Anyone who doubts China's relevance to the automotive world just needs to take a wander through the China International Exhibition Center to discover just how important it is. With new cars from the likes of Volkswagen and Lexus on show, the Beijing Motor Show played host to some important launches, as well as some market-specific specials from brands keen for a slice of China's 1.35 billion-person pie.
VW T-Prime Concept GTE
Having teased us earlier this month, VW gave us a glimpse at what its upcoming premium SUV might look like. Inside, it debuts a Curved Interaction Area that melds the infotainment system and driver instruments into one cohesive display, a technology which could debut on production cars as early as next year.
Power comes from a plug-in powertrain, combining a 248 hp (185 kW) gasoline engine with a 134 hp (100 kW) electric motor for a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of just six seconds.
The oddly named LeSee is Chinese technology company LeEco's first solo foray into the world of electric cars. Having paired with Aston Martin on its RapidE, and worked with Faraday Future on its projects, the company envisages its car as a smartphone-summoned autonomous taxi.
With a top speed of 209 km/h (130 mph), it's not going to win any autobahn drag races, but the car's unique style and interesting, infotainment-focused interior bode well for the future of Chinese car design.
Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration
With its angular style and squinting headlamps, the QX Sport Inspiration previews Infiniti's next high-end SUV. The car's coupe-like roofline carries echoes of the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe, and while the cabin is full of concept-car flourishes, it gives us an idea of how Infiniti expects its next alternative to the German-establishment should look.
This is just a taste of what was on show. For the full spread of odd, long-wheelbase specials and concepts, have a flick through our gallery for all the new and exciting metal on display.
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