Shanghai is quickly becoming one of the world’s premier motor shows, with home-grown manufacturers looking to expand outside their native territory and European brands searching for a lucrative piece of the world’s largest car market.
Manufacturers are happy to cater to the Chinese appetite for extended-wheelbase saloons, big-grilled SUVs and electric cars, with BMW introducing the 3 Series LWB and Aston Martin unveiling the Rapide E.
At this year’s show, the likes of Geely, BYD, Wey and Nio have introduced cars that will eventually make their way to Europe (including the UK), while Geely-owned Lotus finally confirmed its electric hypercar, the Type 130.
Other European brands used the show to reveal concepts, with Audi showing the AI:ME, Renault presenting the City K-ZE electric compact crossover and Volkswagen extending its upcoming ID electric model range with the Roomzz large SUV.
From an entire conference centre filled with new cars and industry executives to question, our reporters have spilled their notebooks to bring news straight from Shanghai.
Lexus LM: yes, it’s a Lexus MPV
Here’s a curiosity of the Chinese market: a Lexus MPV. Showing that brands can mean different things in different markets, the LM is one model you can bet won’t ever make it to Europe. A vast thing with strange proportions and a grille to make the BMW X7 look reserved, it’s one we’ll happily go without.
Toyota goes electric – but only in China for now
We think of Toyota as staunchly hybrid, yet in China it has now gone fully electric, and with a model that’s familiar here as the C-HR. China’s regulations make EVs a necessity but perhaps it could prompt a change of strategy elsewhere, too?
One way to eliminate range anxiety
Electric car maker Nio displayed its battery swap technology at the show. Already up and running on the highway between Beijing and Shanghai, it can swap the batteries out of a Nio ES8 in less than five minutes. The stations can deal with a total of 70 swaps in any 24 hour period. What range anxiety?