Talk about an eventful motor show!
Shanghai brought everything from electric utes to electric convertibles to electric city cars… We’re sensing a theme here.
Though it has certainly been an electric-centric show, there were some interesting combustion-powered vehicles revealed too.
Below are just a few of the dizzying array of new electric and combustion vehicle reveals from Shanghai.
BYD has revealed the smallest member of its Ocean series, the Seagull, an electric city car that starts at just 78,800 RMB (A$17,064).
The company’s local distributor has said the Seagull isn’t on its radar, though we imagine buyers here would be all over this like a seagull on chips – if the price was right.
Measuring 3780mm long, 1715mm wide and 1540mm tall on a 2500mm wheelbase, this five-door hatchback has a choice of 30kWh and 38kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries.
Claimed range figures on the more lenient CLTC cycle are 305km and 405km, respectively, with 6.6kW AC charging and DC charging of between 30kW and 40kW.
All Seagull models feature a single electric motor with 55kW/135Nm of power, with a top speed of 130km/h. They feature McPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension.
Inside, you’ll find a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a rotating 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Lower-spec models don’t offer active safety and driver assist features like autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning, though these are available higher up in the range.
Chinese automakers often have a sense of whimsy eluding automakers from most countries except Japan – case in point, the Ora Ballet Cat or this, the Geely Panda Mini Little Yellow Duck Limited Edition.
It’s based on the Panda Mini released last year. This is an electric micro car measuring just over 3m long and offering a choice of 9.61kWh and 17.03kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries and 20kW/85Nm and 30kW/110Nm electric motors. Claimed range is 200km, albeit on the lenient CLTC standard.
Cheery cartoon ducks adorn not only the exterior, but also the dashboard which is finished in bright yellow. The cabin features a slender digital instrument cluster and a large, tablet-style touchscreen, while a panoramic glass roof bathes the tiny cabin in natural light. There are four seats in total.
Boxy-looking off-roaders are all the rage in China at the moment, from BYD’s Yangwang U8 to Chery’s Jetour Traveller to GWM’s range of Tanks.
Now, Chery has revealed a new, youth-oriented electric brand called iCar – we hope Apple wasn’t planning on using that name – and its first vehicle will be, you guessed it, a boxy SUV.
Details are scarce at the moment, though it measures just 4200mm long, 1800mm wide but 1700mm tall. It rides a 2700mm wheelbase. Those dimensions put it between a Volkswagen T-Cross and a Mitsubishi ASX in size. Chery didn’t reveal the interior, with the windows blacked out on the vehicle on display at the show.
In addition to revealing the 03, the company showcased the iCar GT, a two-door coupe with scissor doors and a shapely body.
It features gracefully curved haunches and dramatic T-shaped tail lights, while inside there’s a minimalist cabin with a steering yoke that looks more like a Star Wars tie fighter, plus dramatic ambient lighting.
Again, details on this model were scarce. Chery has confirmed it will release five additional iCar models after the 03, and will be the first automaker to use sodium-ion batteries sourced from CATL.
Ford has been developing numerous products with the Chinese market in mind, including the latest Mondeo/Taurus, the Evos and Edge L as well as the Lincoln Z, but until now none of them have made the trek to the Blue Oval’s home market.
That changes with the Lincoln Nautilus. It will become the first vehicle the Ford Motor Company will export from China to the US, and replaces the current model which started life in 2015 as the MKX.
While the MKZ-replacing Z sedan remains a Chinese exclusive, the Nautilus will go on sale in the US in early 2024.
It boasts sleeker styling than the old Nautilus and the related Ford Edge L, and looks like a slightly shrunken version of the Ford Explorer-derived Aviator. Measuring 4908mm long and 1952mm wide on a 2900mm wheelbase, it’s roughly the same size as a Lexus RX.
Powertrains consist of a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 186kW and 373Nm, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, and a 2.0-litre turbo hybrid four with 231kW mated with a continuously variable transmission.
As has become incredibly fashionable in China, the Nautilus features screens that run the length of the dashboard with customisable displays. Unlike the Z sedan, however, this assembly is set out of the reach of front-seat occupants and instead there’s a more conventional infotainment touchscreen situated closer to the driver.
Lincoln Rejuvenate provides “curated sensory experiences” tied to lighting, screen visuals, personal preferences such as the seating position, and even a choice of three scents, which are distributed from cartridges located in the centre console.
Other available technology includes Lincoln BlueCruise 1.2 which supports hands-free driving on selected highways, standard LED or optional H2 Pixel headlights, adaptive suspension, a 28-speaker Revel Ultima 3D sound system and 24-way power front seats.
Lincoln loves its interior themes, and the Nautilus offers a range of them: Black Onyx and Medium Light Space Grey; the two-tone Smoked Truffle; Black Onyx and Allura Blue; a ritzy Black Label theme called Chalet; and a new Black Label theme called Redwood.
A Jet Appearance Package, which includes copper interior details and high gloss-black 22-inch wheels, is also available.
It won’t be the first Chinese-built vehicle an American brand has sold in its home market. GM beat Ford to the punch with the Buick Envision crossover and the plug-in hybrid version of its Cadillac CT6, which is now a Chinese-exclusive model.
Relative upstart Hozon Auto, an electric vehicle manufacturer founded in 2014, appeared to try and steal MG’s thunder with its Neta GT Speedster.
Unlike the MG Cyberster, which also made its debut at the show, the Speedster features a second row of seats. Other than the limited-run Mini Cooper SE Convertible, drop-top versions of the Fiat and Abarth 500e and the upcoming Maserati GranCabrio Folgore, there are no other electric convertible passenger cars with rear seats.
It’s based on the previously revealed Neta GT coupe, and though specifications haven’t been announced, the brand did release some for the coupe which, at 4715mm long, is slightly smaller than a BMW 4 Series.
The coupe will offer 170kW single-motor rear-wheel drive and 340kW dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains, as well as a choice of 64.24kWh, 74.48kWh and 77.9kWh batteries. CLTC range is up to 660km.
The brand has a focus on China as it’s owned 50:50 by Chinese automaker Geely and original owner Mercedes-Benz. To that end, both new Smart models use Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA).
The #3 features McPherson strut front and five-link independent rear suspension, and dual-motor all-wheel drive is standard
Total outputs are 315kW and 543Nm, while the Brabus model can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 3.6 seconds in launch mode.
Inside, there’s a 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10-inch head-up display, and a 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The latter sits ahead of a bridge-like centre console with a storage cavity underneath.
A 1.6m3 panoramic glass roof brings plenty of light into the cabin, while the frameless windows help with the coupe SUV look Smart designers were going for.
As the article started with a BYD product, let’s end with one – though the Yangwang U8 couldn’t be any more different from the cheap and cheerful BYD Seagull.
The brand used the Shanghai show to fully detail the U8, revealing its luxurious interior. It uses a 12.8-inch curved touchscreen, flanked by two 23.6-inch screens. A 70-inch augmented reality head-up display sits ahead of the driver, while dual 12.8-inch screens sit ahead of the second row occupants.
The cabin features two rows of seating and is swathed in Nappa leather upholstery, while a panoramic glass roof features a customisable illumination pattern and 127-colour ambient lighting glows from the dash and doors.
Front and rear seats feature heating, ventilation and massage, while there’s also an active fragrance system and four-zone climate control. There’s a full range of active safety and driver assist features too, powered in part by a roof-mounted LiDAR unit.
The U8 is a big beast, measuring 5319mm long, 2050mm wide and 1930mm tall on a 3050mm wheelbase. That means it casts a shadow over a Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, while its pricing does too: it opens at 1.096 million RMB, or A$237,851.
The U8’s new E4 platform supports electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and it’s launching first with a range-extender powertrain featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated with a large 49.05kWh battery and four 220kW/320Nm electric motors.
The claimed 0-100km/h time is 3.6 seconds.
A more off-road oriented version will follow soon, bumping wading depth from 1000mm to 1400mm and adding features like a satellite telephone, two extra off-road modes
You can also read about other Shanghai reveals here: