The biggest auto show of 2012 isn’t in Detroit or Frankfurt, but in the crowded exhibition center of the Beijing Motor Show. It is here the swelling Chinese car market continues to prove its importance to the auto world. Manufacturers unveiled over 100 new car models amid a throng of people so large that the Chinese government was forced to hold a public lottery to restrict access. By the end of the decade, experts predict that China will shatter industry records by purchasing 30 million cars a year, making it the dominant force in auto consumption. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the exciting new developments that came out of the Middle Kingdom last week, and showcase some of our favorite new automobiles slated for a global release.
1) Honda Concept S
Minivans aren’t just for soccer moms anymore. This aggressive, angular design is powered by hybrid technology and features a roomy interior. Honda says that the Concept S “realizes both the ‘fun of driving’ and excellent environmental performance at the same time,” so we expect the model will feature an outstanding MPG ratio. Look for this sporty new value mover in early 2013.
2) Jeep Wrangler Dragon
2012 marks the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar, and this Wrangler gold-and-black concept comes decked out for the occasion. With special 18-inch wheels, black leather interior and an elegant dragon motif, the Wrangler dragon marks the first Jeep designed specifically for a Chinese audience. Jeep executive Micheal Manley suggests that this special edition “showcases the opportunity for special editions that might be available for China in the near future."
3) Jaguar XJ Ultimate
Jaguar is taking luxury to a whole new level with their newly-introduced XJ ultimate model. Boasting twin petrol and diesel engines and a state-of-the-art suspension technology, the XJ Ultimate isn’t only turning heads for its performance. It comes equipped with a range of decadent details, from the champagne cooler in the center console to the iPad/keyboard combo in the backseat. When you get bored of eating caviar on your yacht, this is the perfect ride for you.
4) Lamborghini Urus
Though we haven’t seen the words “Lamborghini” and “SUV” in the same sentence before, Lambo stole the spotlight this year with its concept utility vehicle. With a name borrowed from the Latin for “bull,” the 600-horsepower Urus packs some serious firepower under the hood. While the Urus is only a concept model, we’d put serious money on a mass-produced model within the next 3 years.
5) Chrysler 300C Ruyi
Chrysler has been conspicuously absent from the Chinese auto market since the Chrysler Group split from Daimler in 2009, but this sleek sedan marks a return to the East. Inspired by the traditional Chinese symbol for prosperity and good fortune, the Ruyi is decorated with black chrome, suede seats, and an eight-speed transmission.
If you like these cars as much as we do, you know there’s a lot to be excited for in the next few years. Subscribe to our blog for daily auto industry updates, and check out our Pinterest board for more coverage of the Beijing Motor Show!