Currently reading: Shanghai motor show 2019: best of the Chinese cars
All the upcoming new models from the domestic firms of the world’s largest car market revealed
4 mins read
16 April 2019

It will come as no surprise that China’s car manufacturers used the 2019 edition of the country’s fastest-growing motor show to debut a range of new models.

There was a slew of new metal in Shanghai, in both concept and production form. And with home-grown companies now turning their attention to foreign markets, these arrivals are becoming increasingly relevant to the wider world.

Below, we’ve selected some of the models that could be arriving in Europe very soon.

Hongqi HS7: the BMW-beating grille

Think the new BMW X7's grille is imposing? That of the Hongqi HS7 gives it a run for its money. Chinese buyers like strong, aggressive and chrome-laden front ends on their cars, and BMW's latest design strategy starts to make sense when you see what the Chinese brands' cars look like. After all, this is by far the world's biggest new car market, so companies are going to develop products to suit it.

Ora R1: £7000 EV, anyone?

There’s more than a passing resemblance to the Smart Forfour – mixed with a dash of Honda E – in the Ora R1. The dinky city car is also one of the world's cheapest EVs, with prices starting from less than £7000 once Chinese government subsidies are taken into account. It can reportedly travel up to 200 miles on a single charge, although we'll take that claim with a pinch of salt.

The next Leap

Leap announced itself back in 2017 with a small electric sports coupé that looks a bit like a cross between the Subaru BRZ and Volkswagen XL1. Now it has revealed a new concept car in Shanghai called the C-More, which is on trend with rear-hinged doors and an electric powertrain. Production is tipped for 2020. Leap is one of several well funded start-up Chinese car makers and recently launched a bid to raise another $372m (£284.3m) in funding.


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Aiways U5

The Aiways U5 is a new electric SUV that will be launched in Europe next year. It will be offered on a lease-only basis at an expected cost of less than £345 per month. It’s Volkswagen Tiguan-sized and features a 65kWh battery pack that's good for a range of 312 miles on the NEDC cycle. It can be engineered for right-hand drive, and although no decision has yet been taken, Aiways overseas boss Alexander Klose says there has been strong interest from the UK.

Land Wind's new look

The brand infamous in the West for releasing a near-copy of the original Range Rover Evoque, Land Wind seems to be changing its ways for 2019 after Chinese courts found in favour of Jaguar Land Rover and ordered sales of the original X7 halted. The new-look model is of a bespoke design, so it shouldn't fall foul of any copyright claims.

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Xpeng P7

Fledgling EV brand Xpeng is chasing the Tesla Model 3 with its new P7 compact saloon. Its long wheelbase, short front overhang, frameless doors and pop-out door handles all seek to directly rival the American firm's most affordable model. Xpeng claims the car will achieve 311 miles of range on China's NEDC-based tests.

Wey VV5

Great Wall's premium SUV brand, Wey, is targeting Europe with its VV5 SUV, which it hopes will take on the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz at the top end of the market. Wey has only existed for two years, but it has already managed to sell more than 250,000 cars in China. An electric version of the VV5 will likely be its halo model for a European push from 2020.

Nio previews upcoming saloon

Nürburgring record-breaking EP9 hypercar aside, electric car maker Nio has so far only released SUVs. That's set to change in 2021 with the ET saloon, which was previewed by an 80%-representative concept in Shanghai. Little is known about the underlying powertrain, but Nio has hinted at a 220kW dual-motor set-up and more than 300 miles of range.

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Singulato ic3 Urban Dream Chaser

Singulato's imaginatively named ic3 Urban Dream Chaser will be familiar to Europeans: the electric city car is based on the Toyota iQ. The two firms have signed a deal to license the design, giving the Chinese car start-up a base for its first model and the Japanese giant experience of the Chinese EV market. It will also let Toyota buy green car credits in the future, which could have a big impact on its plans for China.

Production is earmarked for the end of 2020, with a bespoke powertrain alongside existing iQ parts including the chassis, brakes, steering and suspension. There are minor design tweaks from the iQ and a new infotainment system inside. The motors and battery pack are being designed by Singulato; an NEDC range of around 186 miles is predicted.

Grove Granite

Grove, a new company that made its debut at the Shanghai show, is aiming to become the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-only car manufacturer. Its first model, the Granite, was styled by Pininfarina, and its Obsidian SUV will expand the range in 2020. Grove claims its cars will manage upwards of 600 miles of range, aided by regenerative braking. It has global ambitions, having secured an agreement to expand to Australia and New Zealand, but it's too early to talk about a European launch.

Preface to Geely's future

The Preface is a sign of things to come from China’s largest car manufacturer, Geely. The work of a team led by industry veteran Peter Horbury, the more upmarket saloon concept hints at sportier styling and more refined interiors for forthcoming Geely production models. We hope the coach-style doors make it through to the final product too.


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