To help cater to tastes outside of its home market, GAC has established a European R&D center based in Milan, Italy. It joins similar facilities in Los Angeles and Shanghai.
Known as the GAC Research and Development Center Europe, the new R&D center is headed by Stéphane Janin, who was formerly in charge of concept development at Renault.
GAC recently hosted an event to mark the opening of the R&D center, where the automaker presented the Barchetta EV concept. As the name suggests, the concept is in the form of a small, lightweight roadster like so many barchettas of the past, but blends this with a futuristic look first seen on GAC's Time concept from 2021.
To get the height of the vehicle so low, the designers imagined the battery form like the one in a mobile phone. And to keep weight low, they relied on lightweight materials including aluminum for the body, recycled plastic for the interior, and by-wire connections instead of mechanical ones.
The project is the first from GAC's European R&D center and was built to showcase the talents of the center. It was fully designed using digital tools and was completed within two months, Janin said in a statement.