The Truth About Cars » Beijing Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Beijing Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/beijing-auto-show-news-blog/ 2014 Beijing Auto Show: BMW’s “Vision Future Luxury” 9-Series Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bmws-vision-future-luxury-9-series-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bmws-vision-future-luxury-9-series-concept/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:15:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805714 BMW-Beijing-Concept

Few companies are as competitive with each other as the German luxury brands. Now that Mercedes-Benz will be making the S600 Maybach edition of their S-Class fullsize sedan, BMW is responding wtih their own flagship, the Vision Future Luxury concept, introduced at the Beijing auto show on Sunday. Since Vision Future Luxury doesn’t quite fit BMW’s alphanumeric nomenclature, when it goes on sale in 2016, it will likely be known as the 9-Series, though some have suggested that it will revive the 8-Series nameplate or even be the basis of the next 7.  The Neuner will be the largest car that BMW offers, with a total length of about 216 inches (5,500 mm), making it about 11 inches longer than even the long wheelbase versions of the 7-Series. Wealthy Chinese prefer to be driven, one reason for the concept’s debut in Beijing.

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If it goes into production, the 9 series will be BMW’s largest model with a length of about 5500mm (216 inches), about 280mm more than the long-wheelbase 7 series. The extra length will boost the car’s appeal in markets such as China where most top executives have chauffeurs.

BMW is applying the carbon fiber expertise they are gaining with their electric i3 and i8 programs to the Vision Future Luxury concept, most notably where short carbon fiber bars from the room to the belt line replace the full length conventional B-pillars that normally sit between the front and back doors in four door cars.

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When the suicide style doors are opened, you can see that the pillar’s carbon fiber structure is part of a load bearing structural molding that includes the seat frame and is integrated into the door sills. The way the molding is contoured, with the doors open it looks as though there is no lower pillar and it allows easier access to the back seat. It also allows the use of lighter weight doors than on other cars with no visible B pillar, like BMW’s 7 Series based Rolls-Royce Ghost, while still providing adequate body rigidity and side impact protection. Weight savings is the rationale for using what BMW called “subtractive modeling” in the manufacture of interior parts. Thin layers of carbon fabric or aluminum are bonded with similarly thin veneers of wood or leather to create lightweight interior trim pieces.

There are separate touch-sensitive display screens for the driver and front passenger and information can be exchanged between them. That way applications like making dinner reservations or buying tickets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Luxury Concierge service can be handled by the passenger without having to distract the driver. Two more displays are in the back, mounted in carbon fiber housings with their own detachable touch command tablet. Rear seat passengers can communicate with the front seat displays and also access ConnectedDrive services like video and music streaming.

While the trick carbon fiber B-pillar will likely not make it to production, the electronic gizmos probably will.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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2014 Beijing Auto Show: Bentley Mulsanne Hybrid Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bentley-mulsanne-hybrid-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bentley-mulsanne-hybrid-concept/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805786 8891934141642831684

While the notion of a hybrid car that features a 6.75 liter internal combustion engine might seem a bit oxymoronic to some, rich folks like to demonstrate their environmental bona fides as much as anyone. With so many supercars like the Porsche 918 or the McLaren P1 featuring hybrid powertrains that combine green cred with mind-boggling amounts of total power and torque, high end hybrids have become the automotive version of eating your cake and having it too. Bentley’s new plug in hybrid concept is based on their Mulsanne flagship and they’re featuring it at the 2014 Beijing auto show. It manages to reduce CO2 output by 70% while increasing power by 25% and has a battery-only range of 31 miles (50 km).

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It must be some kind of rule in the automotive world that says that hybrid cars must be visually different from their conventionally powered platform siblings. Bentley does it with copper. On the outside, the character lines, headlamps, radiator shell bezel, badges and brake calipers all get some copper plating and on the inside copper has been applied to the switch bezels, instruments and veneer fascias. Also copper colored is the contrasting baseball style cross-stitching on the Mulliner Driving Specification upholstery, a welcome change from the near-ubiquitous French stitching one finds on leather car upholstery these days.

The latest interior styling trend, quilted leather and what may be the next trend, contrasting cross-stitching.

The latest interior styling trend, quilted leather and what may be the next trend, the contrasting cross-stitching on the armrest.

It’s not entirely clear what the production plans are for the Mulsanne hybrid. Bentley has already announced that its plug in hybrid system will be offered initially in 2017 on the SUV that the company plans to bring to the market in 2016. Since Bentley’s chairman, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber has said that by 2020 at least 90% of Bentley’s production will be available as plug in hybrids, once their first hybrid goes on sale, expect hybrid versions of other Bentleys to follow in rapid order.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Mulally: New Chinese Escort Could Come to America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/mulally-new-chinese-escort-could-come-to-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/mulally-new-chinese-escort-could-come-to-america/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:30:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805594 escort

While Ford’s new compact Escort sedan was developed by Ford’s Aisa-Pacific R&D team specifically for China, Ford CEO Alan Mulally indicates that the company has more global plans for the car, including the possibility of selling it in the United States. Mulally told Automotive News that the Escort will likely go on sale in other markets besides China. He said that while the company already has the Focus in the stateside C segment, the Escort could allow the company to attract consumers at a new price point in that segment.

Ford revealed the revived Escort on Sunday at the Beijing auto show. The nameplate has been dormant at the automaker since 2000. While it’s based on a Focus platform, it has more leg room in back, something Chinese consumers appreciate. Mulally told AN that it’s only a matter of time before American consumers will also get a chance to stretch their legs in the back of an Escort.

“We have a really solid small and medium-sized product line in the United States right now…“But I think over time this will be another enhanced version of the C-size. It’s just a matter of when. We’re going to be able to provide a C-sized vehicle with different price points.”

Mulally said that how the new Escort will spread to other countries demonstrates how the company’s One Ford strategy can take a vehicle developed by one of their regional R&D teams and customize it for specific markets while still saving money by making a global product.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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2014 Beijing Auto Show:Lincoln Debuts New MKX Concept Outside U.S., Annouces Chinese Dealers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-showlincoln-debuts-new-mkx-concept-outside-u-s-annouces-chinese-dealers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-showlincoln-debuts-new-mkx-concept-outside-u-s-annouces-chinese-dealers/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805426 PH-420009998 (1)

As part of the launch of its luxury brand in China, the first step in its strategy of making Lincoln into a global brand, Ford Motor Company used AutoChina 2014, aka the Beijing auto show, to debut the next version of Lincoln’s MKX midsize crossover. The reveal of the MKX Concept is the first time that Lincoln has ever introduced a new vehicle outside of the United States, and focus groups in both the United States and China were consulted in the crossover’s design. The new MKX will likely go on sale in both countries sometime in the first part of 2015.

Matt VanDyke, who is in charge of Lincoln’s international effort, stressed China’s important role to Lincoln in remarks to  Automotive News:

“Lincoln in China has our full attention in product development. “We’re not developing products for the U.S. and seeing if they work there. We are developing out of our global design studio products that we clinic and research in Huangzhou and Beijing and Shanghai and Pasadena, not the other way around.”

 

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At the same time that Lincoln was introducing the new MKX, the company announced its retail and initial product plans for the Chinese market. This fall eight dealerships in seven cities will be the first wave of what the brand plans to be 60 stores in 50 cities by the end of 2016. To start out with, just two Lincoln models will be offered, the midsize MKZ sedan, and the new MKC compact crossover. Both of those vehicles will be exported from Ford’s North American operations. The recently restyled Lincoln Navigator SUV will join them, along with the new MKX, next year.

While those first eight dealerships are being prepared to coincide with the auto show and introduce the brand to Chinese consumers, Lincoln set up a display called The Lincoln Space in an area of central Beijing that is filled with pedestrians. Lincoln hopes to have an addition dozen stores set up by the end of this year. The first dealers will open in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Huangzhou and Chengdu. A high level of service is intended to distinguish Lincoln dealers from other luxury brands. Service bays will have multiple cameras so customers can monitor work being done on their cars.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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2104 Beijing Auto Show: Ford Introduces Everest SUV to Chinese Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2104-beijing-auto-show-ford-introduces-everest-suv-to-chinese-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2104-beijing-auto-show-ford-introduces-everest-suv-to-chinese-market/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:30:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805658 everestfront

While two days after an avalanche killed 13 Nepalese Sherpas on Mount Everest may not be the best time to highlight a vehicle named for the peak, Ford is going ahead with introducing the Everest Concept to the Chinese market at the Beijing auto show. The  seven passenger SUV, larger and more expensive than the Kuga and EcoSport crossovers already on sale there, will take the slot at the top of Ford’s utility vehicle offerings in China. The Everest was developed by Ford’s Asia-Pacific design team in Australia and it will be built in China by Jiangling Motors, one of Ford’s joint venture partners there. The Everest Concept was previously shown at last month’s Bangkok Motor Show.

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 While the red hot Chinese market has cooled a bit, with light vehicle sales growing at an annual rate of 10-15% compared to the 30% growth seen in 2009 and 2010, SUV sales continue to be strong, with 40% growth year to year.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has said that the new Chinese market Escort sedan will likely end up in the United States (with local revisions) the company had no comments about selling the Everest outside of China.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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2014 Beijing Auto Show: Chevy Trax, New Cruze http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-chevy-trax-new-cruze/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-chevy-trax-new-cruze/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=806050 chevy-night-6

General Motors used the 2014 Beijing auto show for the world premiere of the next generation Chevrolet Cruze while Shanghai GM launched the Chevrolet Trax, what the brand calls its “new urban SUV”, for the Chinese market. The Trax is Chevy’s version of the Opel Mokka, which is also sold in Buick livery as the Encore. The Encore has done so well in the U.S. market that GM has had to juggle production at its Korean and Spanish plants to keep up with demand. The Trax will eventually come to America, where GM hopes it will repeat the Encore’s success. If it does, some of that success may come at the cost of cannibalizing some Encore sales.

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The Cruze is the first vehicle to be based on GM’s all new D2XX architecture, which replaces the Delta platform. It’s also the first application of the new-generation Ecotec small displacement four cylinder engines developed jointly by GM and its Chinese partner, SAIC. The direct injected engine will be available in either 1.5 liter naturally aspirated form with 113 hp and 108 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 1.4 liter turbocharged motor with more power, 140 hph, and 173 lb.-ft. of torque. Also all new and jointly developed by GM and SAIC is the new Cruze’s 7 speed dual clutch gearbox. The Cruze will also be available with the latest 3rd generation of GM’s S6 6 speed automated manual as well as an all new 6 speed manual developed in Europe. GM claims that the new drivetrains will yield “best-in-class fuel economy, ride comfort, emissions and quiet performance.”

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The Trax will come with 18 inch wheels, a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine and what is likely the same six speed automated manual that will be available in the new Cruze. Intelligent all-wheel-drive system will also be offered, along with a suite of 8 safety systems including stability control, curve braking control and rollover mitigation. Inside, the Trax features a 7 inch full color touch screen with the latest version of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system.

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2014 Beijing Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-volkswagen-golf-r-400-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-volkswagen-golf-r-400-concept/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:30:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=806090 003-volkswagen-golf-r-400-concept-1

To show the potential of the new Golf, VW has taken the 290 horsepower, all wheel drive Golf R and turned up the heat on the hot hatch with the Golf R 400 Concept, introduced at the Beijing auto show.

 

The 400 stands for 400 PS, which converts to 395 horsepower, and while the R 400 is based on the same turbo 2 liter four used in a variety of VW group cars, that engine has obviously been seriously tuned, probably with a bit more boost, resulting in 333 lb.-ft. of torque to go with the more than 33% increase in power. The result is a sub four second 0-60 time and a 280 kmh (174 mph) top speed that is electronically governed. VW says that the motorsports inspired Golf R 400 has a power-to-weight ratio and specific power per liter displacement on par with exotic supercars. VWs fulltime 4MOTION all-wheel drive transmits all that power to the wheels. On the outside, the Golf R 4oo has silver flake paint with lemon yellow highlights, with a restrained body kit featuring fender flares said to be a tribute to the 1988 Rallye Golf G60. The motorsports theme is carried to the inside of the car with racing seat shells, though they’ve been upholstered in Alcantara and what VW calls “carbon leather”.

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Beijing 2014: Production-Ready Ford Escort To Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/beijing-2014-production-ready-ford-escort-to-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/beijing-2014-production-ready-ford-escort-to-debut/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:30:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=804042 000-ford-escort-concept-shanghai

After several years of dormancy, Ford revived the Escort name for a concept sedan at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. That concept is now production-ready, and will make its debut this weekend at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show.

Autoblog reports the Escort will be made locally in China through a joint venture, and may sport either a three- or four-cylinder powerplant driving the front wheels.

As for other global markets, an Escort was spotted in Europe earlier this month undergoing testing, but nothing more has come of it.

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Citroën Bestows First Premium DS Model Upon China http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/citroen-bestows-first-premium-ds-model-upon-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/citroen-bestows-first-premium-ds-model-upon-china/#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 00:53:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=687666 2014 Citroën DS 5LS 04
Unveiled at a special event in Paris last week, Citroën’s DS 5LS is the French automaker’s first premium variant of the DS sub-brand. Don’t expect to park this one at the Louvre, however; the DS 5LS is destined solely for the Chinese market.

The 5LS will be the second DS model built at Citroën’s new factory in Shenzhen after the DS5, and will be followed by a China-exclusive SUV and the new DS3 later on in 2014, as well as a larger executive sedan based on the DS9 concept in 2015.

Unlike its hot-hatch brethren, the traditional sedan was made with the Chinese market (and German competitors, such as the Audi A3 Saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA) in mind. Thus, it measures 185 inches with a 106-inch wheelbase — perfect for party members being chauffeured from Bejing to Macau for a bit of gambling — has a 16-cubic foot trunk, and the interior is filled with opulent materials and high-tech goodies including reversing camera, massaging seats, and air purification.

Under the hood, the front wheels will be driven by either a 1.6-liter turbo providing around 160 to 200 horsepower or a 132-horsepower VTi, with power directed by a six-speed automatic transmission in the 1.6-liter options.

The DS sub-brand aims to move 200,000 units by 2015, along with bringing its home factory up to full capacity. Fifty DS Stores are also planned to open in the largest cities in China in an effort to drive more interest in the 5LS and subsequent models.

The 5LS will make its home market debut during the 2014 Beijing Auto Show this coming April.

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Gleanings Of The 2010 Beijing Auto Show: Breasts Draw Reprimand, Ears Cool http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2010-beijing-auto-show-breasts-draw-reprimand-ears-cool/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2010-beijing-auto-show-breasts-draw-reprimand-ears-cool/#comments Sun, 29 Apr 2012 23:30:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442088

Beijing authorities have slapped organizers of the 2012 Beijing Auto Show with a “serious reprimand” for featuring scantily-clad models.

Beijing’s Capital Ethics Development Office said that the revealing clothing of some models at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition has had a “negative social impact,” the state-owned news agency Xinhua reports.  The ethics office criticized the “vulgar publicity” surrounding the models.

Says the government wire:

“The statement is believed to be referring to several widely forwarded photos of Gan Lulu, a controversial Internet celebrity, and Li Yingzhi, a BMW model, wearing a deep v-cut top and a skimpy diamond-studded dress, respectively.”

Online commenters labeled the event as “a breast exhibition with many famous cars.”

In fulfilling its reporting duty, the state-owned news agency runs a picture gallery with high-res examples of the most vulgar pictures.

No reprimand was issued for the showing of protruding ears.

 

 

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Gleanings Of The 2012 Beijing Auto Show: Seat Introduces Blondes On A Stick http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-seat-introduces-blondes-on-a-stick/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-seat-introduces-blondes-on-a-stick/#comments Fri, 27 Apr 2012 02:33:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441791 Volkswagen’s SEAT has been a bit luckless recently. The victim of the Mediterranean malaise seeks to improve its odds by exporting cars to China. Lacking new models to introduce, Seat showcases a new culinary delight: Blondes on a stick.
The Blondes are a big attraction in China, where all women have black hair.

The export cars are the usual Leon, Ibiza and Alhambra cars.

Seat better put the blonde culinary delights in every showroom to attract customer traffic, because the cars will be a hard sell. There is a hefty tax on import cars.

This does not hurt upscale makes, in the contrary. Imported mass market cars have a rough time competing against domestically made cars.

2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show – Seat. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

 

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Gleanings Of The 2012 Beijing Auto Show: Car Blogging With Chinese Characteristics http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-car-blogging-with-chinese-characteristics/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-car-blogging-with-chinese-characteristics/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 22:51:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441784

When it comes to car blogging, China has long bypassed the rest of the world.  Even much larger sites than TTAC look like midgets compared to the Chinese giants. Nothing shows that more drastically than the Beijing Auto Show.

TTAC and the Detroit Bureau may be some of the few American blogs that sent in-the-flesh reporters to Beijing. Chinese blogs dispatch them by the truckload. An outdoor section of the Beijing Auto Show is dubbed “Blogger’s Alley.”  Here, major Chinese car blogs  such as auto.sohu.com have their own multi-story buildings.

Newsrooms of the blogs have been transplanted to the show. Newsmaking is powered by instant coffee and carbonated drinks. At least that one we all have in common

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Gleanings Of The 2012 Beijing Auto Show: Toyota Open To Sub-Brand Suggestions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-toyota-open-to-sub-brand-suggestions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-toyota-open-to-sub-brand-suggestions/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:58:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441781

Toyota will launch a domestically produced plug-in hybrid in China before the year is over and will follow with EVs once certification is completed, said Dong Changzheng, executive vice president of Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., to a small group of reporters at the Beijing Auto Show. The cars will be marketed under a yet to be announced “Chinese” brand.

Toyota had been one of the last holdouts after the Chinese government had strongly suggested that each joint venture creates a new brand with Chinese characteristics. Privately, executives at Toyota had questioned the wisdom  of these “sub-brands” as they are called in China. Allegedly, the idea behind these sub-brands is to make cars cheaper. My contacts convincingly argued that a new brand does not lower the price of the car. Investments in branding, dealerships, support  and management can raise the price of the car.

Not so with EVs. China will limit its generous subsidies not only to made-in-China PHVs and EVs, the cars also must be sold under a “Chinese” brand. This “Chinese” brand can be owned by a joint venture. Toyota bows to fiscal realities and will start a Chinese “sub-brand.”

“Or two,” quipped a Toyota executive at the show, in reference to Toyota’s two joint Chinese ventures. Toyota cooperates with FAW in the north and Guangzhou Auto in the south, and both will require separate sub-brands.

Toyota demonstrated its opening to Chinese ideas in the decoration of its booth at the Beijing Auto Show. The entrance to the VIP section looks like what I called “a Chinese KTV.”

“Or maybe a Chinese restaurant,” the helpful Toyota executive suggested.

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Gleanings Of The 2012 Beijing Auto Show: Victimized Media http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-victimized-media/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gleanings-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-victimized-media/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 19:11:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441757

Sometimes, journalists are in the pockets of people. This time, people are in the pockets of journalists: More than 40 theft cases were reported in the first hours of the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Pricy equipment was stolen at an alarming rate, reports Global Times. High on the target list of show-going pickpockets: High-end camera lenses that fetch a high price on the used market.

“The first two days of Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which opened Monday, were reserved for members of the media, with the public being admitted from today until May 2,“ says Global Times. Nevertheless, around 40,000 people showed up on the first day, the paper figures. We have first-hand confirmation that the show was mobbed, and we doubt that the majority was working media.

Says Global Times: “Some attendees have accused the expo of having lax security, which is unable to cope with the crowds, and media have reported that passes for the expo are easily available from scalpers.”

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Capture The Real Red Flag http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-capture-the-real-red-flag/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-capture-the-real-red-flag/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:24:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441384

So today The Tycho,  proprietor of Carnewschina and expert on Mao-era-revival cars, intercepts me at the show and says: “You did it all wrong! You talked about the H7, but showed the L7!”

“I beg your pardon?”

It turns out he was right as usual. In my piece on the Red Flag car, the wrong pictures were added to the wrong text. Corrected. As a make-good, here the ultimate L7/H7 pictorial.

This is the L7. Based on a Landcruiser chassis. And with the full frontal perspective, as demanded by Comrade Karesh.

For people who are more into bootie.

Rims with Mao-era inset.

This is the H7. This one truly based on a Toyota Crown.

From the side.

Even this car will save the planet – if a large enough battery is ever found. And a substation to go with it.

Revolutionary hood ornament.

 

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Fiat Viaggio http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-fiat-viaggio/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-fiat-viaggio/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:37:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441367  

[INSERT JUVENILE QUIP ABOUT THIS CAR'S NAME AND HOW MUCH IT SOUNDS LIKE ANATOMY]. Just kidding. We’re not that silly. Here’s a look at the Fiat Viaggio aka the Dodge Dart for China.

The made-in-China sedan will come with one of two 1.4L turbocharged Fiat engines, with 120 or 150 horsepower. A 5-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic will be offered, with production starting in July. The Viaggio is set for a Q3 2012 launch.

Fiat Viaggio. Photo courtesy Fiat. 2012 Beijing Auto Show - Fiat Viaggio. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show - Fiat Viaggio-2 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Fiat Viaggio. Photo courtesy Fiat. 2064779742561203964 19486356691794111079 1709515849371387039 14193897241778677552 999946818861018637 531459976341328105

 

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Girls Of The 2012 Beijing Auto Show: I’m All Ears http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/girls-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-im-all-ears/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/girls-of-the-2012-beijing-auto-show-im-all-ears/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:22:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441334

We met at the Volkswagen booth. Ready for take-off.

She is very popular.

Say uncle.

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Not So Mellow Yellow http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-not-so-mellow-yellow/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-not-so-mellow-yellow/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:16:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441327 Audi’s baby-SUV Q3, in “Jinlong Yufeng” dress. Which means “Golden Dragon in the Wind,” or so I am told.

Turbocharged 2.5-liter engine with 306hp.

2012 Beijing Auto Show - Audi Q3/. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show - Audi Q3/. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Red Flag, Based On Meatball http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-red-flag-based-on-meatball/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-red-flag-based-on-meatball/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441305 Revival of the venerable “Red Flag”: The Hongqi L7.

It harkens back to the Mao era. Ironically, a the “red” car sits on a Toyota Landcruiser chassis.

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: What A Dragon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-what-a-dragon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-what-a-dragon/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:36:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441298

The Jeep was the first American car made in China through a joint venture. Somewhere along the way, Jeep lost it. Jeep is trying to get its moxie back with the “Dragon” design concept.It is based on a China-market Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, black with bronze-gold details. 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with 35-inch off-road tires.

Chinese dragon character side badge and wheel center caps.

2012 Beijing Auto Show - Jeep. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show - Jeep. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt 2012 Beijing Auto Show - Jeep. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Chrysler Knows Its Target Group http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-chrysler-knows-its-target-group/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-chrysler-knows-its-target-group/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:25:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441295 This time truly imported from Detroit: The Chrysler 300 Ruyi. A 300C, adapted to Chinese tastes. Still called a concept.

 

 

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Porsche Cayenne GTS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-porsche-cayenne-gts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-porsche-cayenne-gts/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:59:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441282 Not only does the Volkswagen Group dominate China by market share, it also has its own hall at the Beijing Auto Show.

The hall houses VW’s assortment of brands, including Porsche.

Today, Porsche unveiled the Cayenne GTS. It is the perfect SUV for SUV-crazed China: Over-motorized, over the top, overpriced.

It mates a slightly more powerful version of the non-turbo V8 from the Cayenne S with the styling of the Turbo. Looks like same old.

This man is responsible for the show at Porsche.

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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Lamborghini Unveils 600 hp Aurochs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-lamborghini-unveils-600-hp-aurochs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-lamborghini-unveils-600-hp-aurochs/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:36:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441264

So they finally took the wraps off the long anticipated and already much hated Urus, the SUV concept from Lamborghini.

Volkswagen’s token Italian, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, says that Urus is the “ancestor of today’s fighting bull.”  Wikipedia says it’s an aurochs. An anonymous contributor helpfully added today that it is an SUV from Lamborghini.

Winkelmann is the perfect Lamborghini CEO: Born in Berlin, schooled in Rome, a reserve lieutenant of the German army, speaks English with an Italian accent. He is also Volkswagen’s best looking and best dressed CEO. Not that he has much competition there.

Winkelmann calls the Urus “fast, strong, courageous, in one word – invincible.”

The car is 1.66 meters low, has a high ground clearance, which is adjustable.

Carbon fiber helps reduce the weight of the car by 100kg.

According to Winkelmann, 600hp offer “stunning acceleration.” Of course, the bull is “best in class in CO2 emissions.”

This car is not released to production yet, but Winkelmann knows that it will sell worldwide “an average of 3,000 times.” Whatever that may mean.

The crowd loves the aurochs. However the crowd is from China and as such also digs style aberrations like a melange of Greek, Baroque and Arabian Nights. Or steamed toads.

Winkelmann basks in the admiration.

I think there will be a production model next year when the auto show goes to Shanghai.

I am trying to gauge reaction. I do not have time for many man on the street interviews. Instead, I ask an expert, a Lamborghini product specialist: “Do you think this will be a hit elsewhere than in China?”

She does not mince words.

Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus --08 Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Aventator. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Beijing Auto Show 2012 - Lamborghini Urus. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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2012 Beijing Auto Show: Press Causes Monster Traffic Jam http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-press-causes-monster-traffic-jam/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-press-causes-monster-traffic-jam/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:56:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441243 First media day at the Beijing Auto Show. Accredited working press only. Half of Beijing must be accredited, and the other half must be on their way to China International Exhibition Center (New Venue) – that’s what it’s called, no joke – in order to finagle one of those hard to get press passes.

The city had strongly suggested leaving the auto at home and instead to take the subway to the auto show. Who are they kidding? A traffic jam on media days?

They were not kidding. Starting out at 7am from downtown to beat the masses did not help. I’m stuck, and this policeman is worried.

This taxidriver loves it: “Me on clock. Me big money.” The passenger is still smiling. Hours later …

… we are still stuck. They are bringing in accredited media by the busload. I receive a nervous phone call from a PR manager:

“Did they reschedule our press conference?”

“What?”

“Nobody is here!”

“Of course not. They are all here, stuck in traffic.”

Police is helpless.

Locals offer their services. This taxi can and will take the sidewalk for a slight surcharge.

Several hours later, we finally made it. Just a few hours more, standing in line.

The reporters of a small blog from Hubei Province celebrate the successful issuance of press passes.  Let’s go cover the show!

Actually, let’s eat first. It’s lunch time already.

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2012 Beijing Auto Show Preview: Ni Hao From China’s Capital http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-preview-ni-hao-from-chinas-capital/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2012-beijing-auto-show-preview-ni-hao-from-chinas-capital/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 12:30:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441140

Our man Bertel Schmitt is en route, all set to cover the Beijing Auto Show for the next two days. By our count, there are over 70 debuts, with many of them being Chinese market products; concept cars, older vehicles re-issued and manufactured in Chinese JV factories and obscure concept cars. A complete list, with a brief description can be read at just-auto.com for anyone really interested in the Brilliance Jinbei Large Sea Lion Camper or the HaiMa Yao.

Audi: Audi has two big debuts. The RS Q3 muscle-crossover (which is not an obscure genre of pornography) and the A6L, a favorite of Chinese government officials.

BMW: A topless version of the i8 electric supercar will be revealed, but the big news is the 3-Series long wheelbase. These long wheelbase sedans are essential for China, where having a driver is a mark of status.

Brilliance: Chinese automaker Brilliance debuts their Jinbei Large Sea Lion Camper concept. I have no idea what this is, but it is already my pick of the show.

Citroën: The beautiful DS Numero 9 is unveiled.

Eterniti: Remember this? The mysterious SUV upstart will show off a production-ready product.

Fiat: The Dodge Dart based Viaggio will be revealed, while we anxiously await for a puerile, pun-infested headline from Jalopnik that will be borderline misogynistic.

Geely: Chinese automaker Geely will show a revised version of the Gleagle McCar, which sounds vaguely like a reference to McDonalds and the Ku Klux Klan.

Lamborghini: Lamborghini will debut their new SUV, said to be named the “Urus”. Observers are suggesting that this may set in motion the opening of the seven seals as prophesised in the Book of Revelations, bringing about an apocalyptic event said to occur at the Urus long lead launch at the Hotel-Du-Cap-Eden-Roc. Others say that it just means that Lamborghini is looking for more customers in emerging markets.

Mercedes-Benz: The CLA Concept Style Coupe will preview the look of a sub C-Class model, confusingly dubbed the CLA. The G63 and G65 AMG will also debut, just in time for Kim Kardashian to drive one on the newest season of her nebulous reality show.

Porsche: With 420 horsepower and a lowered stance, the Cayenne GTS really is just another minutely different special edition of an existing product.

SEAT: The Ibiza Cupra is a small, performance-oriented hatchback with a 178-horsepower 1.4L engine. It ticks all of our boxes and will never come to North America.

 

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