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Preview: 2016 Beijing Motor Show

Preview: 2016 Beijing Motor Show
Sagar Bhanushali Sagar Bhanushali Wednesday 20 April 2016, 17:11 PM

As international motor shows go, the one in Beijing doesn’t quite follow the norm. Yes, you have a broad spectrum of fresh metal to look at though you’ve to remember that most of it is either weirdly brilliant or blatantly copied (from local brands, that is).

Nevertheless, the 2016 Beijing Motor Show will display several new significant vehicles from brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes and Audi. Here are all the big debuts you need to look forward to.

Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche has already unleashed the 718 Boxster and now it’s time for the hardtop sibling, the Cayman. The 718 Cayman hasn’t been confirmed for debut at Beijing yet though. If shown, expect to see the new range of turbocharged flat-four engines to find their way into the 718 Cayman.

The 718 Cayman is likely to get a 2-litre flat-four and 2.5-litre flat-four engine options with 298bhp and 345bhp respectively. In case you feel you would miss the distinct burble of the flat-six engines, be rest assured that the 718 Cayman with the downsized yet more potent flat-four engines will be just as fun to drive, if not more.


Porsche Macan lookalike Zotye SR8

This one’s from the weird and whacky section.

One of the most anticipated debuts at this year’s Beijing Motor Show is the very controversial Zotye SR8. Now the Chinese are known for blatantly copying car designs, however, the Zotye SR8 takes the term rip-off to another level. Looking awfully similar to the Porsche Macan, the SR8 is a near-identical clone and is more than likely to be mistaken as a Porsche, especially from a distance.

Unlike the Macan which gets supremely sophisticated electronics and a powerful range of V6 engines, Zotye’s version houses a 2-litre 190bhp turbocharged engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Jaguar XF L

Long wheelbase versions of the regular cars are in huge demand among luxury car buyers in China. Keeping that in mind, Jaguar has developed the XF L specifically for China. This Beijing-bound model will have the same engine and underpinnings as the standard XF but will be 100mm longer. This entire figure will go into extending the wheelbase and consequently adding more space to the rear of the car.

The XF L will be the third locally assembled JLR model in China, after the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. The former is underpinned by the same aluminium-intensive platform found in the F-Pace and XE.

Audi TT RS

Audi is not hanging around with just the regular TT; it's already prepared the hotter TT RS – a car that’s been caught hooning around in heavy camouflage several times up until now. We understand it will get the familiar 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged engine tuned to develop up to 380bhp, making for one very rapid TT.

Audi’s previous fast TT came with a fixed rear wing, RS-style twin oval exhausts pipes and some pretty strong performance figures. This new one, then, will only be quicker and better looking.

Volkswagen Phideon

Earlier shown at the Geneva Motor Show, the Phideon is Volkswagen’s flagship sedan offering made specifically for China. It will be positioned above the Passat when launched in the country later this year.

The Phideon, which will eventually replace the ageing Phaeton in China, has been developed in conjunction with VW’s Chinese partner, SAIC Volkswagen. It looks rather understated and yet leaves a good impression thanks to its clean design and a proportionate silhouette. Underneath, the top-spec Phideon 3.0 TSI will feature four-wheel drive and a 3-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine that produces 300bhp of power and 440Nm of torque.

Renault Maxthon SUV

More than anything else, Renault is known for making small fast hatchbacks but in recent years, the French carmaker has been seen experimenting with several different body styles. Having earned credits in the entry-level luxury sedan and crossover segments, Renault is now stepping into the full-size SUV space with the Maxthon.

The Maxthon is squarely aimed at the Chinese market but there are chances of it being offered in Europe as well.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class long wheelbase

Jaguar isn’t the only luxury carmaker to unveil a long wheelbase model in Beijing. As a matter of fact, Mercedes-Benz has also prepared a stretched version of its E-Class that’s due to be sold in China. Compared to the regular E-Class, this long wheelbase version is 140mm longer meaning it will have an overall length of well over 5m. Naturally, the rear seat comfort will be noticeably better – something that’s on high priority among luxury car buyers in China.


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