As the emphasis on the world’s largest auto market grows, so does its automotive shows – with automakers flocking to reveal their latest and greatest here.
While traditional auto shows all over the world were hard hit by the financial and economic crisis and only now have started to regain their former glory, the 2014 Beijing motor show goes to reveal how much the industry in China has grown in importance.
And, because a great show is only as cool as its cars are, we selected our ten best favorites – even if they were not absolute world premieres, and in no particular order.
BMW Vision Future Luxury concept – it’s either the design direction for the future generation of the 7 Series or it simply previews a new top of the range 8/9 Series. Either way, it’s gorgeous and packed with tech goodies.
Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV – finally, the Stuttgart brand has decided to move on and offer a respectable X6 competitor. The silver “bling” will be shed for the production model – rumored as MLC – but the dimensions will remain.
Lexus NX200t – the Japanese luxury brand moves to snatch a slice of the compact crossover pie, with its production ready concept that features the striking new design of the brand in all its glory.
Citroen DS 6 WR – despite the unusually hard to pronounce denomination, the first SUV from the premium DS sub-brand could get a host of followers, especially on the Chinese market – which is on a SUV buying spree.
Peugeot Exalt Concept – this was among the biggest and most luscious Beijing auto show surprises. It looks like it’s ready to challenge Mercedes-Benz’s CLS and brings back the good old days when Peugeot managed to create striking cars.
Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe – it’s a Volkswagen car and so it almost needs no introduction – with the German brand managing to keep its new identity focused to the point of developing twin brothers, not new cars. Still, the NMC is looking great.
Hyundai ix25 – the Koreans have found their entry into the greatly expanding small crossover market, ushered by Nissan’s Juke and soon globally adopted. It’s based on the i20 hatch and will try to snatch buyers from Opel’s Mokka or Ford’s EcoSport.
Ford Everest – long live the big SUV segment. This is how a true US automaker shows it can still deliver a seven seater 4×4 model to the market. It’s going to be big, comfy and not really fuel efficient – even though Ford will try to make it.
Audi TT Offroad concept – we hope it will make it into production without many changes – design and powertrain alike. It’s looking menacingly dynamic and features an e-tron hybrid powertrain that lets us use over 400 hp.
VW Golf R 400 Concept – this is what you would call a 40 years old celebration – it addresses the middle age crisis with a bang. Thanks to last month’s TT quattro Sport Concept, it boasts the same engine – good for a 0-100 time of 3.8 seconds.