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Auto Shanghai: The next generation shines

The definite rivalry between European and Chinese auto brands was evident at China’s largest auto show, the biennial Auto Shanghai, with a futuristic electric theme throughout.

Unsurprisingly, countless Chinese brands have captured the limelight in sheer numbers and presence, but European and Japanese brands also have plenty of appearances.

Here are our favorite models from the big nine-day show in no particular order.

Want some people moving with that grille?

The second generation Lexus LM makes its global debut at the show – half minivan, half grille. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class rival is the flagship model in Lexus’ L-series lineup, designed for “connoisseurs of true luxury”.

Lexus says it has reimagined “the concept of individual driver-driven mobility,” which from the outside seems like an appropriate way to describe the LM.

The luxurious styling of a van, along with the comfort, quietness and high backseat comfort make the LM a formidable competitor in the MPV segment.

Lexus offers the LM in four, six or seven-seat configurations, although the four-seat ‘lounge’ configuration is the most luxurious of all.

Passengers can use the 48-inch widescreen in the top-of-the-range models, behind a smoked glass panel for privacy, which can be used for work or play.

The limousine version continues with the top model’s retractable padded seat and heat-matrix sensor temperature control, which provides cooling or heating on the occupants’ four body regions: face, chest , thighs and legs.

Two powertrain options are available for the new LM, with three-row versions equipped with a 2.5-liter hybrid engine and the top four with a more powerful 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid system.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas has confirmed the LM will be deployed.

Road trip, anyone?

Beemer’s Benchmark

BMW shows off its most powerful EV ever, super luxury i7 m70for the crowd in Shanghai – in all its two-tone glory.

The copper and black two-tone paint job gives the fancy 7 Series a Jekyll and Hyde feel, which makes sense because it offers immense luxury and fearsome performance in equal amounts.

The top-of-the-range 7 Series is BMW’s most powerful electric vehicle ever, delivering what the brand calls a “unique performance experience in the luxury segment”, with dual engines that generate total capacity 485kW/1100Nm.

BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds, but despite its huge growl and engaging performance, it also offers an impressive driving range of 488 to 560 km.

With M-specific chassis technology such as adaptive two-axle air suspension with electronically controlled dampers and a significant increase in body rigidity, BMW says the i7 has “an appetite in corners.” “.

Auto-closing doors offer a contactless experience, and owners can choose from a luxurious interior with no less than nine color schemes.

The electric Bahnstormer is expected to be Down Under later this year, but all that luxury and performance doesn’t come cheap at a price close to $344,900 + ORC.

Big bang for Yangwang

BYD’s luxury subsidiary, Yangwang, caused a huge explosion (of sorts) by wowing the crowd with its spirited four-engine U9 electric supercar.

The U9 should hit triple digits in the claimed two seconds, along with a not-so-lazy 820kW/1680Nm.

The feature that surprised us doubly was a unique air suspension trick, both weird and genius, that raised an angle in the event of a tire failure to avoid damage to the brake rotor/axle.

While we still don’t know much about the U9, overseas reports suggest it runs on BYD’s Yisigang EV platform and could even offer a driving range of up to 700 km.

Local media have reported a price tag of around 1 million yen, which translates to a very attractive A215,000 – around $262 a kW – much lower than supercars with similar specs. on one’s own.

Sadly, there is no word on whether parent company BYD will bring the U9 to Australia. Despite that, the upcoming series of budget-friendly electric supercars from China is fresh news for those who don’t have a lot of money.

Baby has ‘white’

Mercedes-Maybach has launched the EQS super-luxury SUV, the sub-brand’s first all-electric model, with a focus on rear-seat comfort and the use of “natural materials”.

This is essentially a reworked Mercedes EQS, with added luxury touches, which Mercedes-Maybach says it aims to redefine automotive excellence in the age of electric mobility.

Maybach’s view, “what is good must be beautiful,” is clearly true on EQS – inside and out.

The cabin has been redesigned to incorporate the “cocoon effect” built around a range of ultra-premium materials, amenities and technology.

Rear-seat passengers score the same level of technology and luxury as front-seat occupants, with two 11.6-inch screens in the back of the seat, a rear MBUX tablet and a camera that even recognizes requests. require hand movements for things like turning on a reading light.

The focus is on natural materials including leather and wood, giving the cabin a rustic cabin feel like ‘leather and mahogany books’, while the leather is tanned using coffee bean husks.

The powertrain features two electric motors, producing 484kW/950Nm, with a range of up to 600km.

“Mercedes-Maybach’s first all-electric vehicle complements the best technologies from Mercedes-Benz with comfort and detailing,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mercedes-Benz AG Group. exclusive only at Mercedes-Maybach. manager, Ola Källenius.

“At Mercedes-Maybach, we strive to bring extraordinary beauty to beauty.”

star of the show

MG debut Cyberster electric convertiblewith scissor doors and all-electric power, beating Tesla to the ground while paying homage to the convertibles that put the brand on the map.

The Cyberster seems to offer some of the experience of the electric Mazda MX-5, but with its Lamborghini-style doors and plenty of trickery, it’s entirely aimed at higher-end roadsters like the Porsche Boxster.

When comparing it to the MX-5 and Boxster, it is indeed offered in rear-wheel drive configuration for maximum pleasure. However, a more powerful all-wheel drive option will also be launched – with almost double the squeal.

The single-engine rear-wheel drive model will have 231 hp, while the dual-motor four-wheel drive option will have a full 400 hp.

While a 0-100km/h time hasn’t been announced, we can assume the rear-driver gets the job done in less than five seconds and the all-wheel drive model could even cross the line. three seconds limit.

The range hasn’t been revealed, nor are there any details on the battery, so everyone can take a guess there. Speculation is pointless here as the underlying background is also unknown.

Pricing is yet to be revealed, but it’s confirmed for Australia, which is good news given MG’s tendency to bargain.

The star has no window

Polestar has launched its latest numbered model, in 4, a midsize coupe-style crossover that will be the fastest production car the brand has released to date…but, it has no doors. rear window.

That’s right, the pole star 4 using a rearview mirror camera system instead of glass to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics. Although, it’s like a “look at what we’ve done” statement.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath has described the 4 as an “enhanced four-door GT,” joining the fray with the Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4 E-tron and BMW iX3.

The focus on performance is clear, with 400 kW of power on throttle and a 0-100 km/h time of just 3.8 seconds, thanks to a permanent magnet, synchronous engine design. Both single- and dual-engined variants will be available, and the long-range single-engine variant will offer a range of up to 600 km.

Sustainable materials were used throughout, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a circular economy – the fundamental principles of Polestar’s properties.

With the Polestar 4, we have taken a fundamentally new approach to coupe SUV design,” said Ingenlath.

“Rather than simply modifying an existing SUV, giving it a quicker roofline and, as a result, reducing factors such as rear headroom and comfort, we designed the Polestar 4 from the ground up as a line-up. The new coupe SUV celebrates the experience and comfort of the rear occupants. .”

Polestar 4 has been green-lit for Australia, although local pricing has not been confirmed.

More muscle for bahnstormer

Porsche’s popular Cayenne large SUV has been overhauled in what the Stuttgart-based brand says is “one of the most sweeping product upgrades in Porsche’s history”.

It’s a bold statement, but the new Cayenne debuted an improved chassis system and more tech features in Shanghai to capture global attention. On top of that, it adds strength across the board for 2024.

The Cayenne S switches to a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with 348kW/600Nm, the E-hybrid rises to 346kW and the top-of-the-line Turbo GT boosts output by 14kW to 485kW – with a 0-100km/h time of 3.3. seconds to boot.

Steel spring suspension, with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and new shock absorbers keep the Cayenne stable and improve dynamic performance.

Of course, it’s also refined and tech-savvy with a digitized cockpit built on top of the Porsche Driver Experience. The 12.6-inch curved instrument cluster handles the driver data, and the 12.3-inch central screen handles the infotainment duties.

The updated Cayenne is intended for Australia, will launch here in the third quarter of this year, and will cost between $140,200 and $366,200 before ORC.

New ID

Volkswagen revealed midsize EV sedan, ID.7at the Shanghai show, sitting on top of the ID line of electric passenger cars.

In the same range as the electric Passat, the ID.7 is a long-range, efficient and aerodynamic all-rounder.

The 700km range and a reported price of around €60,000, or about AU$98,300, make the ID.7 a convincing family transport.

The ID.7 is the first MEB model to feature a new “generation of powertrain”, featuring a 210kW motor that aims to provide efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

A large 15-inch touchscreen, also new to MEB models, interior equipment and the entire cockpit are new to VW.

It’s one of ten new models the brand will release in 2026, and it certainly doesn’t sound like an attempt at electric testing but more like a real evolution of the Passat.

Australia’s launch plans are yet to be confirmed, but there’s no denying it could be a hit Down Under – given our preference for long-distance travel and somewhat limited infrastructure.

It’s a wrap!

There are countless other revelations and attention-grabbing things at the show, many of which won’t make it to Down Under in the near future, from the likes of Arcfox, FAW, Changan, and countless others.

As brands like Zeekr and Xpeng prepare to launch in European markets, they showcased their model options at the show, but we’re also unlikely to see them in Australia.

Among the smaller revelations is Haval’s new logo design, which debuted at the show. However, this move simply uses a different font and text style, and we still don’t know when we’ll see it on production models.

As is the case at Last New York International Auto Show, and despite having a Gigafactory in Shanghai, Tesla was absent. Whether displaying arrogance, confidence, or both, the electric pioneer stood by as other traditional and up-and-coming players showed a renewed interest in motor shows.

If Auto Shanghai 2023 is anything to go by, the auto shows are back in a big way!


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