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.
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
Here is the Giallo Maggio candle that carries the flame of Lamborghini's 50th anniversary: the
The entire Porsche Panamera lineup gets a refresh for the 2014 model year, and new additions to the range include two long-wheelbase models and this E-Hybrid fuel-sipper that makes its debut here at the Shanghai Motor Show. And, well, we say "fuel-sipper" lightly.
Does the car above, posing fancifully in white, look familiar? Well, it should. Although it wears Mondeo badges in the form you see above for the Chinese market – as it does in Europe – the car is basically the same thing sold in the US as the Ford Fusion. Of course, it's what's under that shapely skin that counts.
Perhaps Icona didn't get the message that it's safe to reveal the entirety of the Vulcano now that the Shanghai Motor Show is underway, but we'll enjoy the half we can see and admit that we didn't expect to like it as much as we do. There's some Lexus LFA DNA in the face, some Ferrari 599 and F12 Berlinetta in the profile and a backside we've never seen before; the entire package manages a note all its own. At least, with the half we can see.
What we have here is an urban crossover from Citroën that is the newest member of its well-received DS lineup, and we're told it will soon lead to a production machine with similar styling and intent. We'd love to tell you more, but the quirky French manufacturer hasn't actually revealed many details about the machine.
If the reception it received at the Shanghai Motor Show is any judge of marketplace acceptance, Mercedes-Benz has a hit on its hands in the form of the GLA Concept. And we can understand why – we're quickly becoming fans of Mercedes' recent styling language, as defined by new models like the CLA and this GLA Concept.
Here we have a concept in the true sense of the term. The Buick Riviera you see here – the name of which was last used in production back in 1999 – is said to preview Buick's future styling direction, which means we should expect to see more flowing body shapes to go along with new versions of the marque's classic waterfall grille design. Oh, and we don't believe there's a single porthole in sight.