Our First Full Look at the China-Bound Jeep Grand Commander: Video
Jeep might be as American as apple pie and baseball, but its newest model is headed right for China. It’s called the Grand Commander, and it won’t be found outside China’s borders. Based on a lengthened version of Fiat Chrysler’s CUSW platform that also underpins the Jeep Cherokee, the new Grand Commander will accommodate seven people over three rows.
Jeep is already taking orders for the new SUV despite it not being officially debuted. That is expected to happen at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show in April before it arrives in showrooms shortly after.
Continue reading for more information.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
The mid-engined Porsche Cayman was launched in 2005. Essentially a coupe version of the Boxster, the Cayman has become increasingly popular with customers as a more affordable and balanced proposition to the range-topping 911. The first-generation coupe came with 2.7-, 2.9-, and 3.4-liter, flat-six engines with as many as 321 ponies and 273 pound-feet of torque. A facelifted Cayman was introduced in early 2009, while the redesigned model arrived in showrooms in 2013, this time powered by 275-, 325- and 340-horsepower engines. As we’re moving closer to the 2017 model year, the Germans are preparing a mid-cycle refresh for the still-new Cayman.
As with most Porsche facelifts, the Cayman was originally expected to receive minor exterior and interior changes, as well as a mild output increase. However, the unveiling of the revised Boxster made it clear that the Cayman was in for a more comprehensive update.
Aside from the usual upgrades inside and out, Stuttgart’s entry-level sports car also received a pair of brand-new engines and a name that harkens back to one of the company’s most iconic race cars. Specifically, the Cayman dropped its flat-six engine in favor of turbocharged, flat-four units and will be marketed as the 718 Cayman starting in 2016.
Another premier is that the Cayman now features the same output specs as the Boxster, with the two now set apart only by their body configurations. What’s more, for the first time the Cayman is priced below the roadster, in a similar way to the 911 model. Find out more about that in our review below and have a look at the first official photos of the 718 Cayman, which was unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
Updated 06/03/2016: Porsche announced that the new 718 Cayman just had a successful production launch at the company’s plant in Stuttgart. With the production launch of the new 718 cayman, Porsche hopes to increase production numbers to a total of 240 vehicles per day by August - up from the current 220.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.
2017 Audi TT-RS
Although the third-generation Audi TT was unveiled in early 2014, it didn’t cross the pond to the U.S. until 2015, for the 2016 model year. The high-performance TT-RS will have a similar fate, even though Audi unveiled the beefed-up coupe at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. It’s been a full year since the TT-RS made its global debut and the high-performance two-door is getting ready to come to the U.S. at the 2017 New York Auto Show, meaning it will go on sale for the 2018 model year.
The TT-RS saga began in 2009, 11 years after the Audi TT’s launch and three years after the TT Mk2’s introduction. Available as both a coupe and roadster, it climbed above the TTS in the TT range. The company’s first compact RS was powered by the legendary, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produced 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of twist, and featured revised styling and a sportier interior. The TT-RS came to the U.S. in 2012, when the Plus model was launched. Fitted with an uprated version of the 2.5-liter turbo-five, the TT-RS Plus had a cool 360 ponies and 342 pound-feet on tap.
Already more powerful than a Porsche Cayman, the Plus will be replaced by an even wilder version of the TT equipped with a brand-new iteration of the 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Find out how powerful and quick it is and how it stacks up against Porsche’s relatively new 718 Cayman in the review below.
Updated 04/25/2016: Audi dropped the official details on the new TT RS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi TT-RS.
2016 Qoros Qamless Concept
There were a number of interesting vehicles at the Beijing Auto Show this year. We had the new Audi TT-RS, the Mazda CX-4, and a really interesting concept from Chery called the FV2030. However, there was one concept car that was sitting at Qoros’ stand that everyone seemed to neglect at the show. The concept is called the Qoros Qamless, and it symbolizes the work put in by Koenigsegg and Freevalve to develop a new valvetrain that doesn’t require a camshaft.
So you’re probably asking yourself “why Qoros?” Well, I have an answer for that too. It is because Qoros has partnered with Freevalve to create the first production vehicle that uses Freevalve’s new valvetrain technology. The Qamless concept is a preview of the production model that is based on the Qoros 3 SUV. Despite the fact that the concept has gotten very little coverage out of its debut at the auto show, it is a pretty big deal because the Qamless engine promises better performance, improved efficiency, and fewer emissions output while shedding the weight of a traditional engine with more than one camshaft.
Since the concept itself is pretty cool, and the engine represents the next evolutionary stage of the internal combustion engine, we are going to take a closer look at it. There is no timetable for when the Qamless engine will being making it into a Qoros production vehicle, but you can bet neither Freevalve or Qoros is going to waste any time. There is a lot to talk about, so let’s put on our muck boots and dive in.
Continue reading to learn more about the Qoros Qamless Concept.
2016 Beijing Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show
The Chinese passenger vehicle market looks primed and ready for an influx of new models, both foreign and domestic. Even as market growth shows signs of slowing, automakers are scrambling to set up shop locally and get their models out in the wild as soon as possible. That much was evident at the Beijing Auto Show this year, where marques from around the world went head-to-head to gain favor in the eyes of consumers. Most popular were SUVs, with electric vehicles and long-wheelbase luxury sedans also garnering a fair bit of attention. But amidst all the dramatic reveals, a few models in particular stood out from the crowd – for good and for ill. In this article, we’ll cover six of the best and worst from Beijing.
Included in this list, you’ll find concepts, crossovers, and sports cars, maybe even with a little controversy sprinkled on top. And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – did we nail it, or fail in epic fashion? Maybe somewhere in between? Don’t hesitate to post in the comments.
Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show in Beijing this year.
2016 Peugeot 308 Sedan
It’s been three years since Peugeot launched the second-generation 308, and the French compact has received a new body style. Following the release of the five-door hatchback and the station wagon, Peugeot is now offering a sedan version of the 308. There is a catch, however. Much like the 307 before it, the 308 sedan is not intended for global use and was developed for the Chinese market only. It replaces the first-gen 308 and joins the 408, a long-wheelbase version of the 308 hatchback.
Part of PSA Group’s "China: Blue Upper" five-year development plan, the 308 sedan was co-developed with Dongfeng, PSA’s partner in China. Not only is it radically different than the model it replaces as far as styling goes, the 308 also rides on a new platform. Whereas the dated 307 and previous 308 used the PSA PF2 underpinnings, the 308 sedan rides on the same PSA EMP2 platform that Peugeot introduced for the Euro-spec hatchback model back in 2013.
Details about the 308 sedan’s features and drivetrains are still scant of this writing, but Peugeot hopes that the new compact will help it ascend among the top 10 most sold brands in China, the world’s largest automobile market. Alongside the China-spec 3008, the 308 sedan will be Peugeot’s future core product in the Asian country and the car the French hope it will bring most new customers to the brand.
Continue reading to learn more about the Peugeot 308.
2016 Chery FV2030
Beijing has been host to a number of pretty cool cars this week, but one of the most interesting has to be Chery’s Future Vision 2030 concept car. The thing looks like a wingless spaceship with some very funky wheels and a spacious, open interior. The car has more of a coupe body style but sits considerably higher than most cars. Furthermore, it has large gullwing doors and some other intense styling cues that really stick out.
According to Chery’s press release for the FV2030, the car bear’s the “Fun” brand essence and Chery’s new design idea: “Life in Motion.” Basically, the brand is referring to the development of nature and human beings, while attempting to represent the lifestyle of “youngsters” in the future. We (obviously) can’t say if it accurately reflects the lifestyle of the younger population 14 years from now, but as a whole, the concept is pretty damn cool. It even has a “fantasy” holographic screen that can project 3D images into the cabin of the vehicle. That appeals to me, and I certainly won’t be a youngster in 2030 – just sayin’.
Anyway, with that said, let’s take a look at one of the most interesting concepts that we’ve seen in a while. It’s always fun to look at a brand’s take on the future of transportation.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chery FV2030.
2016 Citroen E-Elysee
Launched in 2013, the C-Elysee replaced the Elysee, a small family sedan produced for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng-Citroen joint venture. The second-gen model is strongly related to the Peugeot 301 and shares its PSA PF1 platform with the Citroen C3 and DS3. But, unlike its predecessor, the C-Elysee is also built outside China and sold in certain markets in Europe and North Africa. While the compact isn’t particularly popular in these markets, it enjoys significantly more success in China, where it was Citroen’s best-selling vehicle in 2015 with 90,000 units sold. As a result, the French are looking to build on the momentum and expand the C-Elysee range in the world’s largest market.
Previously available with gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines, the C-Elysee will soon go on sale with an all-electric drivetrain. The new powertrain will also bring a new name, with the electric sedan to be called the E-Elysee.
The upcoming sedan is part of Donfeng-Citroen’s ambitions to become a key player in the Chinese electric car market and joins the recently unveiled E-Mehari. But, unlike the four-seater cabriolet, the E-Elysee will offer enhanced practicality and a longer range.
Details about the E-Elysee are still scant as of his writing, but Citroen should unveil more data closer to the vehicle’s launch in 2017. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the sedan.
Continue reading to learn more about the Citroen E-Elysee.
2017 BMW X1 LWB
BMW’s recent move toward mass appeal has struck again. The German automaker has announced at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show a long wheelbase version of its all-new X1 crossover. The X1 LWB, as it’s called, grows by 3.1 inches to accommodate more rear-seat legroom – something blazingly popular in the Chinese culture. And yes, the X1 LWB is built exclusively for the Chinese and within a Chinese factory.
This compiles atop BMW’s move to redefine the X1. For the 2016 model year, the X1 was completely redesigned with a new architecture, drivetrain layout, and aesthetic design details. The crossover moves from its original rear-wheel drive, longitudinally oriented drivetrain and platform borrowed from the 1 Series sedan to the FWD platform borrowed from the 2 Series Active Tourer.
While we could harp on BMW’s decision to adopt FWD architectures all day, the automaker seems to be confident average consumers won’t (and don’t) know the difference. That will probably hold the truest in this lengthened crossover built for comfort rather than spirited driving. Wealthy Chinese drivers, after all, are smitten with the living room-like qualities of long vehicles. That’s clearly evident by the number of long wheelbase vehicles debuting at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
The X1 LWB will be built by BMW’s China partner, BMW Brilliance’s Tiexi plant in Shenyang. That plant is already familiar with the X1, as it built roughly 140,000 examples for the first-generation X1. For those outside China actually curious about the X1 LWB, don’t get too excited. The stretched crossover is only available within the People’s Republic. If you still want all the details on BMW’s newest crossover, keep reading.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW X1 LWB.
2016 Citroen C6
Like most automakers nowadays, Citroen is looking to grab a big chunk of the Chinese automobile market, currently the world’s biggest. And, the French are planning to do so using the luxury DS brand and its cooperation with China-based company Dongfeng. The latest results of the Dongfeng-Citroen joint venture have been unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show and the C6 is one of them.
If the C6 moniker sounds familiar is because Citroen has used it in the past for a full-size executive car. Launched in 2005 as a replacement for the Citroen XM, the C6 was one of the most innovative vehicles of its time, featuring a head-up display, a lane departure warning system, xenon directional headlamps, Hydractive suspension with electronically controlled springing and damping, and a rear spoiler which automatically adjusted to speed and braking. Its design was also bold and unique with a tall, fastback-like glasshouse and a concave rear window.
Although the C6 didn’t catch on commercially — only 23,400 units were built until 2012 — it became an emblematic vehicle of the mid-2000s and is often regarded as Citroen’s last bold attempt in terms of production cars. The new C6 has nothing in common with its predecessor and according to Citroen it will only be sold in China as the company’s range-topping sedan. More on that and what it brings to the table in our full review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Citroen C6.
2016 Audi A4 L
Cars have become status symbols for people of all cultures and backgrounds. Here in the U.S., driving something like a Mercedes C-Class puts you higher on the totem pole than someone driving, say, a Chevy Cruze, for instance. Over in China, on the other hand, important people don’t drive – they ride. And, that is exactly why there are so many weird long-wheelbase cars that have debuted at the Beijing Auto Show.
If you stroll the show, you’ll find long-wheelbase variants of the Jaguar XF, Mercedes E-Class, and even the BMW X1 (crazy, right?). As odd as it may seem, it’s completely true, and that’s also why we’re looking at an updated, long-wheelbase version of the Audi A4.
The whole idea behind something like a long-wheelbase A4 is that the rear passengers have more legroom and maybe some extra cargo room. And, that is exactly what makes up the Audi A4L. As you would expect, the A4L took on all of the updates that came with the standard, 2016 A4 and is even available with Audi’s virtual cockpit. The A4L is built primarily for the Chinese market, so don’t expect to see one in the U.S. anytime soon. So, with all of that said, let’s dive in and take a look at the new Audi A4L.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A4 L.
2016 Audi Q3 Connected Mobility Concept
SUVs have been a big hit at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show as automakers from all over the world have been doing their part in trying to impress what is arguably the biggest SUV market in business. Audi was one of the companies that presented an SUV at the event, but instead of trying to showcase a new concept that previews a future model, it went an entirely different route by showcasing a new concept that previews new possibilities in an existing model. The concept is called the Q3 Connected Mobility and while it doesn’t look like a traditional concept vehicle, it does come with an electrically-powered multifunctional longboard that’s stored neatly under the boot of the crossover.
According to Audi, the Q3 Connected Mobility concept “offers sporty and multifunctional mobility for metropolises with millions of residents.” Considering its rather quirky but otherwise effective feature, I’d say that the German automaker nailed its description for the entire concept. See, the objective of this particular concept isn’t so much about showcasing the capabilities of the Q3.It’s actually all about that longboard, which functions as an alternative mode of transportation in the event driving the Q3 around busy urban cities becomes a hassle. Certain situations do lend to longboards becoming more efficient forms of transportation and that’s exactly what the Q3 Connected Mobility concept is trying to highlight.
The way that Audi managed to integrate it into the Q3 is impressive enough in and of itself. But there’s more to this concept than just having its own longboard. The Q3 Connected Mobility also takes its name to heart, incorporating all these new technologies into one car with the intention of possibility seeing it come to life in the future. That future may or may not include a longboard, but for what it’s worth, the way Audi packaged the concept kind of makes me think that such a feature actually looks great on paper.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi Q3 Connected Mobility Concept.
2017 Bentley Mulsanne First Edition
At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Bentley Mulsanne finally received its mid-cycle facelift after more than five years in production. The update brought a new front grille and bumper, revised headlamps, new B-shaped wings on the front fenders, and new taillights on the outside, along with new wood veneers and a new infotainment system on the inside. The same upgrade was transferred onto the Speed model and the longer, Extended Wheelbase version. At the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, Bentley unveiled the First Edition, a limited-edition package that makes the Mulsanne a more exclusive vehicle.
Available for all three models, the First Edition is mostly about interior add-ons and does very little to change the sedan’s appearance. However, the interior comes with new features such as a luxury silver vanity kit and rare wood veneer, which are more than enough to turn the standard Mulsanne into a bespoke Mulliner vehicle. Bentley plans to build only 50 examples of the First Edition across the new three-model family. Not exactly a lot compared to other mainstream manufacturers, but it’s quite a lot judging by the numerous luxury features and the expensive sticker these sedans are expected to carry.
Bentley had nothing to say about pricing, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Mulsanne First Edition.
2016 Chevrolet Cruze Tron Legacy Edition
Chevrolet has made its presence felt at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show, but it’s not for the reasons you might think. Sure, SUVs and electric cars have dominated the scene in Auto China, but the American automaker brought one car that’s neither SUV nor electric. You might recognize it as a Chevrolet Cruze and while it is a Cruze for all intents and purposes, it’s actually a one-off, showpiece that’s been inspired by the 2011 movie Tron: Legacy.
Unofficially, it’s called the Chevrolet Cruze Tron Legacy Edition and it’s a product of a collaboration between Chevrolet and The Walt Disney Company China. So what is a car with ties to Mickey Mouse doing in a place like Auto China? It’s actually simple. For those who may be unaware, Disney’s latest theme park – Shanghai Disney Resort – will be making its grand opening on June 16, 2016. For its part, Chevrolet is the official automotive partner of the theme park and so, to commemorate Disney’s latest theme park – and first in China – Chevy and the Walt Disney Company China teamed up to create the Cruze Legacy Tron Edition as a tribute to both Disney itself and the 2011 sci-fi movie.
True to its roots, the Cruze Legacy Tron Edition is littered with styling nods to the iconic light cycles that were used in the movie. The exterior and interior of the Cruze both received the same two-tone, metallic blue on black finish, the same two colors associated to the light cycles. It may not be the most important vehicle that has been showcased in Auto China, but for the purposes of raising awareness and driving up publicity ahead of Disney Shanghai Resort’s highly anticipated opening in June 2016, the Cruze Tron Legacy Edition might as well be the only car of consequence to show up in Beijing.
Continue after the jump to read the full review of the Chevrolet Cruze Tron Legacy Edition.
2017 Honda Avancier
The Beijing Auto Show has turned out to be a lot busier than expected with all kinds of models breaking cover. One of the more interesting models is the Honda Avancier SUV that will serve as Honda’s resident flagship SUV in China. The name in Chinese is 冠道, which is pronounced “Guandao.” For those of you who have spent some time in Japan in the past, the name may actually sound familiar as Avanicer was once used as the name for a crossover/wagon that was sold in Japan from 1999 to 2003.
This time around, Honda has done its homework and, from the look of things, the Avancier name will be around for much longer than its first go around. This new model boasts a spacious interior and will be Honda’s first model that is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine. Takahiro Hachigo, the President, CEO, and Representative Director of Honda Motors said, “We are so grateful that our sales in China reached the one million-unit milestone in 2015. We view 2016 as a year for us to make another leap forward. We will begin local production of our hybrid vehicle and turbo engines and further accelerate the localization of our business. Honda will continue taking on new challenges in China.”
With that said, the Avancier is expected to go on sale in the Chinese market by the end of this year. Before that happens, though, let’s take a look at Honda’s new Flagship SUV for the Chinese market and talk a little about what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Avancier.
2017 Acura CDX
The 2016 Beijing Auto Show is in full swing as Acura debuts its newest crossover, the CDX. This compact SUV is aimed directly at the exploding Chinese market. Honda, Acura’s parent company, is even building the crossover in China, at its ZengCheng Plant in Guangzhou City.
The CDX is roughly the same size as Honda’s CR-V, but carries a completely different look. Acura says the CDX’s design is inspired by the Precision Concept – a highly stylized sedan that stole hearts at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The crossover’s introduction corresponds with Acura’s 10th year in China, making it a celebratory vehicle. There’s no word on whether Acura will release the CDX or a similarly styled cousin in other market regions, but we’re not betting on it.
Acura says the CDX will go on sale in China beginning in July of 2016 and will cost between 250- to 300,000 Yuan. At current enhance rates, which translates to $38,000 to $46,000.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura CDX.
2017 Mazda CX-4
Remember the Mazda Koeru concept that made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show? The company described it as its "latest venture into the growing crossover SUV market" and confirmed there will be a production version of it before the show was over. Well, it turns out that the new model will hit the market sooner than expected.
Unlike other upcoming models that usually hit the streets as camouflaged prototypes, the crossover was first spotted in production-ready form somewhere in Asia. It happened in 2015 and in early 2016 Mazda confirmed it will be called the CX-4. Come 2016 and Mazda’s latest people hauler made its debut at the Beijing Auto Show.
Developed to "exceed existing categories and stereotypes," the CX-4 bridges the gap between the Mazda3 and CX-5. About the same size as the CX-5, the CX-4 is not only a bigger proposition to the car-based CX-3, but also a sportier, coupe-like one. Unfortunately, there is no word whether this new crossover will be sold globally or offered just in China, but the fact that it was launched at the Beijing Auto Show could mean that its main focus is the world’s largest automobile market.
But until we find out more about its role in Mazda’s global lineup, let’s have a closer look at what it has to offer.
Updated 04/25/2016: Mazda unveiled the CX_4 at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mazda CX-4.
2017 Lexus IS
When the Lexus IS debuted for the 2013 model year, it was a sporty sedan that sold much better than even Lexus had expected. Now that the model is a few years old, Lexus took it upon itself to give its sporty little entry-level sedan a refresh.
There isn’t a whole lot that changed, but the headlight units take on a different shape, and the front fascia is sportier than ever. There are also new taillight units, new wheel designs, and even a couple new colors. On the inside, the infotainment display screen has received an update, and there are a few other refinements within the cabin. The IS’ safety equipment even got a little love with this refresh.
All of that sounds pretty good for a refresh, doesn’t it? It’s not the most elaborate refresh – the same engines carry over from before – but there is enough newness to keep the little sedan fresh until the next-generation model comes to life. But, the real question is: Will the refresh be enough to keep sales of Lexus’ entry-level sedan soaring as they have for the last three years? Only time will tell, but now that the refreshed IS has debuted at the Beijing Auto Show, let’s take a closer look at what Lexus did in hopes of maintaining the car’s overwhelming success.
Updated 04/25/2016: Lexus unveiled the revised IS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Lexus IS.