By Steve & Tamami Laser
Remember Mitsuoka Motors in Japan? The boutique automaker recently introduced the Rock Star Roadster, a rebodied Mazda MX-5 that looks like a smaller version of a mid-‘60s Corvette. Now, Songsan Motors, an unrelated company, has displayed its new SS Dolphin, a model inspired by a late ‘50s Corvette, at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2020).
As the story goes, classic American cars are difficult to import into China. Thus, Songsan has created a neoclassic sports roadster, with modern plug-in hybrid running gear, targeting consumers seeking the magnetism of vintage ‘Vette ownership, yet with the latest high-tech features.
Why choose a ’50-style Corvette? According to a story on the Songsan website, the C1 Corvette was “a car for social elites, including Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.” Its popularity continues today, with “Hollywood stars Depp, Tom Cruise and George Clooney.”
While exterior styling evokes memories of the ‘Vette (plus a little extra front overhang), don’t look for a rumbly V8 engine under the hood. Developed with the help of an American auto engineering company, the SS Dolphin is fitted with a dual-mode plug-in hybrid system, offering a combination of performance with reduced emissions.
SS Dolphin features a 1.5-liter turbocharged gas engine, tentatively rated at 230KW and 500Nm torque, a 6-speed dual clutch transmission, and MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension. (We don’t know the battery specifics.) Safety features include anti-lock brakes, airbags, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and stability control.
Instead of trying to duplicate the Corvette’s interior, the SS Dolphin offers a cockpit-style environment trimmed with leather and fitted with retro-luxury touches. Creature comforts run the gamut from reclining seats to human-machine voice interaction systems.
Songsan says it expects to offer the SS Dolphin to consumers in China.
In addition to its current lineup of customized motorcycles, plus the upcoming SS Dolphin, Songsan plans to offer more retro-inspired models. Also on display at the show was a camper van that brings to mind the vintage VW bus.
While we don’t have the spec sheet for this cool-looking van, we can see that it features an upscale cabin, plus a large pop-top for camping. Instead of a flat front end like the original, the extended nose is likely housing a front-mounted engine.
Note: Models, features and specifications are preliminary. All information is subject to change without notice.
News source courtesy of Songsan Motors. Photos courtesy of Newspress UK
Story (commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com