The Shanghai Motor Show is currently taking place at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Centre (Shanghai) and officially opened its doors to the public on 21 April 2021, continuing until 28 April.
So that’s quite something – an automotive show that hasn’t been cancelled – the Geneva Show in February 2020, for example, was cancelled at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic and will not open again until at least 2022. Other shows have been similarly cancelled, postponed or moved to a later date in the hope that they will go ahead.
But not the Shanghai Show which is really buzzing with fantastic new product and some cars that are just weird, whacky or simply downright amazing.
Here’s six to get you going.
You probably think that the Lightning Cat from Ora has a heritage somewhere…a DNA that extends to Porsche, perhaps? You could easily be forgiven for thinking that, but Ora is an EV brand of Great Wall – maker of the Steed pick up and the first Chinese brand to be sold in the UK. Ora claims a 3.2 second sprint to 62mph for the Lightning Cat when it goes into production.
From the Ora’s retro styling to being blasted into hyperspace by MG. The MG Cyberster pays homage to the brand’s roadsters of the past but with superb futuristic styling, particularly around the front apron. Absolutely beautifully styled, the Cyberster can hit 62mph in 3.0 seconds but unlike its four-cylinder forebears, this MG roadster is EV only.
The Wuling Hong Guang has become the best selling EV in China. It plays the budget card as an around town shopper/commuter for some – wait for it – £3200. But if you want to pay slightly more and have less metal, then there’s this Cabrio version. Range is some 100 miles. But that’s not the point. The Hong Guang Cabrio is affordable, small and, above all else, great fun.
You can have a ‘whale’ of a time with this car, the Jing. Translated it means ‘whale’ and with that highly stylised front grille, the designers really have embraced the concept of a whale’s underside with the white paintwork, too. When it comes to market, there’s likely to be a choice of both internal combustion engine and electric power choices.
B is for bling and, let’s face it, the Hongqi L Concept has it in bucketloads. From its glossy paintwork, brilliant alloy wheels and jewelled lights to the chandelier that lights the interior… Yes, you read that correctly: a chandelier. The L Concept doesn’t hold back. This large luxury concept is missing a few things, though, despite the styling exuberance – there’s only three seats; and there’s no steering wheel. The future for Hongqi is fully autonomous. So sit back and just take in that chandelier for a few minutes…
What are we Europeans thinking with our conservative camper vans? Nothing so introverted for the Chinese. The Villa Edition from Maxus adds a second story to this recreational vehicle that features a lift and top floor tea room among its luxurious living accommodation along with windows that can transition from clear to opaque. Just don’t go driving under any low bridges…
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