Audi's New Mobility Egg
Audi’s pitching more than just new models at Auto Shanghai this month; it’s promoting a new way to drive. The AI:ME Concept is a summonable, self-driving urban electric, aimed at reshaping the company’s business model — or at least examining that possibility. While Audi refers to the vehicle as a highly specialized premium automobile that can be ordered as needed and offers “extensive possibilities for individualization as part of an on-demand offer,” the company also noted the AI:ME “need not pass into permanent personal ownership.”
The automaker was careful not to use the phrase, but these vehicles would operate under a loosely defined subscription or rental model where customers book a car via their smartphone or computer, stipulating how they need it to be configured for their journey. From there, the vehicle makes its way to the designated pickup point and applies the final adjustments based on previously established seating, climate, lighting, entertainment, and control preferences.
Volkswagen Says I.D. Roomzz Available Globally in 2021
Right now, Volkswagen’s electric womb is holding onto a full litter. While we’ve long assumed that only a limited selection of its offspring will be birthed into the world to take their place within its I.D. sub-brand, it’s beginning to look as though most will make the cut. Its sixth prospective offspring, the I.D. Roomzz, was teased earlier this month — coming across as your standard concept EV. However, the vehicle that’s being shown off at Auto Shanghai is much closer to being production-ready than we had guessed.
The crossover (minivan?) the automaker is displaying in Asia has two rows of bucket seats, providing space for just four, but Volkswagen is saying the production version will have three rows and could furnish up to eight occupants if bench seats are optioned for the second and third rows. Access is granted through a full set of sliding doors, which we doubt will make it into production. But it’s okay to dream.
Volkswagen Tops Its Name Game With I.D. Roomzz Concept
While Seat works on bringing Volkswagen Group’s most-affordable EVs to market, the company’s namesake has devised a concept vehicle aimed the swelling electrified crossover segment. Adhering to the I.D. sub-brand’s absolutely terrible naming scheme, the “Roomzz” is another semi-autonomous concept aimed at generating excitement at automotive trade shows — specifically, Auto Shanghai.
However, it would be wrong to discount it entirely. While Volkswagen’s I.D. sub-brand hasn’t started selling cars, the scope of its hypothetical lineup rivals some established automotive brands. Now it’s adding a sizable e-crossover to the mix, which is something every automaker seems to want these days.
2020 Chevrolet Trailblazer and Tracker Prepare for Shanghai
General Motors plans on giving attendees of Auto Shanghai a crossover-themed enema later this month. Buick will introduce the second-generation Encore, as well as its larger GX variant, while Chevrolet focuses on the 2020 Trailblazer and Tracker.
While both models have vanished in the United States, replaced with the more tersely named Traverse and Trax, the Trailblazer and Tracker persist in Asia, Australia, and parts of South America. GM plans on debuting new editions of the pair in Shanghai on April 16th and has issued a teaser image (above) as a reminder — just like it did with the Encore.
China 2015: The 10 Most Impressive Carmakers at Auto Shanghai (Part 3)
This is it: the most impressive carmaker at Auto Shanghai, Haval.
Like in Beijing last year, I was most impressed by Haval at Auto Shanghai, and for a variety of reasons. Haval is Great Wall’s SUV marque, a standalone brand since July 2013. Above all, having topped my ranking last year already, I had high expectations for the brand and they didn’t disappoint, which was a very significant achievement on its own.
China 2015: The 10 Most Impressive Chinese Carmakers at Auto Shanghai (Part 1)
Consistently loud: Foton
We ended our last overseas adventure, the Trans-Siberian Series, in Mongolia with an exploration of the best-selling cars in this cold country. I’m resuming my exploration of this part of the world, leaping South to Shanghai in China where the biennial Auto Show took place in April.
Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to investigate the plethora of Chinese carmakers at the show (over 40) and trim it down to the 10 most impressive. It’s an abashedly subjective ranking. However, know that many aspects were considered to establish it: from interior/exterior quality and design of the models revealed, the number/validity of new cars, concept cars, brochures, staff availability, savviness and friendliness, as well as whether or not they improved since last year at the Beijing Auto Show.
In brackets are the ranking I gave these manufacturers at the Beijing Auto Show in 2014.
Discover the carmakers ranked from #10 to #6 below the jump…