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East meets West in Changan’s CS85 fastback

12 November 2018 | by CDN Team


Combining a fastback tail with the height and presence of an SUV creates a win-win for customers – a crossover design that offers a spacious interior as well as a smooth and dynamic silhouette. This is a powerful combination, so it is no surprise that this vehicle type is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Changan’s first fastback crossover, CS85, is an audacious new entry into this emerging segment. The design communicates not only power and strength but also the car’s entertaining, fun-to-drive nature.


As well as pioneering a new category, CS85 takes Changan’s design language forward and enhances the company’s brand image. The design draws on 2017’s Yu Yue and Ji Liu show cars; SUV and sedan concepts that embody Changan’s DNA. The pair provided a strong template for CS85’s distinctive front face, with its double-helix grille, and inspired the sculpted double waistline that curves along the CS85’s flanks, hinting at floating clouds and flowing water.


CS85 also shares key themes with the Changan Raeton CC sedan, which in July earned an Honourable Mention in the 2018 Red Dot Design Awards.

Of course, our goal was not to apply design elements blindly, but to integrate them coherently within the vehicle’s unique character. CS85’s purposeful face and dynamic waistline add to the sporty feeling created by its fastback outline.


Inside, CS85’s interior design combines dynamism and elegance with a light, luxury feeling. The layered, three-dimensional structure of the IP provides a well-balanced layout with strong visual impact, while also allowing a logical connection between controls. Strong horizontal lines create a wide, spacious feel, in marked contrast to the vertical orientation of previous Changan SUVs.


Colour and trim options have been chosen to create a dark, rich ambience, with both soft-touch and high-gloss materials creating a luxurious, sporty feel.


1. Chen Zheng, Global Design Chief of Changan Automobile; 2. Fabio Miniati, CS85 interior design team manager; 3. Bertrand Bach, CS85 design team director

Changan’s global design team worked together closely to create CS85. Initial work was carried out at our European studio in Turin, before the project transferred to the studio at our headquarters in Chongqing, China, for completion. Throughout the development, designers in both studios contributed to the design, both remotely and in person, under the guidance of project director Bertrand Bach and global design chief Chen Zheng.


Right: Tan Benhong, Vice President of Changan Automobile

As an international effort, work on CS85 provided an opportunity for our designers to learn more about each others’ cultures. In particular, the project gave European team members much greater insight into Chinese lifestyle, aesthetics and philosophy. A good understanding of these topics is important, given that Changan’s aim is to meet the needs of Chinese customers.

Visiting designers were often surprised at how different life in Chongqing was to what they had imagined before they arrived.


Right: Atsuhiko Yamada, Head of Design, Changan V-Brand cars

Chongqing is increasingly multi-cultural – a melting pot where Chinese history merges with the latest technological trends, and where attitudes are increasingly open and inclusive. It provided plenty of inspiration for every member of the design team. The city’s young people, in particular, are enthused by the many possibilities they see in an increasingly diverse society. Many want to free themselves from expectations and simply follow their hearts. 

This positive backdrop encouraged our designers to be daring, pushing forward new possibilities that might previously have felt unimaginable.

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Right: Claas Connor, CS85 Exterior Design Team Manager

Changan may not have a colourful back catalogue of iconic cars like some Western car manufacturers, but as a modern Chinese company it can draw on an exceptionally rich cultural history. We are proud of the breadth and depth of our national heritage, and we aim to infuse products like CS85 with some of this Chinese spirit, mixing Eastern and Western traditions to the benefit of our unique and evolving design language.

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