Sometimes we chuckle at the way certain words or phrases in Chinese (and Japanese, actually) get translated into English. Actually, there's a term for it: Engrish.
But now we have a winner: it's Great Wall... the car company, not the actual structure.
Recently China's Great Wall Motor (GWM) issued a press release about a new achievement they're particularly proud of: they're using a new vehicle platform that they're calling L.E.M.O.N.
Yes, you read that correctly. L.E.M.O.N. (or GWM-LEMON) is the new vehicle platform that will be the basis of many Great Wall models moving forward. GWM says that the new platform is modular and that L.E.M.O.N. can be used on five different vehicle categories such as A0/A segment (superminis), B segment (subcompacts), C segment (compact), and D segment (midsize).
The platform can be stretched (i.e. from a wheelbase of 2650mm to 3005mm) and can be raised or lowered (Low, Medium, and High configurations) depending on the need; that means they can use it on a passenger sedan, a crossover SUV, or a multi-purpose vehicle.
The platform can use up to 24 distinct powertrain configurations, meaning it can make use of a 1.5L turbo engine with a 7-speed DCT, a 2.0L turbo with a 7-speed or 9-speed DCT, or even a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), or other electric or electrified powertrains. GWM says that the L.E.M.O.N. platform has been engineered from the start to be configurable in either left-hand drive (which China is) or right-hand drive (for export or localized production).
The platform was also engineered to factor in new safety standards and was designed to channel and absorb the energy whether the impact comes from the front, the sides, or the rear. It uses a variety of steel types (standard to advanced high strength steel).
The strategy is sound, as a lot of automakers worldwide are using platforms on a variety of their models to maximize the development costs and to reduce production costs. Mazda and Toyota do it, just to name a few, and some even share platforms across a whole group composed of many car brands like the VW Group.
A few GWM vehicles already use the L.E.M.O.N. platform such as the Haval H6 and the Dagou; both of which are SUVs.
What has us baffled is how a company with international (read: export) aspirations actually used the acronym L.E.M.O.N. for a vehicle platform when the automobile world actively uses the word “lemon” to refer to a persistently malfunctioning automobile.
Also, we're rifling through some of GWM's past releases on L.E.M.O.N. and can't find what the letters actually stand for. Lightweight Emissions Modular O-ring Nozzle?
You really can't make this stuff up.