Join CDG Cars for our round-up of the 2014 Beijing motor show.
The 2014 Beijing motor show treated us to an eclectic mix of new production cars, updated models and the usual collection of concept cars that might one day hint at what’s to come for the world’s motorists – however terrifying that might be.
With manufacturers trying to woo the world’s second-biggest economy, the cars appearing at the Beijing motor show are more important than ever. Here are our picks of the best metal from the show floor.
The best of Beijing 2014
Audi TT Offroad Concept
This chunky four-wheel-drive TT Offroad Concept car adds SUV styling to the sporty profile of the recently unveiled TT coupe. The five-door concept car has partially folding rear seats for added practicality and a stripped-back dashboard that’s centred on the steering wheel. The concept car packs a 288hp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine assisted by two electric motors (rated at 40 kW at the front and 85 kW at the rear) to provide a total output of 402bhp. The concept hits 60mph in 5.2 seconds and goes on to 155mph – with claimed average economy of 148mpg. This all equates to a potential CO2 output of 45g/km. The concept car is expected to make it into production badged as the Q4.
Bentley Hybrid concept
Based on the Mulsanne saloon, the Bentley Hybrid Concept will certainly attract the attention of any environmentally-minded Premiership footballers or Euromillions winners. The main objective of the concept is to preview the plug-in hybrid powertrain that will debut in the manufacturer’s forthcoming SUV – due for release in 2017 – before it’s rolled out across the entire range. Bentley hasn’t revealed any performance figures, but company sources hint at a 25% increase in power, combined with a slump in CO2 output of up to 70%. Applying this to the Mulsanne’s current 505bhp 6.75-litre V8, it would boost output to 631bhp and bring CO2 emissions of just 118g/km. It’s also claimed the concept will cover a minimum of 31 miles on electric power alone.
Bugatti Veyron Legend Edition Black Bess
A one-off Bugatti Veyron that takes its inspiration from one of the marque’s most famous pre-war cars, the 1913 Type 18, and one of the vintage Bugatti’s original owners, the renowned French aviation pioneer Roland Garros… who called his Type 18 ‘Black Bess’ after a racehorse. This Legend Edition is based on the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and is powered by an 8.0-litre W16 engine that produces an eye-watering 1184bhp. All this combines to fire it from 0-62mph in just 2.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 254mph. The carbonfibre body has been painted black with gold detailing in a nod to its famous forefather’s styling. Prices haven’t been revealed, but don’t expect a test drive if you arrive at your local Bugatti dealership with less than £2million in your back pocket.
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
The Q50 Eau Rouge has been a regular at a number of recent shows, but the Beijing version came with a film featuring Formula One champ Sebastian Vettel testing the concept in his role as the manufacturer’s Director of Performance. Helping to push the concept car towards production, the Red Bull ace provides feedback to help develop ‘testing component, packaging and viability’ – apparently. Watch Seb in action above.
Lexus NX 4×4
The Lexus NX is a brand-new Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rival. It might be slightly toned down from the concept version, but it’s still a striking challenger for stylish rivals such as the Evoque. The huge ‘spindle’ grill dominates the front, while the menacing split headlights are inspired by the car maker’s IS F Sport saloon. Lexus says the five-seat interior is sports car-inspired, with a large central digital screen that’s used to control infotainment systems, along with a new head-up display system for safer driving. It also gets a range of new gadgets, including a wireless charging tray for smartphones and tablets, panoramic cameras, G-sensor and boost meter. UK engine options haven’t been confirmed, but will come from the NX300h – which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit – and the NX200 with its 2.0-litre naturally aspirated powerplant. Buyers will be able to choose between two- and four-wheel-drive versions. It’s expected to hit showrooms in May with prices starting around £30,000.
Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV
It might be billed as a concept car, but the Concept Coupe previews a production model that’s likely to be badged as the MLC and is set to be a rival for the BMW X6 from as early as next year. Design-wise, the wide front grille, narrow headlights and converging creases on the sides mirror the GLA-class. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6 with 328bhp powerplant that delivers drive to where it matters through a nine-speed automatic gearbox to all four of its 22-inch wheels.
Peugeot EXALT concept
This concept car is designed to provide an insight into Peugeot’s future design language. It follows on from last year’s Onyx concept car and features chiseled panels, a long, imposing bonnet and short rear overhangs. The EXALT also incorporates a development of the minimalist i-Cockpit interior that was first revealed in the 308 hatchback. Power is provided by Peugeot’s next-generation Hybrid4 system, which produces a combined output of 335bhp through a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a rear axle-mounted electric motor.
Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom
The Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom takes its inspiration from the golden era of cross-continental train travel… Marketing-speak, aside, this translates to a red-and-sand-coloured two-tone exterior and striking red leather interior. The interior also incorporates 230 pieces of wood veneer – all of which are laser cut – hand-assembled to create a train motif with plumes of steam. Train buffs should be looking at an investment of around £1million.
Volkswagen Golf R 400
Blasting away the safe-but-dull image VW’s Golf has slowly acquired over the years, this nigh-on 400bhp Golf Concept marks the cars 40th anniversary in anything but middle-aged resignation. It features the existing 2.0-litre TSI engine, but with the standard version’s 296bhp tweaked and teased to an impressive output of 395bhp. Sadly, Volkswagen has told us that there are no immediate plans to put this rip-snorting monster into production.
Check out these Chinese models on display at the Beijing motor show… we think there’s something familiar about them…
Chery Concept Beta
Red Flag L5 limo