This week's Auto Shanghai 2021 was the first major auto show to be held since the pandemic hit, and it didn't disappoint. But it wasn't the established automakers that stormed the show.
Shanghai 2021 Auto Show
Rather, it was China's domestic brands which put their mark on their home show for the first time.
Case in point was a new hypercar from luxury brand Hongqi. The hypercar is called the S9, and it features a V-8-based plug-in hybrid powertrain good for 1,400 hp. Just 99 examples are expected to be built.
Hongqi L-Concept - 2021 Shanghai auto show
Hongqi also used the Shanghai auto show to present a flagship concept. Called the Hongqi L-Concept, the show car is a striking sedan with a fastback profile, suicide-style doors, and we're told even hanging mood lighting with crystal elements.
2021 Zeekr 001 - 2021 Shanghai auto show
Zeekr (Ji Ke in China), Geely's new brand designed to target Tesla with sporty cars packed with the latest in vehicle technology, showed its first product. That first product was a handsome hot hatch with over 500 hp on tap.
2022 Xpeng P5 - 2021 Shanghai auto show
Xpeng presented the P5 in Shanghai, a small electric sedan with world-first self-driving technology. The P5 is the first production vehicle fitted with lidar, a technology that enables it to sense a much wider environment than if it relied on radar and camera systems alone.
Hengchi 1 - 2021 Shanghai auto show
A cashed-up electric-vehicle startup by the name of Hengchi unveiled a total of nine vehicles, one of which was a Tesla Model S rival. Hengchi, which plans to start production of its first model in 2022, is the parent company of NEVS, the company that tried to save Saab.
MG Cyberster concept - 2021 Shanghai auto show
MG isn't a Chinese brand, but its parent company, SAIC, is one of the country's biggest automakers. In Shanghai, MG unveiled a striking concept that teases a rival to electric sports cars like the Tesla Roadster.
Audi A6 E-Tron concept
But what about non-Chinese automakers? Audi surprised everyone with its stunning A6 E-Tron Concept. The stunning electric sedan is one of 20 EVs Audi plans to have in its lineup by 2025, and we should see it on sale in 2023.
Toyota BZ4X concept - 2021 Shanghai auto show
And finally, Toyota used the show to preview its first volume EV, also with a thinly veiled concept. It's called the BZ4X, and its production counterpart should be at dealerships in 2022.
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