One of the largest car market in the world and still growing fast, China has started welcoming more foreign markets. President Xi Jinping has announced plans to cut stiff import tariffs and to phase out inconvenient regulations for foreign automakers.
At the ongoing Beijing Auto Show 2018, many automakers eyeing a slice of pie in the booming chinese market have put forth their best. The showcase features some extreme to almost excessive ideas for luxury and customization, hot selling points in a country where the back seat is priority.
Beyond luxury, there is also a greater sense of eco-awareness with great focus on electric propulsion. As some of the world’s strictest emissions standard, there has been ongoing talks in China to even ban gas- and diesel-powered cars altogether.
For a clearer glimpse into the glitz and glamour of the Beijing auto show, we’ve rounded up a list of the most flamboyant and swanky cars on display.
Rolling on with Diamonds
Styling gets a dark upgrade for Rolls-Royce’s Wraith and Dawn cars. Now armed with carbon fiber made in a meticulous 68h process, the Spirit of Ecstasy’s sparkling interior is set with 88 lab-grown diamonds—synthesized by heating and squeezing carbon—with the fiber optics woven into the headliner to show “the molecular structure of carbon as it becomes a diamond.”
Famed Italian brand Maserati launches the GranLusso and GrandSport versions of its Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante vehicles. But the focus is more on its dazzling array of wheels, brake calipers, seats, and steering wheels are available for customization, and even Ermenegildo Zegna silk interiors. Aiming for the custom trim identity, the company states that “China has a growing number of ‘connoisseurs’ seeking to express their personalities and tastes through exclusive cars”.
Reborn with Tech
Haval‘s Wey-X concept car previews a full-electric crossover, amped up with a holographic assistant to help with that. The small, battery-powered SUV has some realistic specs, like a 300-mile range, but with such a futuristic concept, it is less likely to hit the market anytime soon.
A newcomer to the show, FAW is a giant automaker in China that doesn’t sell overseas—yet. The Hongqi E-Jing GT, is an all-electric sports coupe, styled with hints of Bentley and Lincoln in its tiny headlights and huge wheels. The unique bling hue is coined as Kansas Green (not the US state but a lake in northern China). Specific details aren’t out, but the company says this concept reveals the design direction for the 15 new models to be released by 2025.
Qiantu is another one of the Chinese marques that looks absolutely promising. The K50 is a production-ready, delightful little two-seat EV featuring plush rear passenger seat at the expense of the front seat. The Concept 1 model pictured above is a sporty sedan with huge wheels with a striking, vaguely organic, triangular cover ran by the same electric engine as K50. Performance stats are still unknown, reminding slightly of the Roadster (whenever that even rides onto the road).
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury has probably the one of the most polarised crowd of onlookers. The latest concept by the traditional luxury car brand – a car-SUV mashup – the car has the height of an SUV but the three-box design of an old-fashioned sedan. But the true highlight of the model at the show was in the interior, with individual captain’s chairs as backseats and a built-in tea kettle, which the company markets for “exquisite tea-drinking”.