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2018 Beijing Motor Show News & Highlights

The DriveDen blog provides advice, news and reviews. This news article looks at all the news coming out of the 2018 Beijing Motor Show.

 

The 2018 Beijing Motor Show, officially known as Auto China, is underway and there have been plenty of exciting new models from the world’s leading manufacturers, as well as dozens of cars from China’s own growing market. Whilst many cars will be exclusive to the Chinese market, there is plenty for the rest of the world to look at and lots of pointers as to what may be coming our way within the next couple of years. As is typical with an auto show in China though, there are also plenty of cars that have taken some obvious ‘inspiration’ from more famous European counterparts too!

 

Geely Icon
Geely have taken Volvo under their wing and found huge success worldwide, but have yet to really break into any market outside of China. This may be due to change with the unveiling of the Icon concept model at the Beijing show, created to show how far the firm can push itself with a more daring design language. There are some obvious design cues from existing models; the whole car looks similar to a Range Rover Evoque, whilst there are also touches of the Kia Soul and Citroen C4 Cactus too. However, the Icon is a very handsome machine overall and features some interesting tech too, such as an instrument panel that displays through a soft-woven fabric, which fades away when not in use. It’s a car that could do quite well in Europe if it ever makes it this far.

Mercedes A-Class Saloon
Perhaps the car that has created the most buzz at the show so far, Mercedes have shown off a saloon version of the new A-Class which will be released in China this year before a similar version makes it to the UK in 2019. Featuring a four-door layout, the car looks strikingly similar to the existing CLA coupe, and is set to be a direct rival to the Audi A3 saloon. The long-wheelbase model displayed at the Beijing show will be a China-only model, meaning the UK will be getting the standard length version. However, even without the extra 60mm wheelbase it’ll still be close to the length of the larger C-Class, so it’s popularity will almost certainly come down to the price.

FAW Group E-Jing GT
FAW Group is a state-owned manufacturer in China that has previously created the ‘Hongqi’ limousines for Chairman Mao and others in powerful positions. At the 2018 Beijing Motor Show FAW have unveiled an altogether different type of car; the electric-powered E-Jing GT. A sleek, two-door coupe, the E-Jing GT looks to be a mixture of the Mercedes AMG GT and a Jaguar F-Type – and it largely stood out thanks to the bright and unique ‘kanas green’ paintjob!

Jetour X
Jetour is a new division of Chery Auto, one of China’s biggest car manufacturers, and was created to satisfy the growing demand for larger vehicles. Jetour have already announced the X70 SUV as it’s first production car, with 10 more to follow quite quickly. However, an exciting concept with just the codename ‘X’ was unveiled at the Beijing show; a fully-electric powered SUV that has quite possibly the greatest rear lights of all time! We doubt the lighting design will ever make it to production, but Jetour do promise the finished article will have a range of over 500 kilometres.

Maybach Ultimate Luxury
China is making plans for all vehicles to be electric powered and so it’s no surprise to see so many plug-in cars on show in Beijing – and Maybach have unveiled an electric crossover that’s designed especially for China’s ultra-rich. The ‘Ultimate Luxury’ SUV will have a 750bhp four-wheel-drive system, with a range of 200+ miles. However, that’s not the main focus of this car – instead it’s the ultra-luxurious interior that stands out, with lashings of rose gold and stitched white leather. There is even a built-in tea set housed within the centre console. It’s a good job the interior is so interesting though as you wouldn’t want to be looking at the outside of the car for too long…the exterior front looks great but someone thought it was a good idea to add a boot to a SUV, and it just looks absolutely bizarre!

Ford Escort
No, we haven’t suddenly gone back in time 20 years, the Escort name lives on as a Chinese-only saloon car! The original Escort was replaced by the Focus name in 1998, but it was resurrected by Ford in 2014 and China will be getting a new and refined model this year. What is even more strange is that the Escort will be sold alongside both the current and new Focus due out later in the year…so China will be getting three very similar-sized Ford models. Ford explain this by way of the Chinese medium-sized car market being so huge that they should sell plenty of all three. If you were wondering why the Escort hasn’t been brought back to the UK – Autocar once tested the previous model and claimed it was ‘a cheap car cobbled together from Ford’s parts bin!’

BMW iX3
All-electric SUV models are all the rage, with the Jaguar I-Pace currently leading the way. So, the iX3 is BMW’s answer and it is the first of a whole host of new ‘ix’ models due to be released in the next few years. However, unlike it’s many rivals the iX3 is not a new and bespoke car…it is still based on the existing X3 and follows BMW’s vision that any model will be fitted with ‘a pure combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric drivetrain, as desired.’ The ‘X’ suggests all-wheel-drive but it’s something BMW has yet to confirm. What they have officially announced so far is that the iX3 will have a battery with over 70kWh of capacity, good for 270bhp and 250+ miles of range. There’s no word on an official release date but it’s expected the iX3 will make it to production within the next couple of years, with other iX models sure to follow on quickly.

MG-X-Motion
MG has revealed a new flagship SUV at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show; the X-Motion. Sitting above the existing ZS and GS models, the X-Motion will be the largest MG ever, although will debut as a 5-seater only. A new 2.0 litre petrol engine has been announced but MG is exploring electrified options too. Despite being a SUV model, designer Xu Dengtao has said the X-Motion is aimed towards bringing the MG marque back towards it’s sportscar routes, and it follows last year’s announcement of the MG E-Motion performance car. A production version of the X-Motion SUV will be due to arrive in UK showrooms in early 2019, with the E-Motion EV due out in 2020.

Lexus ES
Lexus will replace it’s low-selling GS with a brand new ES model, unveiled at the Beijing Show and due for a UK release in January 2019. Designed to increase sales in Europe, the new ES has been engineered specifically to appeal to drivers in the region, so should be a lot more driver-focused than it’s predecessors. As is the way with all new Lexus models, the ES will have a hybrid powertrain, based on an all-new 2.5l four-cylinder petrol engine. It should therefore be good for 215bhp and Lexus claim it’s capable of a combined 60.1mpg too. The outgoing GS sold only 428 units in 2017, so the new ES already has a low-target to beat.

Those are our picks for the highlights of the 2018 Beijing Motor Show – did we miss any better cars on show? Let us know in the comments and why not check out a recent article looking at another car presented at the Auto China show, the Volvo S90 Ambience edition.

 

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