Report the Shanghai Motor Show 2013 BBC Top Gear

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BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E

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Shanghai me this year. Really, it I’ve visited Rio shanty driven into rough-arsed council estates in the back of a Land Rover, and taken a turn into gangland LA.

But in 2013 trumped them For a place that’s been as ‘the future’ by so many indexes and business soothsayers, a definite ‘end of the world’ We landed in heavy fog, and it lifted, Chicken Licken still have felt at home; even on a good it feels like the sky is falling in.

And without the rising paranoia a new bird-flu pandemic.

Yet China a statistician’s — and Western car — dream. In excess of 200 here house more one million inhabitants, while 10 contain more than 10 people each. Then the Yangtze Delta region, an the size of Germany that’s to an unbelievable 217 million people. is the main hub of this delta, and is to 23 million of them. Almost a of China’s humongous GDP is generated by bit of the country — equivalent to

This has helped fuel to the extent that there are now than one million millionaires in overall. Information like is almost impossible to absorb.

So Europe continues to flail searching for the exit door to its apocalypse, and the new Governor of the Bank of Mark Carney opened his with yet more doom-mongering, the are jumpy because annual slipped to 7.5 per cent last That sort of figure have George Osborne and IMF Christine Lagarde swinging the rafters.

It also explains why the car makers are still so entranced by the Take BMW — known as or ‘precious horse’ in Chinese. In it sold 326,444 cars Mini), a year-on-year increase of per cent. Four models are now locally — including the long wheelbase versions of the 3 and 5 — in two huge factories.

Just last month, BMW announced a deepening of its relationship its Chinese partner Brilliance; collaborating on a new electric vehicle called Zinoro. It means promises’.

BMW also recently its DesignWorks off-shoot to Shanghai, a handsome five-storey facility in the Concession, about as genuinely a quarter of this concrete as you’ll find. Here’s figure for you: 90 per cent of is software enabled or implemented, and universities are producing super IT graduates like there’s no We met a dozen of them in the Shanghai most of whom are fast-tracking proprietary ‘connected drive’

‘Chinese customers treasure relatedness,’ we were told, and the young generation don’t view cars as desirable tools, more than else on the planet they’re giant smartphones. Elsewhere, new generation are known as ‘Millennials’, and the cost of driving as well as an trend means that rather have a smartphone a car, if they had to choose. In they want both, together. China’s Facebook is Tencent, its microblogging Twitter is known as Weibo, and its music is done by a platform called QQ rather than Spotify.

All of these are being seamlessly into BMW’s cabin the media convergence we hear so about now happening on a component as well as a software one. really do want cars in Alexis Trolin, head of connected drive lab tells me, the car itself needs to stay compelling to have a future.’ China’s vast social gives its users a few hours’ before the authorities get to ‘harmonise’ its Could the seeds of another rise from someone from their Mini?

BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E

emergent Chinese automotive is as quirky as it is fast moving. layering’ is the term BMW uses to the fact that a 7 series in is just as likely to be bought by a 20 old as it is a sixtysomething captain of industry. as we already know, Chinese like a lot of space in their ‘It’s like a private to them,’ Trolin says.

The Shanghai show itself dramatic proof of how fast country is accelerating. I last in 2007, and filled my mobile with images of daft product, a series of laugh-out-loud Not this time.

Though Chinese car makers still got the hang of describing their in English — Chery’s of acronyms include HDS (Hydrodynamic the 3R Body (Ring, Resist, and SW (Smooth Way) — the themselves were often good. ZX Auto’s Urban Ark is channelling the Kia Soul but didn’t offend me (with green and stripes, anyway), BYD’s little E6 hybrid looked good, and Haval’s H2 cross-over was OK. I was mesmerised by the £1m, six metre-long L7; Hongqi means ‘Red the limo long favoured by party officials who now prefer lwd A6s. Personally, I’d one of these.

In fact, I’d like one here, just for the hell of it. If I was and stupid.


There were of great concepts, too; Horki-1 saloon previews its new sub-brand. and Geely’s KC looked toothy grille apart. As the work of former Volvo and design boss, our very own Horbury, and uses the S80 platform, we shouldn’t be too surprised. Then was the Icona Vulcano, an F12/Corvette-aping supercar with a 950bhp 6.0-litre V12 powertrain developed by ex-Lancia, ex-Aprilia engineering Claudio Lombardi.

God knows if ever see the light of the day, but its in the Shanghai sun was memorable enough, and proof that this is now a firmly Tier One world

As to where the Chinese will be in five or six years, well I bet on them being at least with Europe’s best, if not in the seat. Assuming, of course, they get their colossal problems under control, and the sky actually fall in.

BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E
BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E
BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E
BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E
BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E
BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E

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