Amidst the pandemic-induced disruption of the last 12 months, the Shanghai Motor Show represents a light at the end of a very long tunnel. It may have been somewhat socially distanced, but at least it took place.
While it’s nice to see an international motor show actually happen, Shanghai isn’t necessarily the most relevant to the European market. There are some quite frankly awful looking things on sale in China, but it’s not up to us to judge. Maybe you want a car that looks like a whale saying ‘cheese’, or something “inspired by but definitely not a blatant copy of” …..like a four-door 911 that has nothing to do with Porsche, or a classic Beetle that hasn’t been anywhere near Volkswagen.
Amongst the weird and the wonderful (and suspiciously familiar) there are a few cars that will make it to Europe in some form or another. Some may appear later this year, others aren’t likely to arrive on these shores until 2022.
After launching the ID.4, Volkswagen took advantage of the momentum to unveil two ID.6 models: the ID.6 CROZZ and ID.6 X. Initially exclusive to the Chinese market it’s highly likely a version of these two will arrive in Europe at some point.
Two battery packs will be available for both versions of the Volkswagen ID.6. The first is a 58kWh unit that’s reported to deliver up to 271 miles of range, while a larger 77kWh pack should see that figure rise to 365 miles. The fastest ID.6 models will utilise a 306hp electric motor that’ll take them from 0-60mph in just over six seconds.
The VW ID.6 takes simplicity to a new level by removing any physical buttons or switches. Everything is controlled through a 12-inch central display and a ‘Hello ID’ voice assistant. With the additional 30 centimetres in length compared with the ID.4 SUV, the ID.6 also features a third row of seats and a large panoramic glass roof to create a light and spacious interior.
Genesis Electrified G80
For those who may not know, Genesis is Hyundai’s luxury arm charged with taking on the German dominance of the premium market. It dipped a toe into the European market a number of years ago and is now back with a luxury saloon to challenge BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
The Electrified G80 is the brand's first EV and will go on sale alongside the conventionally fuelled G80, the GV70 crossover and the GV80 large SUV. The saloon is visually identical to the standard G80, revealed a year ago, save for the addition of a closed-off grille and bespoke front bumper. It maintains the same premium focus inside, too, with a widescreen infotainment display dominating the dashboard, minimalistic control panel and heavy use of leather.
The twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain offers performance on a par with the new bespoke EVs from the sister brands to Genesis, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 . Combined, the twin motors endow the G80 with 365bhp and 516lb ft of torque, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 4.9sec in Sport driving mode. The battery size hasn't been confirmed yet, but the EV G80 is said to be capable of more than 311 miles of range.
The next-generation Nissan X-Trail will be offered with the firm's innovative new ePower powertrain technology when it arrives in Europe next summer. The ePower system differs from a conventional hybrid powertrain in that a petrol engine features but is used exclusively to charge a battery, which in turn powers an electric motor connected to the front axle.
In the Qashqai , the set-up comprises a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a front-mounted electric motor for a total output of 188bhp. An identical system will likely feature in the X-Trail, offering enhanced efficiency and lower emissions than the range of pure-petrol and diesel engines used by the current car.
This fourth generation car will also retain the incredibly useful option of seven seats. Nissan has also confirmed a four-wheel drive variant will be offered, equipped with different settings for driving on snow, mud and gravel.
Citroen C5 X
Citroen says the C5 X offers the benefits of an estate car, saloon and SUV all in one design. Whether this is achieved remains to be seen, but 10 out of 10 for producing a stunning looking car.
The new C5 X sees a return to Citroen’s fabled ‘magic carpet’ ride quality thanks to the Citroën Advanced Comfort active suspension system. Inside the big comfy seats and acres of space makes the all-new C5 X a pleasure to travel in. Opt for the plug-in hybrid version and the feeling of serenity is enhanced by near silent driving in electric mode.
The inclusion of the latest technology helps make driving simpler and less stressful too. Features include the Extended Head Up Display, as well as a range of driving aids, such as Highway Driver Assist. There’s also a new infotainment interface that features a large central 12 inch high-definition touch screen, natural voice recognition and a customisable display with widgets, similar to a tablet device.
MG has taken its EV range in a completely unexpected direction. It’s gone from plug-in hybrids and EVs to a two-seater convertible that will hit 60mph in under 3 seconds, offers an approximate range of 500 miles, and wouldn’t look out of place in a Sci-fi film. The electric two-door roadster is intended as a "vision of the future", previewing technology and design cues used by upcoming MG models. It also happens to be a convenient rival for the long-awaited Tesla Roadster should MG decide to put it into production.
Notable features include its gaping front air duct, 'kamm tail' flat rear end and 'hacker blade' wheel designs. The rear is dominated by a pair of air-channelling buttresses (think Porsche 918 Spyder), which also house the floating head rests for the 'Zero Gravity' seats. The Cyberster has round ‘Magic Eye’ LED headlights, inspired by classic MG models, that ‘open’ when switched on, while the flattened rear end features an LED light design with more than a hint of the Union Jack flag.
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