Beijing Motor Show: Top five
Our editor-in-chief Steve Fowler picks his top five debuts from the Beijing Motor Show
The Beijing Motor Show is now a major event on the show schedule, with a raft of important debuts from foreign firms aiming to make a mark in the vital Chinese market, as well as the latest models to come from domestic manufacturers. Now all of the major launches have been announced, we pick our five Beijing Show highlights.
Video: Watch our round-up of the big debuts at Beijing
Launched with the help of British pop superstar and The Voice judge Jessie J, the equally striking Mercedes CSC previews a sleek saloon based on the forthcoming A-Class platform. And judging by the crowds still hanging around after Jessie J's departure, it was the star of the show.
The CSC is longer, wider and lower than the new A-Class, and the concept features a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 211bhp. There's four-wheel drive, a double-clutch gearbox and all the fancy iPhone connectivity that the new A-Class will boast.
Although officially a concept, expect this baby CLS to go on sale in 2014 with prices starting from around £25,000.
Geneva was all about Bentley's SUV, now it's the turn of sister brand Lamborghini with its sharply-styled Urus. Both Lamborghini and Bentley are claiming the fastest SUV title for their concepts, although only Bentley has confirmed what engines its car will have.
Whatever ends up under the bonnet of the Urus, expect around 600bhp, a sub-five second 0-62mph time and plenty of carbon fibre used in the chassis and bodywork to keep weight down and performance up. The price should be around £150,000 when the car goes on sale in 2016.
China will be a key market for the Urus, with Lamborghini revealing that the average age of its buyers in China is just 28-years-old.
Fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has finally unveiled her interpretation of the big-selling Range Rover Evoque, saying she's designed a car that will appeal to husband David.
All Beckham Evoques will be powered by a 237bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The exterior features hand-finished matt black paintwork with a gloss black roof and wheels, while inside there are only four seats finished in tan leather. Just 200 of the special editions will be made, with prices rumoured to be close to the £80,000 mark.
The new car has been developed by Jaguar Land Rover's new ETO bespoke engineering division, which was also responsible for the new Jaguar XJ Ultimate Edition.
4. MG Icon
Here's proof that there could be some excitement to come from MG with this concept that's clearly aimed at the Nissan Juke. Styled by Brit Tony Williams and his team at parent company's SAIC's HQ in Shanghai, the Icon features plenty of old MG styling cues including vertical daylight running lights influenced by the MGB, external hinges on the tailgate (to boost rear headroom) similar to those on the MGB GT and an interior inspired by the MG TA.
The Icon uses the platform from the forthcoming MG3 supermini, while insiders also claimed a roadster version could be on the cards, too. Before that happens, though, the Chinese and European public have to react positively to the concept.
Don't expect to find the Numero 9 on the Citroen stand in Beijing. No, the Numero 9, which previews one of three new DSs aimed at the Chinese market, can be found on a bespoke DS stand next door to Mercedes, no less.
The sensational shooting brake is 4.9 metres long - the same length as a Porsche Panamera - and will be aimed at the likes of the Mercedes S-Class if it gets the green light, which it should.
Under the skin is a 225bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels and a 70bhp electric motor powering the rears. It's a plug-in hybrid, too, with a battery range of 30 miles, CO2 emissions of 39mpg, a claimed average fuel economy of 166mpg and a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds.
Check out our gallery of the Chinese models that didn't make it into our top five.