New Dongfeng Number 1 Has French Roots

Even though sometimes the Chinese car industry can pop out a few good looking cars, this isn’t the reason why I like this particular model. I like it because it’s European.

Sort of. If you don’t remember the Number 1 concept from last years’ Beijing Auto Show (and I don’t blame you if you don’t), then you probably missed out on one of China’s best looking cars.

This right here is the production version and as you can see, not much has changed – which is undoubtedly a good thing. Even better is the fact that it’s using the PSA PF3 platform which underpins both the Peugeot 508 as well as the Citroen C5. And those two are some of Europe’s most comfortable non-premium mid-size saloons.

You can even see the similarities in the bodywork, as the C5’s profile is clearly visible from the A-pillar to the C-Pillar. The interior is almost entirely that of the Peugeot 508, which again, is not a bad thing.

Other than that, it looks a little like a Passat form the front and a tiny bit like an Audi A8 when viewed from the rear. The fact that it has a relatively clean design is a good thing.

The Chinese did use a lot of chrome on this car. There’s a large thick strip between the taillights, a smaller one between the pipes, and then you’ll find even more under the rear fenders, doors, sides and of course at the front.

Powering the Dongfeng Number 1 will be a newly developed 1.8 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol unit, good for 204 HP and 280 Nm (206 lb-ft) of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is a nice bonus.

If it also comes with Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspension, then it will could be an extremely comfortable package.


  • Jean Claude Morisset