What’s on show at Beijing 2012?
The 2012 China Auto Show is taking place in Beijing at the moment. And since China is the biggest official automotive market in the world, the country’s annual auto show never disappoints. One thing is evident from the show – SUVs are back, in a big (and simultaneously small) way.
Lamborghini Urus SUV
Lamborghini has unveiled its much-anticipated Urus SUV. Opinion seems divided. Some like it, while others dislike its design intensely. Regardless, it should do very well – if it ever enters production. Who would buy it? Potential buyers could best be described, I think, as “current BMW X6 owners”.
Ford EcoSport Crossover (CUV)
Ford has shown the production version of its nifty little EcoSport Crossover. Set to compete against vehicles such as the Nissan Juke, the EcoSport is a trendy and frugal crossover. Engine options include a 1,5-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine and a one-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine.
Eterniti Artemis (SUV)
Luxury automaker Eterniti has shown a vehicle that it claims is the world’s first super-SUV. Called the Artemis, the vehicle is based on Porsche’s Cayenne. It uses the Cayenne’s 4,8-litre turbocharged V8 engine, and pushes out more than 400 kW and 750 Nm of torque. The downside? It’s ugly. It looks like the awkward lovechild of a Cayenne and a Jag. But with performance figures like those, who cares?
Peugeot Crossover Concept (CUV)
Peugeot also signalled its intent to enter the small crossover market with the unveiling of a stylish concept. Similar in size to vehicles such as the EcoSport Crossover, Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman, Peugeot’s creation seem like classy little crossover. However, this is clearly just a concept. This isn’t a vehicle that you’ll see on the roads soon.
Land Rover Evoque make-over & end of Journey of Discovery
Land Rover has revealed the spiciest (pun intended) Evoque of them all. Created by creative design executive (and former Spice Girl) Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham and Land Rover’s design team, this limited edition Evoque sports a matte exterior and a posh (pun intended) interior. Under the bonnet, you’ll find the standard two-litre Evoque petrol powerplant.
The show also marks the end of the Land Rover Journey of Discovery. The ‘Journey’ began on the 29th of February this year at the Solihull manufacturing plant, as the millionth Disco was built. It had it’s ceremonial send off at another auto show – Geneva – and has since passed through no less than thirteen countries. The aim was to raise a million pounds for IFRC (Red Cross).
Bentley EXP 9-F
Also on the luxury (read, opulence) end of the stick, Bentley showcases their EXP 9-F all wheel drive SUV concept. This is the marque’s debut of a potentially new model line up. Engines under consideration are reportedly a 4,0 litre V8 twin-turbo (again, Bentley equals excess), a V6 plug-in hybrid (scoring points with greenies) and a flagship 6,0 litre W12 engine (and we’re back to good old Bentley). According to Alasdair Stewart – a member of the board for sales and marketing at Bentley:
“A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupé, a convertible or a saloon – it could equally well be an SUV. What’s important is that it should be true to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.”
Well, there you have it.
Porsche Cayenne GTS (SUV)
Sticking to the theme, Porsche unveiled their new Cayenne GTS. It has more horses, less ground clearance and a fancy suspension management program ‘as standard’. It sits just below the Turbo in the line up, and has a naturally aspirated turbocharged V8. That gives you a freshly tuned 308kW-producing engine, tuned to an eight-speed ZF box. It also goes on sale in the UK in July for over 67 thousand pounds. Just lost interest? We don’t blame you.
Audi RS QR
Last year, Audi revealed its Q3 at the China Auto Show, which we drove last week. This year, it unveiled its sporty RS Concept version of the little crossover. The RS Q3 has 2,5-litre turbo engine that generates 265 kW of power. Audi also displayed another Q3 concept. This one was called the Q3 Jinlong Yufeng. Jinlong Yufeng apparently means “golden dragon in the wind” in Chinese. What’s special about it? Apart from being incredibly yellow, it also has a 2,5-litre turbocharged engine, though it pushes out a more humble 228 kW.
MG Icon Concept (Small CUV)
Winning Auto China’s Best Juke Impersonator Competition (okay, that doesn’t really exist) was MG’s Icon Concept. MG is adamant, however, that the vehicle based on the MGs of old (the MGA and MGB GT, to be exact).
Chery TC (CUV)
China’s own Chery Automobile has pulled the covers off a new crossover concept that apparently hints at a future model. Called the TX, this is a true concept, complete with oversize wheels and futuristic design.