Citroen leads the scramble for China as it unveils its Shanghai surprise
Published 20/04/2011 | 05:00
It is a real sign of the current global motoring reality that the Shanghai Motor Show is dominating the headlines.
It is hardly any wonder, considering the massive size of the Chinese market and the number of carmakers who are now ploughing so many models, so much time and so much money into gaining a slice of the action.
Most of the big names are there in one shape or another, some with models making their world debuts.
Among the more eye-catching was Citroen's third model in its DS line, the DS5. This is the marque's first to have its HYbrid4 diesel hybrid technology. The system produces 200bhp, four-wheel drive and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
Decor is smart and upmarket, with materials such as fine-grain Club leather and 'watchstrap' seat upholstery. Volkswagen also took the wraps off its new Beetle just on the eve of the show. The new car, which goes on sale early next year, continues with the retro-styling of the previous one, which was discontinued in 2010 after selling more than a million during its 12-year run.
Volkswagen say this is closer in design to the original Beetle and Ragster concept model, first shown in 2005, as it is 152mm longer, 84mm wider and 12mm lower. It also has a longer wheelbase and wider track, front and rear.
A few elements, such as the glovebox and colour accent panels, hark back to the original. There will be three level of trim: Beetle, Design and Sport, as well as options such as satnav, panoramic sunroof and LED daytime running lights. The boot goes up from 209 to 310 litres.
Expect a choice of four engines: 1.2-litre, 1.4-litre and 2-litre petrols and a 'Bluemotion'-branded 1.6-litre diesel which has a claimed 112g/km. Volvo is unveiling its Concept Universe large saloon. The company says there are intuitive controls and a touch-screen that approaches your hand when you reach towards it.
The new design will later be shown in both Europe and the US.
Kia unveiled its Chinese version of the new Rio -- a sign of how important that market is now. The K2 was designed and engineered specifically for the Chinese market and will be sold as a premium small car.