There were no Lotuses on display at Beijing, but the company had a presence nonetheless, both on the stand of its owners Proton, its engineering skills boldly linked to the Malaysian range, and rather more unexpectedly on the sprawling Chery stand, where a Norfolk-registered saloon with an out-of-date UK tax disc was to be found proudly mounted on a plinth.
AU59 AUH is a Riich G5 2.0T, just one of a heap of the innocuous, mid-size four-door saloons that are this market’s favourite wheels, Riich being one of Chery’s brands.
What made this G5 unusual, apart from its UK registration, is the gutting of much of its interior, the installation of both a roll-cage and for 8 minutes and 56.81 seconds of its sometimes turbulent life Lotus test drive Matt Becker, who recorded a particularly neat lap of the ‘Ring with it.
How do we know it was him? Because there was an image of a gimlet-eyed, helmeted face looking suspiciously like Becker’s to accompany the in-car video of his hot Riich lap (although if Gavan Kershaw tells us it was him we won't argue).
The G5’s presumably sharpened handling should be just the job for dodging errant lane-changers on China’s frenetic six-laners.