Roewe, the Chinese firm rising from the ashes of defunct manufacturer MG Rover, have released further photos of their 550 compact saloon - the 45 that should have been.

The Roewe is a compact model designed for export that undoubtedly departs China's garish copy-cat designs. A sleek profile with inspiration at front and rear loosely drawn from its Western counterparts - hints from Volkswagen's Passat, the Citroen C5 and Lexus GS being evident - the 550 is a stylish proposition. The first detailed shots of the interior are also promising, revealing a high quality ambience and stylish digital displays.

Details are yet to be released but a 1.8-litre four-pot turbo will be first on the scene, while a diesel model for European sales is a must. Sales in China are to kick off next week with European sales expected to launch later this year priced between 12,000 and 20,000 euros.

SAIC Automotive, the firm behind Roewe, are presently researching sites for European production of the 550 but with ownership of MG Rover's Longbridge plant, production in Britain is expected to be a strong contender.

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