Updated: 2019 Shanghai motor show preview

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 quality of new Chinese creations 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 AI:me concept 

Audi will unveil its new AI:me concept as “an automated driving compact car for the megacities of tomorrow”. 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 previews autonomous small car concept for Shanghai

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

BMW 3 Series LWB

Audi isn’t the only German brand taking an extended version of one of its newest models to China. 

The new BMW 3 Series has been adapted for the Chinese market, and will be on display in long-wheelbase 3 Series L form. Almost as long as the 5 Series available in Europe, the new model has been developed alongside the standard 3 Series, and will be built by BMW’s Chinese partner company Brilliance Automotive. 

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

Geely GE11

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 Chinese 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 Xingyue

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 also 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. 

Infiniti QS Inspiration

Despite Infiniti’s recent announcement that it is pulling out of Western Europe, it is pressing on with plans for an electrified model line-up.

The QS Inspiration, on display for the first time in Shanghai, is a sports saloon “inspired by the art and modern architecture of Japan”. Like the QX Inspiration revealed earlier this year, it will sit atop the firm’s bespoke EV platform, and boast a stylish, minimalist interior, which will be clearly divided into separate passenger and driver zones.

Jetta 

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 that’s 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-Pininfarina concept

Karma, born out of the 2014 collapse of Fisker Automotive, will unveil an as-yet-unnamed luxury model designed in association with Italian design house Pininfarina. 

The Chinese-funded, US-based electric car manufacutrer 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

Karma Revero

Joining the new Pininfarina-designed concept on Karma’s Shanghai stand will be the updated-for-2020 version of the brand’s Revero luxury saloon.

The four-door range-extender electric car will use a three-cylinder petrol engine from BMW. It’s tipped to receive styling revisions but retain an overarching resemblance to the Fisker Karma, from which is was developed. 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

Karma Vision

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. 

Landwind E315

Codenamed E315, the latest effort from Jiangling Motors brand Landwind is a stylish compact SUV that will go up against the likes of the Volvo XC60, Lynk&Co 01 and Haval H6. 

Details remain scarce, but the E315 is expected to have five seats and make use of the same 1.5-litre Ford-derived unit that powered Landwind’s Range Rover Evoque copycat, the X7, which has just been forcibly discontinued.

Lynk&Co 05

Taking the form of an SUV-coupé, the Geely-owned Lynk&Co brand’s fifth model is a BMW X6 rival based on its 01. 

It will sit atop the Volvo-developed CMA platform and will likely use the Swedish company’s range of 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines. A European launch is likely but unconfirmed. 

Lynk&Co tests fifth model in run-up to European launch

Mini Clubman facelift

The Mini Clubman has been on sale in its current form since 2015, and will show off a mid-life refresh in Shanghai.

Expect very subtle styling updates in line with those bestowed upon its hatchback sibling last year, trim revisions and minor upgrades to the interior options list. 

Nio ET7

Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio is remaining tight-lipped about the new ET7 that it’s taking to Shanghai. 

A preview image shows off a saloon-style body with a coupé-like sloping roofline, in the same vein as the Tesla Model S and upcoming Porsche Taycan. The model will be on display alongside the company’s EP9 electric supercar, EVE autonomous concept and ES6 and ES8 SUVs. 

Volkswagen ID Roomzz

The fifth member of Volkswagen’s ID range of electric vehicles (after the hatchback, Buzz, Crozz and Vizzion), the Roomzz 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

Xpeng P7

A four-door electric saloon set to rival Tesla’s Model 3, Xpeng’s new model will boast coupé-like styling and a range of more than 311 miles according to China’s NEDC-based tests. 

There are currently no details on what drivetrain the P7 will use, but it is likely to share an electric motor and battery with the company’s G3, an Audi Q5-sized SUV that develops 195bhp for a 0-62mph time of 7.9sec.

China’s Xpeng previews new Tesla Model 3 rival