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Volkswagen Neeza concept

The only foreign manufacturer to display a concept car at Auto China 2006 was Volkswagen, unveiling the Neeza crossover concept. As one of the first major overseas manufacturers to enter the Chinese market more than 20 years ago, it's evident that Volkswagen is again intent on leading the motoring trend in China by displaying a Coupe/Wagon CUV, with strong Chinese automotive styling flavor. Built on an extended A-platform — as used on the VW Concept A and Golf - Neeza was developed by the local VW design studio in Shanghai.

The name Neeza comes from a Chinese folk tale of a little boy named Ne-Zha, who fought against the evil spirits with magic weapons, and VW claims "His unequalled will, his youthful and foresighted spirit and courage reflect the idea hidden behind the character and the name of the concept"

Overall styling is sleek and extremely fast, with the proportion deceiving many people to a point where, until the unveiling of the vehicle on Saturday, many automotive designers actually thought Neeza was the brother version of the Audi Q7. However the Neeza is much smaller, lower and sleeker than the Q7, and displays virtually no characteristics of an SUV.

Clad in a Flame Red body color, its proportion is very well resolved. And much like recent Volkswagen concepts, Neeza also displays restrained details where it makes clear that designers were intent on showing the overall surfacing of the vehicle, more so than the details. Apart from the front lower grille displaying the flowing 'Oriental' line, they have managed exceptionally well in letting the details support rather than dominate the overall styling.

What would have been a fine concept car was let down somewhat by the overall interior design, with an impression that the interior was almost an afterthought in the overall design process. The door trims and dashboard lacked the exaggerated tension, volumes and refined details that you would expect from a concept car.

While there has been no official response from VW regarding future production plans, Neeza indicates we should expect a bright future for the region's automotive design in the future.


06.12.2006 15:19

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