2018 Beijing Motor Show Archive

  • Skoda Kamiq revealed – B-segment SUV for China

    Making its debut in Beijing is the new Skoda Kamiq, the third member of the carmaker’s SUV line-up for the Chinese market after the Karoq and Kodiaq. The Kamiq will also be present at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, before going on sale a few months later.

    Like its siblings, the Kamiq’s styling cues include the familiar Skoda grille with vertical double slats, met by a slightly protruding bonnet. There’s also a small model badge just beneath the side mirrors, and the overall shape isn’t that far off from the bigger SUVs.

    On the mention of size, the Kamiq measures 4,390 mm long, 1,781 mm wide and 1,593 mm high. As for the vehicle’s wheelbase, it measures 2,610 mm which is identical to a Honda HR-V. Skoda calls the Kamiq a “city SUV,” and it should rival B-segment models like the Hyundai ix25, Citroën C3-XR and Nissan Kicks as well.

    Based on previous sketches, the SUV’s dashboard will be dominated by an eight-inch touchscreen sandwiched between a pair of air-con vents. Skoda says the speakers are installed at an angle for better performance and the seats come in a plaid pattern with 3D effect.

    Connectivity is another important aspect of the Kamiq, as the primary target here are young, urban customers. Therefore, the infotainment system offers voice control from iFLYTEK, one of Asia’s leading providers of voice recognition based on artificial intelligence. Smartphones can also be connected via Apple CarPlay, Baidu Carlife and MirrorLink interfaces.

    The Kamiq is powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine that produces 109 hp and 150 Nm of torque, transmitted via an automatic gearbox. Last year, Skoda sold 325,000 cars in China, which is significantly more than its second-biggest market, Germany, where it sold 173,300 units in the same period.

     
     
  • Volvo S90 Ambience Concept – a treat for the senses

    Volvo S90 Ambience Concept

    Volvo has unveiled its show car for the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, the S90 Ambience Concept. According to the Swedish automaker, the concept offers an “industry-first sensory experience that synchronises visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.”

    The car itself is based on the existing three-seat S90 Excellence that is sold in China, but the interior has been revamped to change the way you feel while you’re inside. You can do this by using a smartphone app to choose one of seven visual themes, each with their own accompanying synchronised audio and scent.

    The available themes include Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago and Rain. There is also a Nocturnal theme for resting and Freedom for a boost of fresh and uplifting energy.

    Depending on which theme you pick, the appropriate visual element is then projected onto the car’s headliner, and audio is played through the Bowers and Wilkins sounds system, which has been upgraded to include small tweeters in the headrest.

    For an even more immersive experience, one of four bespoke scents created by Byredo, is deployed from a portal that rises up from the centre console. All three elements combine to directly influence the occupants’ mood and well-being, as Volvo describes.

    “The Ambience Concept redefines luxury by taking it beyond material choices, creating a car that connects with your senses,” said Robin Page, head of design at Volvo Cars.

    “We’re known for our human-centric approach to design and as an industry leader in advanced safety technology. Ambience reinforces this and shows our broader focus on human care, which starts with safety and also extends to general well-being,” he adds.

     
     
  • Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury leaked

    Originally scheduled to debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept has been leaked online. As previously suggested, the vehicle does indeed take the shape of an SUV, although it doesn’t look like a preview for the next-generation GLS.

    Nonetheless, it is still quite a sight to behold, with a front grille that is clearly inspired by the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concepts. Other similarities include the triple-element headlamps, side scuttles, C-pillar badges and a small split in the lower apron.

    The rear is somewhat interesting to look at, whereby there is a boot lid rather than a liftgate normally associated with SUVs. The new Maybach concept also shares similar cues with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 hardtop – taillights with three square elements, dual-window rear windscreen and emblems for the Maybach brand and model name (Ultimate Luxury in this case).

    Moving inside, you are greeted by acres of quilted leather surfaces with touches of chrome and rose gold trim. The latter likely panders towards the audience in China where the concept will be revealed, and the same can be said about the built-in tea set in the rear centre console. There’s also touches of blue lighting accents and premium materials to further elevate the luxurious feel.

    Should you prefer to be in the driver’s seat, there’s still plenty of opulence on show as well. The air-con vents adopt the same pattern as the front grille, and sandwiched between them are a pair of screens like what you’ll find in current Mercedes-Benz models.

    Similarly, the touchpad controller and steering wheel also look pretty familiar, albeit revised to be more flamboyant in the concept. The centre console itself features what appears to be two grab handles that have switchgear placed between them, while additional stowage space is found just in front of the touchpad.

    We still don’t know will power the luxury SUV concept, but we reckon it is likely an electric powertrain following the theme with previous Vision concepts. Quite the SUV then, don’t you think?

     
     
  • BMW Concept iX3 confirmed – official debut in Beijing

    The BMW Concept iX3 will make its debut at the Beijing Motor Show later this week, with the German automaker releasing a teaser video ahead of the all-electric show car’s arrival.

    In the short clip, we are first shown the kidney grilles of the current G01 X3, followed immediately by the one on the Concept iX3. As you can see, the latter is a single-piece unit that is reminiscent of what you saw with the i Vision Dynamics concept, and is likely a trademark look for upcoming BMW i models.

    According to previous spyshots, the production version of the Concept iX3 could be based on the X3, albeit with their own unique styling cues. The mules that were sighted lacked exhaust tips and had charging ports, but looked largely identical to the standard X3.

    For now, details about the concept’s electric powertrain remain a secret, although it is already known the iX3 will be a “Gen 4 battery electric vehicle” like the upcoming MINI EV. While the concept is set to debut very soon, the production version won’t be out before 2020. Other BMW i models in the works include the iNEXT in 2021 and i4 after that.

    GALLERY: BMW iX3 spyshots

     
     
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan shown – Beijing debut

    We’ve been waiting for the debut of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan for some time now, ever since the W177 A-Class hatchback was shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Well, that day will soon be upon us as the more practical A-Class is set to debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

    There’s more too, as CarNewsChina has uploaded a photo that supposedly shows the A-Class sedan in all its glory. The text on the number plate reads “A-Class L Sport Sedan,” which likely indicates this is an extended wheelbase version – a trend that is well received by customers in China.

    Styling-wise, the A-Class sedan appears to be pretty similar to previous renderings that we reported on. The front is pretty much identical to the hatchback with an AMG Line kit, right on through to the B-pillars. Things start to deviate from the rear doors, which are likely redesigned to offer a larger aperture, along with the addition of a larger boot.

    Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan renders

    Out of sight here is the vehicle’s rear, but based on previous spyshots and renders, we should expect a pair of angular, two-piece taillights and a more rounded bootlid instead of the sharp edged one on the Concept A Sedan preview car.

    Expect the interior to mimic the A-Class hatchback as well, which should be offered with a variety of new technologies like high-definition screens and the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface.

    According to the source, the A-Class sedan will be manufactured by Beijing Benz, a joint venture between BAIC Motor and Daimler AG – the company also assembles the V213 E-Class L and W205 C-Class L. Competitors for the sedan will include the BMW 1 Series Sedan and Audi A3 Sedan.

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan spyshots

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback

     
     
  • Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury teased

    Mercedes-Benz will reveal a new concept at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show and has dropped a new short video as well as sketch to go along with an earlier teaser it released. More importantly, the concept finally gets a name: Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury.

    The company still won’t explicitly say what it is, and merely states the concept “shows how the typical strengths of an exclusive high-end saloon and an SUV can be combined.”

    It has been rumoured that the concept will preview the next-generation GLS, albeit with plenty of luxurious items added befitting a Maybach model. Such a model will look to take on other luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

    We’ll focus on the video first as it gives us a very clear look at the new Vision concept’s interior. Dimly lit as it may be, we can clearly see a high level of opulence here, with plenty of bright leather surfaces, chrome and rose gold trim, as well as elegant floral motifs scattered around the cabin.

    There’s also plenty of blue lighting accents on show (like on other Vision concepts), including on the steering wheel which has been modified in look for the concept. Based on the attached sketch, a widescreen display will also be present as well. If it isn’t obvious already, there’s only space for four passengers, with a long centre console that runs from the front to the back of the second row.

    We’ll know more about the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury later when it makes its official debut at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, so stay tuned.

    GALLERY: Next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS spyshots

     
     
  • BMW M2 Competition debuts – 410 hp biturbo engine

    As good as the BMW M2 is, there are a few hardcore M enthusiasts who won’t consider it a proper M car. It doesn’t have a bespoke M engine, nor the usual M-specific cues such as unique wing mirrors and seats. Fear not, anoraks, as BMW M has listened to your cries of despair with the M2 Competition, which goes above and beyond the usual Competition Package tweaks.

    For starters, the standard M2’s highly-tuned N55 engine has been replaced by a detuned version of the M3 and M4‘s S55 mill. While the 3.0 litre capacity and straight-six configuration remain, it now gets twin turbochargers instead of a single twin-scroll unit, as well as a closed-deck block for increased rigidity. It also receives High Precision Injection, Valvetronic variable valve lift and Double Vanos variable valve timing.

    Other new features include a motorsport-derived oil supply system and an upgraded version of the M4 Competition Package’s cooling system, plus a new dual-branch exhaust system with active flaps to provide a distinctive exhaust note. Lastly, a particulate filter reduces fine dust emissions.

    The result of all this is 410 hp between 5,250 and 7,000 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from 2,350 and 5,200 rpm – 40 hp and a whopping 85 Nm more than the regular M2. Drive gets sent to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission with a new carbon-fibre friction lining for improved shift lining, and as before there’s a rev-matching function that can be deactivated by switching off the stability control system.

    Those who want to experience all the performance on offer, however, will have to opt for the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic. So equipped, the M2 Competition will blitz the zero-to-100 km/h benchmark in just 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds with the manual), 0.1 seconds faster than the M2. The M Driver Package raises the speed limiter from 250 km/h to 280 km/h.

    Harnessing the extra power is a new carbon-fibre under-bonnet brace from the M3 and M4, which works with the M4’s bulkhead strut to significantly increase rigidity at the front of the car, improving steering behaviour and precision. The Dynamic Stability Control has also been recalibrated for more delicate control, improving wet weather traction and reducing traction interruption during drifting.

    The already muscular design has been beefed up, incorporating a bigger, conjoined double kidney grille as well as larger air intakes with three slots along the centre inlet. A gloss black finish is applied to the grille, side gills and the quad exhaust tips, and – joy of joys – there are now dual-arm door mirrors from the M3 and M4. Completing the look are new, optional 19-inch Y-spoke forged alloys and a Competition badge at the rear. New colour options include Sunset Orange and the brand new Hockenheim Silver.

    Inside, you’ll find M2 Competition door sills along with optional M Sport bucket seats with illuminated M2 badges, orange or blue perforations and stitching as well as Alcantara trim on the side bolsters. The steering wheel also finally receives M1 and M2 buttons for drivers to save their preferred settings for the powertrain, steering and stability control, while the seat belts feature M colour stitching.

     
     
  • Honda EV concept, all-new sedan to debut in Beijing

    Honda has announced it will debut two new models at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show near the end of April, including an electric vehicle (EV) concept as well as an all-new sedan.

    The EV concept previews a model that will be sold in China before the end of this year, which will be developed by GAC Honda. The company is a joint venture between Guangzhou Auto (GAC) and Honda, which was first known as Guangzhou Honda before being renamed GAC Honda in 2008.

    It is not yet known what form the EV will take, although it’s rumoured the vehicle will be an electric-only version of the HR-V, or Vezel as it is known there.

    As for the sedan, Dongfeng Honda, another joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Group and Honda, will produce the model. This is likely an all-new Spirior, which in its previous iterations was a badge-engineered version of the Honda Accord made by Dongfeng Honda sold only in China.

    Aside from these two world debuts, the latest Accord Hybrid and Acura CDX Hybrid will also celebrate their Chinese premieres in Beijing, with the latter being an electrified version of the HR-V based crossover.

     
     
  • Mercedes-Maybach teases concept for Beijing debut

    With the 2018 Beijing Motor Show set to kick off in just a few days, Mercedes-Maybach has dropped a video teaser of what it plans to premiere at the event. It has been rumoured the carmaker will unveil a near-production ready version of the next-generation GLS, one that has been dressed up to showcase “luxury at its finest,” as the caption suggests.

    The 33-second clip appears to mainly focus on the vehicle’s interior, which appears to follow the white and blue theme seen in previous Vision concepts. There’s also dashes of chrome and rose gold to further accentuate the focus on luxury the mysterious vehicle will be known for. Despite the concept tag, the vehicle’s controls do appear pretty conventional in nature.

    Should this indeed be a preview for an all-new Maybach GLS, the production ready version will look to take on other luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan. That model is said to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year.

    Aside from a Maybach version, a regular GLS will also be available as we’ve seen in previous spyshots. Expect it to be underpinned by a new Modular High Architecture (MHA) platform, which might be used for the next-generation GLE as well. The new platform should allow for advanced autonomous driving technology and hybrid powertrain to be offered

    GALLERY: Next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS spyshots

     
     
  • Pininfarina K350 concept teased before Beijing debut

    Pininfarina will reveal two concepts at this year’s Beijing Motor Show, which are part of its collaboration with Hong Kong-based Hybrid Kinetic Group (HKG). We’ve already been shown the H500 previously, so here’s the other one, the K350.

    The four-seat SUV joins the previously revealed K550 and K750, and judging by its name, it should be the most compact in the line-up. However, it certainly appears to be a rather sleek-looking vehicle based on the provided teasers, one catered for a more youthful audience.

    Compared to its siblings, the K350 features a sloping roofline that leads into a Lexus NX-like C-pillar, more muscular fenders and a two-tone exterior paintjob. Even so, the compact SUV should retain familiar cues seen on its other family members like the trademark front grille and slender lighting units.

    As for the interior, it looks rather futuristic with plenty of fancy materials on show as you would expect on the concept. The rear armrest is an interesting piece of design, and there also appears to be controls for rear passengers to access some of the car’s systems. Of course, not everything you see here will make it to production, as is the case with most concepts.

    Like a lot of the other concepts coming out from the Pininfarina-HKG partnership, the K350 will share the same range extender hybrid powertrain as the H500 sedan. The powertrain is said to use a turbine to generate electricity to keep the batteries fed.

    GALLERY: Pininfarina K550

    GALLERY: Pininfarina K750

     
     
 

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Last Updated 12 Apr 2018