Pininfarina may be best known for designing Ferraris and Maseratis, but it can’t survive on Italian exotics alone. (At least not these days.) Hence the DX7, an SUV designed for Chinese automaker South East Motor and unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show.
The resulting form is actually pretty handsome – far better than we’ve come to expect, at any rate, from most of the Chinese crossovers we’ve seen to date. A shapely front end leads to muscular lines and a dynamically sloped roofline, with defined wheel arches, well-balanced proportions and dare we say attractive detailing. Even the interior, from what we can see, looks like an environment in which we’d be glad to immerse ourselves.
Available technical details are few and far between, but we’d be surprised if it had anything other than a four-cylinder engine mated to an automatic transmission and driving all four wheels. The press release below does, however, mention features such as stability control, rollover protection, automatic parking systems, an electric tailgate and a panoramic sunroof.
Of course this isn’t the first time Pininfarina has designed for a Chinese automaker. It’s been active in the market since the 90s when it set up its first office in Beijing, opening another in Shanghai in 2010 and collaborating with the likes of Chery, BAIC, Brilliance, and others along the way.
The most recent news surrounding the famed Italian design studio links it with Indian automaker Mahindra, which is reportedly preparing a bid to take over Pininfarina – much like Volkswagen subsumed Italdesign-Guigiaro and Ford absorbed Ghia and Vignale long ago. Future ownership prospects aside, Pinfinarina promises this will only be the first in a series of vehicles on which it is collaborating with SEM, and if this design is anything to go on, we look forward to seeing the future fruits of their relationship.