Shanghai surprises in order from Volvo, Mercedes, Qoros and more

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2015 13:38 IST

As an automotive market that's very much still emerging, the biennial Shanghai show is one that is guaranteed to have a strong showing from all of the major car companies and even one or two global debuts.

For example, Volvo began the year by announcing it is to turn its back on motor shows in order to promote its cars in a better, more cost-effective manner.

However, for the Shanghai show it's making a very big exception. For this is the venue where the company will be unveiling the XC90 Excellence, the SUV it hopes can challenge everything from the Range Rover SVAutobiography to the Mercedes S-Class in the luxury sector.

Citroën Aircross Concept. Photo:AFP

Citroen has very quickly established itself and its premium DS brands in China and for this year's show it is also debuting a new SUV concept. The AirCross is unmistakably a Citroen and promises that the company has recaptured the quirkiness and individuality that once made it a trend setter.

Rather than a car, Mini will be showcasing a set of augmented reality glasses it has developed in partnership with Qualcomm that offer a projected head up display and will even let the wearer see through the car's doors and roof pillars while driving to avoid accidents and obstacles.

Mini says that the concept glasses are at an advanced stage. Photo:AFP

Mercedes has already unveiled two new SUVs this year but it can't stop itself and will be showing off the GLC concept, a coupe-shaped off-roader that's clearly lined up to compete directly with BMW's own X4 SUV.

Lexus is teasing a facelifted ES sedan for the event. The entry-level luxury model in its expanding fleet, expect the car to keep much of what is already on the 2012 model but packaged with a sharper nose, more pronounced spindle grille and the same LED running light set-up that made its debut on the RX crossover at the New York auto show earlier in April.

The new Lexus is expected to be a facelifted model rather than a clean sheet design. Photo:AFP

Local company Qoros has announced that it too is going to go with a conceptual SUV as its Shanghai show car which is understood to use the same underpinnings as its existing Qoros 3 mid-size sedan and hatchback models.

However, despite lots of media coverage both inside and beyond Asia the start-up company that aimed to take on elite European brands with a homegrown alternative, Qoros is understood to be struggling to compete with some sources putting total sales for 2014 as low as 7000 cars.

Auto Shanghai 2015 is hosted at the National Exhibition and Convention Center April 22 - 29.

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