Some intriguing showstoppers from Auto China 2024

“Electric” may be the most appropriate word to describe the atmosphere at the recent Beijing motor show, now considered to be one of the world’s largest automobile exhibitions.

China’s vision of the electric mobility future is on full display during the ten-day event, which ends this weekend. Organizers estimated that 117 new global and China-domestic models would debut in Beijing. In fact, about 30 foreign brands had stands, a turnout that hasn’t been seen at auto shows since before the pandemic. The South Koreans and the Japanese came, and from Germany, representatives making the case for their brands included CEO Oliver Blume of Volkswagen Group, Oliver Zipse of BMW Group and Ola Kallenius of Mercedes-Benz Group.

A few of the models would be powered by gasoline—by ICE, or internal combustion engines—but the vibe was clear: electrics are it. According to to show officials, Beijing hosted a total of 278 electric and plug-in hybrid models on display.

After digesting most of the reveals unveiled during the show, we’ve parsed a list to a select few of the more interesting models. Here it is, in no particular order:

BYD Ocean-M concept

BYD has launched off-roaders, SUVs and sedans in its global assault on the car market — and added a hot hatch concept at Auto China. The Ocean-M (above) is a Volkswagen Golf-sized five-door hatchback, meaning it’s likely that BYD will pitch it as a rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 GTX. The show car has sporty design, rises sharply towards the rear window, and sharp surfacing at the front and along the flanks. The show car has a huge rear wing, aero diffuser and side blades.


Denza Z9GT

BYD’s luxury brand, Denza, a joint venture between BYD and Mercedes-Benz, showed the Z9 GT, a massive wagon carrying three electric motors putting out a stunning 952 horsepower. The EV weighs an extraordinary 6,338 pounds, almost 440 pounds more than a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. BYD’s design boss is a German — Wolfgang Egger, who previously worked for Alfa Romeo and Audi.

Lamborghini Urus SE

The Volkswagen subsidiary brought a bit of Italian sex appeal to Beijing in the form of “super” luxury SUV that received its first public premiere in China. The plug-in hybrid Uris SE SUV gets nearly 800 horsepower as well as a series of visual and technology updates inside and out. The car is a unqualified stunner, with a “floating” design hood; the interior design follows the “Feel Like a Pilot” concept, featuring a 12.3-inch central touchscreen with the new Human Machine Interface (HMI), allowing enhanced interaction between the driver and the digital system. 

Changan E07

The styling echoes Tesla’s Cybertruck; It’s a mix of fastback sedan and sleek crossover, with a rear window that slides over the roof and the trunk lid folds backward similar to a pickup. Some observers have likened it to a Ford Ranger. Powering the E07, which is scheduled to reach Chinese showrooms in October, is a choice of single-motor or dual-motor electric drivetrains. Performance numbers have yet to be revealed.

Xiaomi SU7

Borrow some styling cues from Porsche and offer a car that undercuts Tesla’s pricing, and you’ve got the Xiaomi SU7, built by Chinese smartphone giant. Forget seeing this one outside of China, as the company claims its “100 percent focused” on the home market for at least three years. On the eve of the Beijing show, the SU7 had reached 75,723 orders, with 5,781 units delivered 28 days after the model’s launch.

Hongqi Guoya Golden Sunflower

The Golden Sunflower is a concept for a luxury limousine. And its obvious that the designers sought luxury at over-the-top levels. Check out the display car at Beijing: two independent seats in the back row with an armrest and cup holders in the center. A touch screen at the front of the armrest to control in-car functions such as seat heating, massage, and air-conditioning temperature. Other configurations include a face/voice/gesture multi-mode interaction mode, and intelligent ambient light adjustment. Hongqi was launched in 1958 and is the oldest Chinese passenger car brand. The company has built several generations of limousines for state authorities. 

VW ID.Code concept

This large all-electric SUV previews a production car for the Chinese market. The low-slung ID.Code is by far the best-looking model from VW brand’s electric-only ID family. VW brand CEO Thomas Schaefer said the concept was developed for meeting “the needs and wishes of Chinese customers,” but European visitors to the show are hoping that its design could also influence the styling of VW’s next-generation ID SUVs in Europe.

Geely Galaxy Starship concept

How can you miss with a name like that? Galaxy is a brand from Geely, and the Starship its flagship. Geely’s GEA platform unlocks an AI digital ecosystem for new energy vehicles and is an AI digital chassis. Self-developed by Geely, it integrates technologies such as steer-by-wire, intelligent driving, and individual wheel drive. The front face of the Galaxy Starship is enclosed and has a dot matrix design similar to that seen on the Galaxy E8. On the side the lines on the body are straight, very much in the style of some of the Chinese EV startups

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