2013 Shanghai Motor Show: The Best Of The Rest
We saw some pretty high-profile reveals along with an array of launches by Chinese manufacturers over the weekend in Shanghai. Here’s our pick of the best on display.
MG CS Concept
One of the bigger stars of the Shanghai Motor Show was also one of the biggest surprises. MG unveiled its CS Concept SUV, adding to the competition in the compact SUV segment. However, the production model is at least 2 years away, and in all probability won’t look as flashy as the concept. Still, we like MG’s new direction, and can’t wait for more details about the CS to be released.
Nissan Friend-Me Concept
When it comes to identifying future trends, and thinking ahead, few automotive manufacturers have the foresight that Nissan does. For this reason, the long and unconventionally designed 4-door sedan caught everyone’s eye with its sharp styling. Knowing Nissan, there is a good chance that the ‘Friend-Me’ may actually reach the production stage, though we’re not sure how long the name will stick for.
Buick Riviera Concept
Sharing its name with the famous Buick, last seen in 1999, the Riviera Concept is said to be a preview to Buick’s future styling direction. The Riviera Concept incorporates some beautiful flowing lines over its long shell, and shows-off new versions of the marque’s classic waterfall grille design. It’s powered by Buick’s dual-mode wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system, which allows the car to be charged wirelessly just by driving atop a special charging mat on the ground, the car’s powertrain is just as futuristic as its exterior shape. This one’s for the future.
One of the standouts of the show was the stunning Vulcano concept from Italian-owned but Shanghai-based design firm Icona. Designed by a former Bertone employer, and engineered by a former Scuderia Ferrari engineer, the Vulcano was mobbed at the Shanghai Motor Show. Originally conceived as a one-off example to showcase Icona’s styling prowess, it has now been announced that 5 total Vulcanos will be built. Reminiscent of the Lexus LFA as well as the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the Vulcano has an option of two powertrains, 870 or 950 bhp and goes from 0-97 kmph in 2.9 or 3.0 seconds depending on the powertrain. It also boasts a top speed of 217 mph.
Acura SUV-X Concept
The SUV-X Concept from Acura is another in a long line of aspirants in the compact SUV segment. Acuras have known to be packed with tons of technology on the inside, but have never really turned heads on the streets. The SUV-X Concept deviates from the trend, with bold and eyecatching styling, pleasantly surprising all of us. Acura says that the SUV-X is the precursor to a production offering from the brand in China that will come in about three years.
The Escort is back!! Well, as a concept for now. At the very interesting reveal, Ford said, “Customers in China described seeking a vehicle that is stylish – but not one that is arrogant or pretentious” and that’s what it believes the new Escort will be about. Always known for being excellent as an affordably daily driver, but not one to set benchmarks in performance or design, the new Escort Concept’s minimal design is contemporary and appealing on the whole. This car will probably be launched only in the Chinese market, and is expected to create quite a stir when it does.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé Concept
This sportier member of the CrossBlue family sits in between the Tiguan and the Touareg in size and has all the hallmarks of becoming another success for the brand. Featuring a high-tech drivetrain that consists of twin electric motors, one up front and one at the rear, powered by a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery, the Concept also has a 295 bhp, direct-injection, gasoline-burning V6 under the hood. These three powerhouses put out a total of 415 bhp. Also, atleast in theory, the Concept should be able to travel 21 miles on electricity alone and we think it looks pretty nice as well. What’s not to like?
Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario
Lamborghini unveiled the Aventador Anniversario at Shanghai as part of its 50 year celebrations. Offering the same engine as the base Aventador, it manages to produce 720 bhp instead of 700 due to different tuning, and features a couple of external upgrades. Read more about it here.
The Ghibli name is back in the form of an entry-level luxury sedan as Maserati hopes to expand its sales figures to compete with the likes of BMW, Audi and Jaguar. The Ghibli is the first Maserati in history to have a diesel engine as an option, with a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. Read more about it here.
Yet another addition to the compact SUV segment, BMW unveiled the baby X6 or the X4 concept at Shanghai. BMW claims that the X4 is a preview to what the entire X range will look like in the coming years. Read more about it here.