2021 Shanghai motor show: the weird and wonderful

Every motor show has its fair share of weird and wonderful concept cars, some of which are designed purely to grab your attention and others which defy the odds and make it to production.

Rarely are there more of these than at the Shanghai motor show in China, where the car culture is very different to what we’re used to in the west.

The 2021 Shanghai motor show has been no exception, with a number of newly revealed cars that give a whole new meaning to words like ‘quirky’ and ‘eclectic’.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites.

SAIC Roewe Jing

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the front end of SAIC Roewe’s new SUV looks like a whale, not least because that’s exactly where the car’s designers have got their inspiration from. ‘Jing’ directly translates from Chinese as ‘whale’, and the company says it follows a philosophy called ‘emotional rhythm’. This – whatever it is – is meant to rejuvenate the brand, according to its makers.

Hongqi S9

The Hongqi S9 is a new, luxury-focused hypercar designed by Walter De Silva, who worked for Alfa Romeo through the 1980s and 90s before moving to Volkswagen Group. “Beauty is the first thought when I start drawing,” explains De Silva, who now runs his own design house. Performance details are yet to be revealed, but the original concept car promised 1381bhp and Italian race cars are a major source of inspiration.

Hengchi 2

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Haval revealed its Big Dog SUV not so long ago, and the X-Dog is a concept for a model that’s set to launch sometime in 2022. Part Suzuki Jimny, part Kia Soul EV in its design, the X-Dog has gone to town with screens inside, with no fewer than six in the front of the cabin alone: two on the extremes of the dashboard, one in the steering wheel, a digital instrument display, a central touchscreen and a further display in the centre console. There are physical buttons for the boot and fuel filler cap, but that’s about it.