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    5. Hongqi Guoyue: Chinese VIP bus based on the legendary Soviet ..


    Hongqi Guoyue: Chinese VIP bus based on the legendary Soviet “Youth”

    The model range of the premium brand Hongqi, owned by the Chinese state automaker FAW, has been replenished with a small luxury bus. Hongqi Guoyue seats up to 23 people and is equipped with a 3.0-liter petrol turbo V6 engine, sales in China will begin in February.

    In the last century, under the Hongqi brand (translated from Chinese as “red banner” ) exclusively nomenclature executive cars were produced, not intended for ordinary workers. In the early 80s, FAW launched the comfortable Hongqi CA630 bus with a V8 engine from a passenger limousine – it was a direct analogue of Zilov’s “Youth” from the times of the USSR. Neither ZIL nor Yunost are long gone, but FAW, after a twenty-year break, decided to return to producing buses under the Hongqi brand – let's meet Guoyue, its name means traditional Chinese music.

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    Overall length of Hongqi Guoyue is 7295 mm, width is 2090 mm, height is 2785 mm, wheelbase is 3990 mm. The bus is based on a cargo chassis with a solid rear axle on springs and dual-slope rear wheels, so you can hardly expect a limousine-like ride, but good noise insulation is promised.

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    On the left side of the Guoyue there is only a hinged driver's door, on the right there is a hinged door for the front passenger/guide and a common sliding “gate” for the rest of the passengers. The engine is located longitudinally at the front, so the stern is unoccupied; behind the gallery there is a small trunk with access from the street. All “optics” are LED, and the front end is decorated with a massive chrome “grill” in the style of Hongqi passenger cars. The “Red Banner” theme is also noticeable in the design of the reflectors on the sides and stern.

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    The interior, depending on the modification, can have from 17 to 23 seats, including the driver's seat. The photos show the most luxurious 17-seater option available at the moment, with the best seats closest to the door and equipped with tables. There's also a dual-compartment refrigerator next to the door for food and drink storage, and a fold-out entertainment monitor below the ceiling. The driver's seat with a sloping two-spoke steering wheel is decorated with wood-effect inserts. The instrument panel has the usual dial speedometer and tachometer and a 4.2-inch on-board computer window between them, the multimedia system is equipped with a 10.25-inch touch screen.

    The power unit for Guoyue is borrowed from Hongqi passenger cars – it is a 3.0-liter V6 petrol turbo engine CA6GV30TD (292 hp, 420 Nm) paired with an 8-speed hydromechanical “automatic”, the maximum speed of the bus is limited to 130 km/h, but the acceleration dynamics should be quite vigorous.

    Guoyue was officially unveiled this week and surfaced on Chinese consumer site Hongqi, but prices have not yet been announced, with a market launch scheduled for February. It is still unknown whether Hongqi Guoyue will be officially supplied to Russia.

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