Now that the dust has settled from the 2019 Geneva motor show, it’s time to look ahead to the next round of large-scale motoring events.
Arriving first is April’s Shanghai motor show, at which some of the biggest manufacturers you’ve never heard of will be displaying their newest models alongside Western brands keen to crack the world’s most lucrative automotive market.
Long gone are the days when Shanghai was an exhibition of the most blatant copycat cars, and the impressive fit and finish of new Chinese cars is beginning to pose a very real threat to more established manufacturers. The 2019 edition is especially significant, with an increasing number of Chinese models being prepared for European launches and global manufacturers such as Volkswagen adding to their range of models adapted specifically for sale in China.
Here, we take a look at what to expect from the show before the doors open on 16 April.
Audi future electric concept
Audi will unveil a concept car that previews the long-term future of its design. Like the radical Aicon and Elaine duo revealed in 2017, the concept will look ahead “10 or 15 years”, according to company design boss Marc Lichte.
Details remain scarce, but Lichte confirmed the electric concept will explore “what an interior with or without a steering wheel can look like” and be followed by another futuristic concept at Frankfurt in September.
Audi to unveil two futuristic concepts hinting at future design
Audi Q2 L e-tron
Audi’s China-only long-wheelbase Q2 L is the latest model to receive the e-tron treatment. Badged the Q2 L e-tron, the electric compact SUV will be built in Foshan, alongside Chinese variants of the A3 Sportback and A3 Saloon, by Volkswagen Group partner First Automotive Works (FAW).
The model is the first of ten planned for launch by Audi and FAW in China by 2022 and the first electric Audi tailored specifically for the Chinese market.
2019 Audi E-tron Sportback previewed at Geneva
Citroën ‘ultra-comfort’ concept
Following the recently unveiled Ami One will be the second of two concepts that Citroën has built to celebrate its centenary year.
Where the two-seater Ami One showed the brand’s vision for the future of urban mobility, the next concept will embody the idea of “ultra-comfort”. A preview image released by the brand shows very little, but what looks like a roof-mounted lidar unit suggests an emphasis on driverless technology.
New flagship Citroën saloon confirmed for production
Volvo and Lotus owner Geely will show its GE11 electric saloon in Shanghai ahead of the model’s European launch later this year.
To be sold under the newly formed Geely New Energy marque, the fastback-styled EV has been designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind. The company states that the model’s environmentally conscious ethos doesn’t end with its zero-emissions powertrain; its interior is constructed largely of EU-certified eco-friendly materials.
Geely Jia Ji
Also on display in Shanghai will be Geely’s first MPV, the Jia Ji.
Recently unveiled in Zhuhai, the seven-seater is offered with a range of hybrid and diesel powertrains, Level 2 autonomy, dynamic styling and a starting price of just RMB 99,800 (£11,200).
Geely’s third Shanghai debut-maker will be the Xingyue SUV-coupé.
Originally known as the FY11, the BMW X6 rival sits atop the same Compact Modular Architecture that underpins the Volvo XC40 and Lynk&Co 01. It will offer a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – producing 235bhp and 258lb ft – and a range of plug-in and mild hybrid powertrains.
Jetta is the new China-only budget brand being launched by Volkswagen this year, and the VS5 and VA3 will be among its first models.
Taking the form of a conventional five-door SUV, the VS5 bears a heavy resemblance to the recently unveiled Skoda Kamiq, while the VA3 is a small saloon based on the Volkswagen Jetta currently sold in China. The brand aims to target younger buyers with a strong dealer network and online showrooms.
Volkswagen turns Jetta into standalone brand for China
Karma, born out of the 2014 collapse of Fisker Automotive, will unveil an as-yet-unnamed luxury model designed in association with Italian manufacturer Pininfarina.
The American electric car maker is remaining tight-lipped about the model’s specifications and performance, but a recently released preview image shows off an angular, streamlined front end and a prominent lower grille like that of the original Fisker Karma.
Karma teases Pininfarina-designed electric luxury car
Joining the new Pininfarina-designed concept on Karma’s Shanghai stand will be the updated 2019 version of the brand’s Revero luxury saloon.
The four-door range-extender electric car is tipped to receive styling revisions to the front and rear but retain an overarching resemblance to the original Fisker Karma on which it’s based. Karma has plans to launch the new Revero in Europe as a competitor to the Polestar 1 performance hybrid.
New Karma Revero plug-in hybrid saloon tests in Europe
Rounding off Karma’s ‘Shanghai Big Three’ will be the Vision concept.
Little is known about what form the Vision will take, but Karma said it will play a role in the brand’s transformation from a traditional car manufacturer into “an open-platform luxury high-tech automotive incubator”, like the Italdesign DaVinci electric supercar revealed earlier this year at the Geneva motor show.
Volkswagen ID Lounge
The fifth member of Volkswagen’s ID range of electric vehicles (after the hatchback, Buzz, Crozz and Vizzion), the ID Lounge will take the form of a luxurious seven-seater SUV, sitting atop the largest version of the company’s MEB platform.
A pair of electric motors will give the Touareg-sized model 369bhp and four-wheel drive. Range is expected to be upwards of 370 miles, which would be a significant improvement over its primary rival, the Tesla Model X.
Volkswagen ID Lounge: luxury SUV will lead electric line-up