The Shanghai motor show is the largest and most important auto extravaganza in the world’s most populous country. Although we’ve covered this year’s show in exacting detail, here are few cars — most new, some not — that caught our eye, but which haven’t received a full write-up.
BAIC BJ80 TAP Armoured Car
Armoured cars from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and other major brands will do their best to protect its passengers from bullets, bombs and other nefarious objects. These cars are also almost indistinguishable from their less secure siblings, thereby giving its occupants the benefit of anonymity.
The BAIC BJ80 TAP Armoured Car, on the hand, isn’t afraid to show off its raison d’être.
Buick Velite 5
Remember the gorgeous Velite concept? Buick’s finally building it! Oh, wait, no, it’s just a tweaked Chevrolet Volt with Buick badges. Makes sense as Buick outsells Chevrolet in China by three to one, although we can’t help but feel a few pangs of disappointment.
After launching the million dollar, limited edition EP9 electric supercar, Nio has gone all sensible shoes with the new ES8 EV crossover, which sports an all-aluminium body, swappable battery pack, and an electric all-wheel drive setup.
Senova Offspace D70
BAIC bought up the rights to the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 platforms, and created the Senova brand to take advantage of the technology. Its first car, the Saab-based D70 had an inoffensive body, excessive front overhang, and the imprimatur of Nicholas Cage.
The Offspace D70 concept previews a much more attractive second-generation car.
The vehicle startup has reportedly raised US$700 million and has plans to build 200,000 cars per year by 2020. So, the company is ambitious, but we’re not sure this electric gull-wing concept is going to get Singulato to its goals.
That said, Singulato did have a number of rather duller vehicles on display too, but the runway to 2020 is quickly running out.
W Motors Iconiq 7 EV
This electric people mover concept doesn’t want the Japanese to completely corner the big, boxy, slab-sided MPV market.
Great Wall Motors has decided that what the Chinese automotive market needs is another brand. Step forward, Wey. We’re not entirely convinced of the wisdom of christening your new automotive marque with a homonym for the Chinese word for ‘hi’.
It could be as awkward to bring up in conversation as the Ford Ka. Shame, really, because the three crossovers on display at the Wey stand are actually rather attractive.