The Renault RS 2027 Vision concept is the French brand’s prediction of what motorsport’s top category racers could look like in 10 years' time
Nio is backed by the same group behind the NextEV Formula E team; its expertise helped to create the EP9 supercar
The BYD Dynasty; an electric vehicle from the Chinese brand, has been revealed in prototype form
The MG ZS SUV will reach the UK with a different name
The Mercedes Concept A Saloon is likely to spawn an AMG fettled variant
This G-Wagen copycat is actually a BJ80 PHEV
It wasn't just cars on show in Shanghai
The revised Mercedes-Benz S-Class introduces a new range of in-line six-cylinder engines
The Jeep Yuntu concept is a China-only SUV that will sit below the Grand Cherokee
Denza is a cheap Mercedes-Benz subsidiary of Daimler based in China
The Chery Tiggo concept has a steering wheel that lets you play video games while the car drives itself
We've already seen the Qiantu K50 in Beijing, but it's still a pretty thing
You don't want to kerb these
There was a whole range of entertainment at various manufacturers' stands
Security was pretty tight in Shanghai...
McLaren is looking to increase its presence in China, and it was showing off the 570GT in Shanghai
The electric Nio EP9 took just 8sec longer than a Porsche 918 Spyder to lap the Nurburgring
This driverless concept from Nio could become a reality by 2020
This seven-seat electric SUV from Nio could go on sale in China next year
Developed with Koenisegg, this four-door Qoros Super EV model has a reported 0-62mph time of 3.0sec
The K-EV gets a claimed range of around 310 miles, but there's no word yet on whether it'll make production
Think it's a Porsche Macan? Think again. It's a copycat effort from Zotje
Futuristic concepts abound in Shanghai
Shanghai also plays host to a number of Chinese-made cars - like this, the Wey Pi4 VV7X
And this, the Wey VV7S
The Lexus NX facelift brings with it some styling tweaks and a big suspension update
The electric Audi e-tron Sportback previews a car that will take the fight to Jaguar in 2019
The e-tron Sportback gets 496bhp and two motors that power the rear wheels and one that power the fronts
The ID Crozz features autonomous technology and could be produced from 2020
Volkswagen's latest electric concept is the ID Crozz SUV - it joins the ID hatchback and ID Buzz microbus
Former Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz is at the Shanghai show
This is an SUV from Lynk&Co - a company owned by Geely, which owns Volvo
The MG stand has a Union Jack-inspired colour scheme, and will be a big hit with Liverpool fans
The Range Rover Velar is making its Chinese debut with the Jaguar I-Pace and Land Rover Discovery
Borgward - now Chinese owned - has shown off its BX5 SUV
The Borgward stand in Shanghai celebrates the old and the new
Long wheelbase variants are hugely popular in China, so it's no surprise to see a LWB 5 Series
The Mini Countryman is on show in a number of guises, including this hot John Cooper Works model
Do not adjust your screen - this is a Range Rover Evoque copycat in all its Landwind glory
The Skoda Vision E might be taking the VW Group limelight in Shanghai, but Volkswagen still has a busy stand
There's a 5 Series LWB in Shanghai, and there's also a Jaguar XFL - an extended XF just for China
Mercedes' saloon variant of the A-Class has hit the show floor at Shanghai, providing a rival to the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 saloons
The MG E-Motion electric supercar concept takes the company back to its sports car roots
Volkswagen is showing an SUV variant on its ID all-electric concept theme, following the ID hatch and ID Buzz Microbus
Mercedes' biggest saloon has been facelifted. It brings new tech, refreshed styling and a high level of autonomous functionality.
The BMW M4 CS is a hardened version of the super-coupe
Citroën's Nissan Qashqai-rivalling C5 Aircross is on show
Skoda's Vision E concept previews a 300bhp all-electric crossover that's due to go on sale in 2020
The Shanghai motor show is one of the biggest dates in the motoring calendar, and attracts domestic and international marques alike.
Lexus's facelifted NX will add new tech and interior functionality to the BMW X3 rival, as well as a refreshed exterior.
Geely's new Lynk&Co brand has showcased its first car - the 01. It's claimed to be “the most connected car to date”
VLF's Force 1 Roadster already has impressive stats; 210mph, a sub-3.0sec 0-62mph time and an 8.4-litre, 745bhp Dodge Viper-sourced V10.
The Shanghai motor show is disorientating from several perspectives. Apart from the obvious travel-related challenges, grappling with the size and diversity of China’s new car market is a different scale altogether.
The last time I was in China, about ten years ago, these local manufacturers were well below Western standards in terms of design and interior quality.
But as I’d heard numerous times from industry sources, the standard of Chinese local manufacturers has risen exponentially.
A quick walkaround tour of the show revealed interiors with interesting grains, close stitching and neatly proportioned switchgear. There is still huge room for improvement, though: for example, hard interior plastics remain the rule rather than the exception and some engineering foul-ups are still in evidence.
But the significant point is that Chinese homegrown car makers are catching up with the Western ones at a rate of knots.
Recruitment of high-profile design talent such as Geely’s Peter Horbury and Tomas Ingenlath, are well-known but European consultants including Pininfarina and Alfredo Stola are behind others.
There is still plenty of room in this huge market, however, for both domestic and import brands. New car sales in China topped 25 million last year, and despite a momentary lull are expected to climb further.
Just over half those sales are saloons, with the balance of SUVs expected to grow.
Sales of large saloons are still dominated by the chauffeur market, to the degree that Volvo only sells a long-wheelbase S90 saloon in China, which means it doesn’t need a ‘L’ badge that’s applied ubiquitously to rivals' LWB models.
“[Geely] Chairman Li Shufu was adamant that we wouldn’t put an L on the trunk,’ said Volvo design chief Ingenlath.
But there’s a good reason why manufacturers like Geely, Haval and Jinbao had show stands festooned with small, medium and large SUVs – Chinese family drivers are flocking to such models, attracted by their practicality, suitability for pockmarked roads and styling/image.
They’re affordable, too, for China’s growing middle class with increasing disposable income. A C-segment Jianling SUV with crisp styling and an attractive interior costs the equivalent of £16,000, which is at least £10,000 cheaper than a similar small SUV in the UK.
The Jianling has a fake-leather wrapped dashboard, chrome-trimmed switchgear and door cards that combine at least four finishes, including faux-carbonfibre. Bargain-basement it is not.
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess reckons that at least 30 new SUVs have been launched in the past 18 months to feed this frenzy, and more are on the way.
But Western brands are catching up. The Citroën C3-XR, a China-only soft-roader, is recording 10% growth year-on-year, and a C3 Picasso is due shortly.
Citroën launched the C5 Aircross in China to boost its sales back towards the 2% market share it once enjoyed – that’s about 500,000 cars. ‘We are working hard to recover back. More SUV models are a big part of it, but so is a reorganisation of our dealer network,’ said Citroën boss Linda Jackson.
Skoda is pushing hard in China, the brand's biggest market, with plans to double sales to 600,000 units by 2020, boosted by new hybrid and battery electric models.
“The drive in China for EVs is stronger than in Europe, for a couple of reasons, and we are both pushing for cleaner air and lower emissions,’ said Skoda boss Bernhard Maier.
China is touted as the world’s biggest market for electric cars, although apart from a handful of Tesla Model Ss, they aren’t easy to spot on the roads of Shanghai.
China seems to like British cars – all the Union Jack premium brands had stands at Shanghai. But the cutest display was reserved for a café in the show area: Blue Car @ Mini is a large space decorated mostly with a range of right-hand-drive Mini classic models, sparkled up with a range of soft-toy bulldogs.
There are still knock-off designs on sale in China, most notably Landwind’s outrageous photocopy of the Range Rover Evoque. But elsewhere, there’s evidence of the uninhibited creativity that flows from confidence and optimism.
How the motor show unfolded:
Shanghai motor show 2017 – the cars
Audi E-tron Sportback
Audi's new electric concept shows a rival to the forthcoming Jaguar I-Pace. The E-tron Sportback gets 496bhp and a production version will follow in 2019.
BMW’s harder version of the M4 takes the brand’s legendary CS badge. Originally planned for the Spanish market alone, the hardened M4 (or softened M4 GTS) will be offered in further markets following its Shanghai appearance.
Read more: The most exciting new cars due in 2017
BMW 5 Series Li
The wheelbase of the new 5 Series has been stretched by 133mm to create the China-only 5 Series Li, taking the overall length to 5069mm, which is just 29mm shy of the length of the standard-wheelbase BMW 7 Series.
BYD Dynasty electric prototype
The Chinese brand is showing off an electric prototype in Shanghai, following its Song EV300 and Song DM electric and plug-in hybrid models.
Lexus NX facelift
Lexus' rival to the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC is getting a mid-life refresh, which we'll first see at the Shanghai motor show. Lexus isn't giving much away, but promises interior tech and convenience features in addition to the exterior tweaks.
The inaugural car from Geely's new Lynk&Co brand, the 01 SUV, will be the “most connected car to date” and is based on the underpinnings of its as-yet-unborn cousin, the Volvo XC40. It’ll be followed by 02 and 03 models, but will kickstart what Geely hopes will be a prolific brand for a new generation of car owners.
The British supercar manufacturer will start to increase its presence in the Chinese market with these two models, following a promising sales boost in the country last year.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon
Mercedes-Benz doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to new market niches, and it’s hot on the heels of the Audi A3 Saloon with the A-Class Saloon in Shanghai. It's not a production version, more a near production-ready concept, but the final version shouldn’t stray too far from it when it arrives in 2019.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift
Mercedes-Benz's facelifted biggest saloon is the most autonomous car the brand has produced yet. It gets a refreshed exterior, new interior and technology updates, and we've already taken a ride in one.
MG E-Motion concept
The MG E-Motion supercar concept takes the company back to its sports car roots, albeit with an electric powertrain, with a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec and a range of more than 310 miles.
This Nissan Juke-rivalling SUV from MG will get a different name when it reaches the UK, but in Shanghai it's being shown as the ZS.
Mini's first electrified model goes on sale in June, after being revealed in Shanghai. No word on pricing has yet been released, but expect it to carry a premium over the standard Countryman. The PHEV's powertrain provides an electric-only range of up to 30 miles.
Nio ES8 electric SUV
The French brand has predicted what the Formula 1 racer of tomorrow will look and perform like with this concept, which includes connected and autonomous technology.
The new Skoda Vision E concept is a concept precursor to the Czech brand’s first electric vehicle. It’ll go on sale around the end of the decade, following the launch of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the Superb hatchback.
We’ve seen the £215,500 VLF Force 1 coupé, and Shanghai we saw the roadster version for the first time. It’ll be priced significantly above its fixed-roof sibling, although no details have yet been released.
Read more: 218mph Force 1 supercar revealed
Volkswagen I.D Crozz
Volkswagen’s I.D electric vehicle range grows again, with what, given the current market climate, could prove to be its best-seller. The I.D Crozz SUV follows the I.D hatchback and I.D Buzz concepts, which all use the Volkswagen Group's new MEB electric vehicle (EV) platform.