General Motors SUVs aren't generally the best place to look if you want to see playful design language, but that's exactly what's on display on the all-new FNR-X concept. Not quite as far out as the 2015 FNR (Find New Roads) concept, the FNR-X carries a plug-in hybrid powertrain and some high-tech features inside a strong, sturdy build sliced and diced with some puzzling design cues.

The FNR-X could make a helluva poker player ... because it's very hard to read that face, a busy blend of carves and juts that looks more like a mash-up of several vehicles' faces than a cohesive single-model design. The clean, side-to-side sweep of the narrow LED headlamps and upper grille is an attractive enough start, but it's thoroughly undermined by everything going on below.

The side view is the concept's strong point, a fairly successful and sporty blend of strong muscles and creases with an angled roof and sharply sculpted spoiler and rear windscreen. The design does away with the B pillars and puts the rear door hinges at the back, making the wide entry extra easy to access with remote-controlled door operation. As with the front, the rear-end features a sleek LED lighting and logo design but unravels down below, where Chevy feels the need to mimic the side vents and recesses of the front-end.

Chevy has gone a bit overboard, in our opinion, but what's a concept good for if not for trying out things that may not (will not) work in production. And not all of the concept's looks are solely the result of a heavy-handed styling pen; some have a purpose. Active grille shutters and wheel blades automatically adjust during driving to cut drag, and the front and rear spoilers and side skirts move up and down to fine-tune the ride around different driving modes.

The FNR-X's adaptive suspension can be adjusted on demand, and output from the internal combustion engine and electric motor managed through "Versatility" and "Sport" driving modes. Further details of the plug-in hybrid powertrain remain unspecified in Chevy's announcement.

The interior is more traditional and grounded in contemporary reality than that of the FNR concept, but it still features its share of tech and forward-looking design. "Intelligent connected mobility" supports the driver and passengers and can be managed with the OLED infotainment display, intelligent speech interaction system and ID-customizable information system. The ambient lighting that darts and dips around the cabin changes color to match driving modes.

The FNR-X offers "highly autonomous driver assistance" through an all-terrain Advanced Driver Assist System, which relies on acoustic and optical sensors, along with route and traffic information. The system's augmented reality head-up display shows a 270-degree posterior-lateral view.

Chevy debuted the FNR-X on the opening press day of Auto Shanghai.

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