It’s not as prestigious as the shows in Beijing or Shanghai, but Chinese brands have rolled out plenty of new models at the 2022 Chengdu motor show.
We’ve already covered the 330kW range-topping Triumph Edition of the MG 4/Mulan, the GWM Shanhai Cannon ute, Smart #1 Brabus, Dongfeng’s Hummer-rivalling Mengshi brand, and the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio.
Here are some other new models that caught our eye during this automotive extravaganza.
If Japan’s Mitsuoka ever decided to mass-produce vehicles using its own architecture, we imagine they would look something like the Yuanmeng.
As one of Great Wall’s domestic brands, Wey has so far sold upscale, modern-looking crossovers that don’t exactly rock the boat stylistically, including the recently launched Latte, Mocha and Macchiato trio. The Yuanmeng represents a significant departure.
Based on the Ora Punk Cat, the Yuanmeng shares its overall silhouette, and perhaps its doors and bulging fenders with its sibling.
While the Punk Cat has a stretched Beetle vibe, the Yuanmeng is aiming for a more formal retro feel thanks to its huge upright grille, long flat bonnet, circular head- and tail-lights, protruding chrome bumpers, and what looks like a spare wheel hump at the back.
The most obvious signs the Yuanmeng is a modern vehicle are the LED lighting elements, and the obviously front-wheel drive dash-to-axle ratio.
According to China Car News, the Yuanmeng will launch with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain featuring a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission with a built-in electric motor.
Total system output is said to be 175kW and 520Nm, while the pure EV range is up to 195km.
Measuring 4830mm long, 1995mm wide, 1725mm tall, and riding on a 2915mm wheelbase, the Yuanmeng is about the same length as a Toyota Camry but considerably wider (+155mm), taller (+275mm) and with a longer wheelbase (+95mm).
Like sedans, people movers still sell in decent numbers in China, so major manufacturers have at least one in their lineup, including Volkswagen, Buick, Toyota, and Lexus.
Denza — a joint venture between BYD (90 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz (10 per cent) — is expanding its lineup to include a full-size minivan.
Measuring 5250mm long, 1960mm wide, 1920mm tall, and riding on a 3110mm wheelbase, the D9 is as long as American-market minivans such as the Chrysler Pacifica, and about 100mm wider than Japanese-market models like the Toyota Alphard.
The D9 will initially be available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that supports 80kW DC fast charging, and is capable of up to 190km of emissions-free driving.
According to industry analyst Felipe Munoz, Denza took 3000 pre-orders for the D9 within 30 minutes.
The Hybrid model pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged Miller-cycle engine with a nine-speed auto with a built-in electric motor fed by a 1.7kWh battery. Total system output is said to be 224kW and 640Nm.
Fuel consumption is said to be around 10L/100km.
Visually there’s not much to distinguish the Tank 300 from its non-electrified 167kW/385Nm 2.0-litre turbo sibling.
Although the Tank 300 has yet to be officially confirmed, the GWM Tank brand is set to debut locally in 2023 alongside the GWM Ora electric vehicle marque.
With the Tank 500 already a year old, GWM officially unveiled a plug-in hybrid version of its rugged off-roader.
The Tank 500 PHEV pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with an electric motor built into its nine-speed automatic transmission. Together the two systems produce 300kW and 750Nm.
GWM claims the plug-in hybrid can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.6 seconds. According to the WLTC test cycle, the Tank 500 PHEV drinks at 4.4L/100km.
There’s no word yet on how many kilometres of emissions-free driving the 19.94kWh battery is capable of delivering, though.
This is the production version of the T-X concept that was unveiled at the beginning of the year.
For those unfamiliar, Jetour is one of two premium crossover and SUV brands from Chery. Up until now Jetour has sold a selection of fairly generic-looking crossovers.
The T-1 has a distinctive square design that’s heavy on off-road styling elements, including blacked-out bumpers, a tailgate-mounted spare wheel carrier, prominent tow hooks, and dark wheel arch protectors.
Stylistically the T-1 pays homage to the Ford Bronco up front, and the Land Rover Defender elsewhere.
The T-1 will be available in both five- and seven-seat formats, measuring 4.8m and 4.95m, respectively. When it goes on sale next year, it will be offered with either a 1.6- or 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, or as a hybrid.
In China the T-1 will probably look to entice people considering GWM’s Tank 300.
Chery is coming back to Australia, and it will be bringing the Tiggo 7 Pro crossover to our fair shores.
At the Chengdu motor show, the automaker unveiled an updated version of the Tiggo 7 Plus with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
According to Forma Car, the PHEV model uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine hooked up to an electric motor built into a three-speed transmission driving the front wheels. Total outputs are said to be 240kW and 510Nm.
That’s quite a big step up from the 108kW/210Nm 1.5-litre turbo used in the Tiggo 7 Pro.
The updated Tiggo 7 Plus also sports redesigned headlights and a new waterfall grille, as well as revised bumpers and other minor styling changes.
Intriguingly, the Tiggo 7 Plus PHEV has charging ports on the front left and right rear fenders, allowing drivers to more easily plug their car in.
Buick’s long-used waterfall grille and soft rounded shapes have been junked as part of a brand overhaul unveiled in June.
The Envista is the first production vehicle to sport the company’s revised tri-shield logo, and a new design language with sharper creases, pronounced edges, and a single large lower air intake.
Based on the Electra-X concept, the new Envista is a 4.6m long crossover with a 135kW 1.5-litre turbocharged engine mated to a continuously variable transmission.
It’s definitely an attempt to step away from the brand’s “old man” image, but is it enough lift the brand significantly beyond its current sales mark of around 180,000 cars per year in the US, and 816,000 in China?