All the new jammies, China!
Once the Copy Car Show of the World, the Shanghai motor show has matured into an international salon in its own right boasting the best of all worlds as some carmakers chose the event for world launches alongside many new Chinese products ready to take on the world, while some new Chinese local market specials also raised a few eyebrows…
And with business confidence looking towards an upturn on a reduction in local sales tax, the mood was positive despite Chinese car sales falling to just 2.52 million. Shame! There is also no sign of electric car sales showing in spite of a recent reduction in government subsidies, but the pressure is on to keep cace as latest Chinese e-cars take on the likes of Tesla and their combustion engine rivals too.
Shanghai’s highlights were plentiful, starting with some of the home highlights as Geely showed three new cars — its GE11 electric fastback concept designed with aerodynamic efficiency top of mind and the Jia Ji hybrid and diesel even-seater with Level 2 autonomy. The third Geely was the Xingyue FY11 BMW X6 rival that uses a Volvo XC40 platform and a 145kW 2-litre turbo four-pot petrol and a range of plug-in and mild hybrid powertrains.
X6 rivals seem flavour of the month with Lynk&Co's Volvo-developed newcomer using 1.5 and 2-litre petrol engines and slated for export, while Jiangling’s 1.5-litre Ford powered five seater Landwind E315 drops those copycat looks for a more conventional standalone look for once.
BYD's hybrid supercar is said to use a 2-litre petrol engine coupled to an electric motor for 350kW, while Chinese electric start-up Nio likewise targets the Tesla Model S with its ET7 shown alongside its EP9 electric supercar, EVE autonomous concept and ES6 and ES8 SUVs, while the Xpeng P7 will rival Tesla's Model 3 with a 450km range
Several overseas brand China-only cars made their debut in Shanghai including Audi’s long-wheelbase Q2 L e-tron; the first of ten planned electric Audis and FAWs tailored specifically for the Chinese market. The BMW 3 Series LWB is almost as long as the 5 Series available and built by BMW partner Brilliance. Volkswagen’s China-only Jetta brand meanwhile tugged the veils off its new conventional five-door SUV VS5, small saloon VS7 and the seven seater VA3.
On the international front, Mercedes’-Benz showed its new new small SUV GLB to rival Q3, X1 and XC40 topped by the 225kW AMG GLB 35; Mini showed a subtly restyled Clubman and Renault showed a production-ready Kwid-based K-ZE off its Paris concept, while Porsche’s Cayenne Coupé cut a more traditional BMW X6 rival
Aston Martin’s electric Rapide E chases Tesla’s Model S and the Porsche Taycan and can run at its 250km/h for ten minutes (so you can fo about 40km flat out), while Mitsubishi followed its Geneva Engleberg Tourer with a 'more urban’ e-Yi, in essence an evolution of the Outlander PHEV with packs a 2.4-litre petrol lump mated to a pair of electric motors and torque vectoring technology
There were a few cool Western concepts too — Audi’s AI:ME hints at automated driving compact car for the megacities of 2030 and considers a cabin with or without a steering whee, while l Volkswagen unleashed its ID Roomzz - the largest member of its Touareg-sized ID electric range yet in a luxurious seven seater SUV propelled by a pair of electric motors for 225kW with part time-wheel drive and a claimed 500km range to defeat the Tesla Model X.
Borne out of the new defunct Fisker Automotive, Karma showed three new cars in China — the new Pininfarina GT using BMW i8 petrol-electric innards as well as an updated 2020 Revero luxury saloon, both using BMW i8 petrol-electric innards and the luxury high-tech Vision concept.