The revived Detroit Electric company will be partnering with China's Geely, but the mission is not to cooperate on bringing the all-electric Tesla Roadster-like SP:01 to market. Instead, Detroit Electric and Geely will co-develop more normal passenger vehicles from Geely's Emgrand brand, starting with the EC7 pictured above. The two companies will also work on "related electric drive systems." The announcement was made at the Shanghai Motor Show today.
2013 Shanghai Motor Show
While we were busy ogling new vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept, Maserati Ghibli and Hongqi L9 at the Shanghai Motor Show, Kia was busy unveiling an entire brand. Through its Chinese joint venture, Dongfeng Yueda Kia (or DYK), the South Korean automaker has introduced its new Horki sub-brand and a concept car, simply called the Horki Concept.
Among the harvest of premieres at the Shanghai Motor Show was a special-edition Rolls-Royce Ghost to celebrate the 1913 Austrian Alpine Trials. Four Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts entered the race a century ago, and in completing the 1,820-mile challenge flawlessly earned the sobriquet "The Best Car in the World." The new Ghosts commemorating the feat represent two firsts for the brand: Rolls-Royce has never created a bespoke homage to one of its own cars, and it has never released a car with a black
Want proof that the Shanghai Motor Show is gradually becoming more and more important with each passing year? Up until now, our coverage of the Chinese expo has never been as in-depth as it was for 2013, and this post marks our first round of Editors' Choice picks for the show.
It's one thing to have a major international auto show hold its one sole press day on a weekend, and it's another to have to accommodate for that on top of a huge time difference. Such was the case with the Shanghai Motor Show this past weekend, and while we managed to get a majority of our live coverage wrapped up on Saturday, a few stragglers and updates have also worked their way into the fold.
The SmartForJeremy is a reality, a limited run of the haute couture Smart Fortwo being announced at the Shanghai Motor Show. It has been toned down for production since we first saw it at last year's LA Auto Show but its signature flourish, the wings, remain. Instead of replacing the brake lights, though, a smaller set of red-accented wings sit above them. The white interior remains, though the KITT-style wheel has been swapped for a traditional unit.
With each passing year, the Shanghai Motor Show gets more and more important – take that, if you will, as a metaphor for the entire Chinese automotive market as a whole. And while the show's press events are limited to one single day (on a Saturday, no less), we've done our best to bring you our usual obsessive live coverage direct from the show floor.
Hongqi means "Red Flag," and the sub-brand of Chinese automaker FAW was created in the 1950s to build cars for leaders of the nation known by its red flag. In those early days Hongqi designers took inspiration from what looks to be fifties Chevrolets; these days they've kept a little of the Chevrolet but look more the way of England. The L9 executive sedan about the length of a Rolls-Royce Phantom – on Mercedes S-Class-like wheels – and not much cheaper than the Rolls, to boot.
We're not saying Acura should off their Concept SUV-X for sale as-is, we're just saying we'd like to see Acuras that are interesting to look at on the outside, rather than just being packed full of technology on the inside. Revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show, the Concept SUV-X joins other compact high-rollers like the MG CS concept as an entrant for China's compact SUV segment.
Although we now have live images of it, we don't know anything more about the MG CS SUV concept now than we did a week ago when the Sino-Anglo brand previewed it. A compact SUV looking for some of the lucre being thrown at that segment, it's not made for the MG purist. But if parent company SAIC can keep the production version close to the concept, it could find a lot of new MG fans.
Nissan has a joint venture in China with Dongfeng to make passenger vehicles, and last year the two companies created a sub-brand called Venucia that aims to roll out five cars by 2015. With the gasoline-engined D50 and R50 and a pilot program for the E30 electric car already out, this little orange beast, the Viwa EV concept, could point the way to a future offering.
Last year, Renault created the Alpine A110-50 Concept to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Renault A110, but we had to wait until this year's Shanghai Motor Show to see the stunning concept in person. First introduced in 1961, the A110 became a dominating force in the rally car circuit in the early 1970s, and the A110-50 Concept shows what a future version of the car could be – although there's still no official word if Renault plans to ever bring this car to production.
To say we were unimpressed by the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage that debuted in New York earlier this year would be one heck of an understatement. So pardon us for not oohing and aahing over the Concept G4 that we're seeing for the first time here in Shanghai. It is, basically, a Mirage sedan. Try to contain your excitement.
Despite some hiccups, China remains the auto industry's great hope for new vehicle sales, with significant sales gains and a huge upside. Nowhere is that hope more fervent than at General Motors, which offers eight different marques in the Asian nation. China has been GM's single biggest market the last three years running, and is unlikely to give up that title anytime soon. Yet its premiere brand, Cadillac, has remained essentially stagnant, selling just 30,000 units in China last year. That's
Chinese company BAIC showed up to the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show with a pair of concepts, the 500 (above) and 900 (right). And while we don't have much in the way of information about these vehicles from the People's Republic, they're still pretty neat and worthy of some attention.
Big things are happening at Maserati, where the automaker is looking to increase its sales to 50,000 units annually. In addition to the revised Quattroporte that we saw at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, Maserati has launched the all-new Ghibli here in Shanghai – a smaller, more driver-focused model that will take on the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Those of us who like a little style injected into our greenery will appreciate the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept seen above. Like the original seven-seat non-coupe version of the crossover first seen at the Detroit Auto Show, this five-seat machine from Shanghai features a high-tech drivetrain that consists of twin electric motors, one up front and one at the rear, that get juice from a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. Under the hood sits a 295-horsepower, direct-injection, gasoline-burning V6
Looks can certainly be deceiving. Have a glance at this new Suzuki Authentics concept, for example – we were told that this would, essentially, be a proper sedan version of the new SX4, but our folks on the ground in Shanghai tell us it's actually much larger. Like, bigger than the Kizashi. (Hey, remember the Kizashi?)
Here is the Nissan Friend-Me, a swoopy – and let us emphasize that word "swoopy" – sedan-with-a-hatchback developed specifically for Chinese youth in their mid-twenties, the ones born in the '80s mainly bereft of siblings due to China's one-child policy. The exterior is meant to be most imposing at night, when Nissan figures these single children will be getting together with their friends. The sheetmetal looks like it was shaped by waves, and the details like lighting and vent openi