Could this Chinese SUV be the modern successor to the Lamborghini LM002?
The trend of the boxy-looking SUV seems to be back on the horizon again. After a few years of curvaceous aesthetics, it seems like consumer tastes have come back around to wanting more straight-edged SUVs.
Renders of the supposed upcoming Honda HR-V is proof enough of this. Going from its current curvy, overly-creased body shape to a simpler, boxy exterior design. That said however, if you want to compare boxiness, Haval’s newly launched Big Dog SUV is perhaps the new standard bearer for the segment.
In a time when even the G-Class has smoothed its rough exterior edges, this new Chinese SUV has decided to look back into the past for its design inspiration. Sitting in between the Honda HR-V and CR-V in terms of size, the Big Dog (yes, that is it’s actual name) may seem to some to look like a plus-sized Jeep Renegade. Especially considering its slab-fronted nose containing an unnecessarily large chrome grille flanked by two single LED headlight clusters.
However, the front of the Haval perhaps shares even more similarities with another SUV from the past – the Lamborghini LM002. Looking at the pictures side by side, you’ll be hard pressed not to think that the Chinese have inadvertently modernised Lambo’s first SUV.
Round the side meanwhile, the standard boxy-SUV fare continues. Chunky plastic-clad wheel arches paired with the chunky door handles, and the square-sided window surrounds to create that macho Tonka Toy aesthetic that is so in vogue now. The boxy design continues out the back too, with a giant light bar stretching across the width of the boxy tailgate. Take a step back though and you might catch a glimpse of Rolls Royce Cullinan for the rear design of this Haval, mainly thanks to the twin vertical rear light cluster.
Unfortunately, there is nothing Rolls Royce about the interior of the Big Dog, but it does continue on with the rugged aesthetic on the exterior. The huge grab handle, much like one you’ll find on an older G-Wagen, stuck on the passenger side of the textured dashboard is perhaps the first thing one would notice when stepping inside the Haval. A closer look though reveals that there is indeed some sophisticated tech beneath the ruggedness.
Twin screens for the digital instrument cluster and central infotainment system are standard on this SUV. A drive selector dial and electronic handbrake are also features not normally associated with rugged 4x4s. Practicality-wise, there appears to be enough space for five. Cargo capacity should also not be a problem due to its boxy exterior design.
Propulsion for this brick on wheels comes courtesy of a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine making 169 hp and 285 Nm of torque. Power is transferred to only the front wheels through a seven speed dual clutch transmission, making this SUV the epitome of getting the off-road look without any of the off-road functionality. Saying that, a 2.0 litre turbocharged unit with four-wheel drive is said to join the lineup later.
On sale in China at a price ranging from 119,900 yuan (RM 73,400) to 142,900 yuan (RM 87,500), the Big Dog does have a higher chance than most in making it to Malaysia. Especially considering that Haval is already an established brand locally. So the question now is whether there are any takers here for a maxi-Jeep Renegade that has a Lambo-looking front end, and a Rolls-Royce looking rear end.
Photo credit: CarNewsChina.com