Let’s start with the Germans. Audi picked the Shanghai show to reveal its e-tron Sportback, a sporty SUV with an all-electric drivetrain, good for over 300 miles.
Volkswagen is still working to put dieselgate behind it. The latest in its all-electric ID range is the ID Crozz concept, a cross between a coupe and an SUV. VW’s electrics are due to enter production in 2020.
Skoda used to be the butt of European car jokes (What do you call a Skoda with twin exhausts? A wheelbarrow.) but now the Czech brand, owned by VW, is jumping on board the electric SUV train with the handsome Vision E concept. Of course this vision of the future is also autonomous.
Mercedes is keeping it real in Shanghai. The facelifted S-Class is no concept. It does come with conceptual sounding additions like individual ‘wellness setups’ to configure massaging seats and personal fragrances.
China loves electrics, and Chinese car buyers love Buick, so it makes sense for GM to rebrand the Chevrolet Volt. It’s now the Buick Velite for that market, with a new front end.
If the Buick Velite isn’t concept-y enough for you, try the Chevrolet FNR-X. It’s an “all-purpose sports vehicle,” with a plug-in powertrain, and no further details.
French manufacturers are using the Shanghai show for world debuts too. This is the Citroen C5 Aircross, a midsized SUV crossover. It’ll launch in China first at the end of 2017, and not hit Europe until the end of 2018.
Renault is using its Fomula 1 heritage to show a vision of its future. The Renault 2027 Vision is a look at how F1 cars could evolve. In 10 years time the manufacturer sees drivers in see-through helmets, and LED lightshows in wheels and wings.
Chinese manufacturers have a strong presence at the Shanghai show, as you would expect. The Chery Tiggo concept is another coupe SUV crossover, with a steering wheel that doubles as a games controller when the car’s in autonomous mode.
The Nio EP9 is an supercar that set the record for an electric around the Nurburgring. Owner NextEV is using the Nio brand to launch more pedestrian cars in the US. Look out for a, yep, electric SUV.
The aggressively styled Qoros K-EV concept is going after the all-electric, high-end, super-expensive, sedan market. Designers mounted a gull-wing door on the driver’s side, and a sliding door on the passenger side.
One Chinese auto maker to watch Lynk & Co. This is the 01, a production ready, compact crossover SUV. Parent company Geely, which also owns Volvo, says this internet connected car could reach US shores in 2019 if a European rollout goes well.
Lynk & Co is already working on its next car, the 03 concept. The styling is quirky, in a French sort of way. The 03 is designed for sharing, with control of drivers through a smartphone app.