The premiere auto show in the world’s largest automotive market took place this past weekend. Many major automakers launched all-new products, many of them are critical for their continued success in China. From concepts to production-ready vehicles, the name of the game appeared to be resurrecting iconic names, perhaps as to breathe new life into them.
Here are the highlights:
Mercedes Benz Concept GLA: In the ultra-competitive luxury compact crossover market, the German automaker has come out with all guns blazing. While mechanically speaking, it did not break any new ground, it’s the technology that brought it to the forefront. More specifically, the headlights with laser-beam projectors that can display pictures and films from either a smartphone, the internal hard drive, or streamed directly from the internet.
Maserati Ghibli: A classic name returns in Maser’s projected volume saloon, aimed at such mid-sized stalwarts as the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes Benz E-Klasse, and the Jaguar XF. Motivation will come in both turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Also available is the Maserati Active Sound system, which uses sound actuators to tailour the engine notes, and then modulates them according to the way the vehicle is being driven.
Ford Escort Concept: Taking a page from the failures of Toyota in the smaller car arena, Ford launched a near-production ready concept with a name that will resonate with many previous Ford owners. Although the design mimics the current design theme, it has been restrained into a more conservative approach to appease the ever-changing Chinese buying public. This could be one of the promised 15 vehicles that will be introduced in China by 2015.
Lexus 300h: Although Toyota has had a tumultuous time in China, their luxury automaker will attempt to enter the fiercely competitive fleet and business premium executive saloon market with their rear-wheel drive hybrid version. It will come with an 2.5 inline-four cylinder engine, coupled with their latest iteration of the longstanding hybrid motor. No word yet if there will be an extended wheelbase version, essential to being successful in the Chinese market.
Buick Riviera: Yet another iconic nameplate has been resurrected from the surprise breakout brand from the General. From a design language that will set the theme for future Buicks, to luxury interior touches that will take them to the proverbial next level, to the latest 4G LTE infortainment technology that will allow the vehicle to communicate with others, perhaps to swap Pandora radio stations and Instagram pictures.
Source: Car Fanatics