of the bonnet and extending into the doors. This bold design approach will certainly help the car get notice every time it’s passing down the street.

Apart from its unique headlights, the concept it’s also fitted with solar panels on the roof, bonnet and dash which help increase its range.

All these elements give a very dynamic look to the entire front fascia but the same dynamic lines, are also carried over to the sides. Here, we are greeted by two sharp creases which start to run along the sides pointing toward the back of the car. The side windows come with a pretty sharp cut as well and give the car a pretty high waistline which accentuates even more as you move toward the back.

Interior

2010 Geely IG Interior
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The Geely is slightly bigger than the Toyota IQ and also comes with a longer wheelbase. Though the interior isn’t as roomy as the Japanese super mini and rear space is pretty cramped.

But while, space could be a problem, you certainly won’t complain about the cool gullwing doors which offer easy access into the cab. Unfortunately these tasty doors are not expected to appear on the production version.

Apart from the futuristic doors, you’ll probably be also surprised by the centrally mounted front seat which forms a strange layout, one would usually expect to find it in a McLaren F1 and not in a small city car.

Once inside, you are greeted by a highly futuristic dashboard fitted with all sorts of digital displays and a big, circular dial mounted in the center.

The three spoke steering wheel pops out from the futuristic dash and features a pretty attractive design, as well. Though it’s a bit thin for our tastes, so don’t expect to inspire too much confidence.

Due to the high waistline, the side view is a bit limited, but fortunately the front road visibility is pretty reassuring.

For the moment we won’t have any idea about how safe would be to drive such a vehicle, but Geely stated that it complies with its ‘Safety First R&D theory’ and thanks to its strong body and the strategically mounted airbags, would be able to achieve a four-star crash-test rating under Chinese NCAP.

Shortly after the debut of its 3+1 IG concept, the company came up with a second one which had a 2+2 seating arrangement, previewing the layout used for the production version.

Engines and technologies

2010 Geely IG Exterior
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The Geely IG will be available with two drive trains. The first version will be a front wheel drive car powered by a 988cc petrol engine developing 70bhp and 69lb ft and mated on a five-speed CVT transmission.

The second option is much more interesting, as it’s technically an electric vehicle. The electric Geely IG will be equipped with a pack of lithium ion batteries used to power an 80 hp /133 lb-ft electric motor. The company says that the electric version will have an estimated range of 93 miles.

For the moment we don’t know if the solar panels will be offered for the production version, but we doubt that it will happen, as this technology isn’t exactly cheap.

Verdict

2010 Geely IG Exterior
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If the production version will be indeed as cheap and as well built as Geely suggested, the new IG could prove to be a real success for the company.

The exterior design is far more appealing than the Tata Nano’s, while the power output it’s also bigger than the one offered by its rival, so we can expect to better on road performances. Not to mention about the electric version that will impose new standards of efficiency.

Our main concern however remains the interior space which is pretty cramped even when it’s compared with the Tata Nano. D theory’ and thanks to its strong body and the strategically mounted airbags, would be able to achieve a four-star crash-test rating under Chinese NCAP.

Shortly after the debut of its 3+1 IG concept, the company came up with a second one which had a 2+2 seating arrangement, previewing the layout used for the production version.

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