| 26th April 2012
The 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (we’ll call it ‘Beijing 2012’ for short, because we’re cool like that) opened its doors to the press on 23 April. The public will have to wait until tomorrow to lay their peepers on this year’s offerings, some of which have already been lauded for their immense beauty and technology over the last few days.
Visitors won’t be let down by the quality on show. The world’s top manufacturers have revealed some incredible, shocking new concepts, ideas and inventions that have drawn sharp intakes of breath from many, and caused others to faint. From stunning new models to creative crossovers and original, practical ideas, Beijing 2012 is already being celebrated as one of the best auto exhibits in recent memory.
Below is our list of the most dramatic revelations at the show so far, for those that aren’t lucky enough to be dazzled by these motor behemoths in person:
The MG Icon
Imagine getting this baby on an affordable contract hire deal! The MG Icon is a first for the company, as MG has never produced an SUV in its history. So, the Icon is something of an experiment for MG, but its debut has already wowed the crowd thanks to its phenomenal design. It has a heavy British influence – the project has been overseen by British director Anthony Williams-Kenny, who describes the car as containing “a progressive and soulful British spirit".
MG celebrates its 50th year in 2012, and the Icon has drawn some of its looks, style and technology from other cars in the MG range. Most notably from sports cars the MGA and MGB GT, whilst also borrowing features from the classic MG Octagon. It looks quite incredible, has been described as functional and versatile, and is bound to be one of the biggest draws when the doors open to the general public tomorrow.
Miserable Spice’s Range Rover Evoque Special Edition
When she’s not recording classics like ‘Not Such an Innocent Girl’, Vicki Beckham can be found collaborating with the Land Rover design team. Victoria was appointed Creative Design Executive at the company in July 2010, where she has worked alongside Land Rover Design, led by Gerry McGovern, to create an awesome new Range Rover. The partnership has remarkably garnered more success and conceptual creativity than her collaborative efforts with Dane Bowers, somehow.
The team has been focusing solely on a Range Rover Evoque Special Edition, which has finally been unveiled at Beijing 2012. It looks stunning and has some excellent features, which is more than can be said of some of the bloated statements in the official press release. Says Gerry: "Both Land Rover and Victoria Beckham are British luxury brands...“ We stopped reading it right there and then.
The Mercedes Concept Style Coupe
New cars simply shouldn’t be this gorgeous! Mercedes has popped up with an official world premier at Beijing 2012, with a concept coupe that they’re describing as a ‘style rebel’. The design has been praised as avant-garde, and has already gone a long way to impressing journalists at the show thanks to its sporty features, immense looks, and cues taken from the concept A-Class. The whole creation centres on stunning lines and curves, complemented by phenomenal features such as a beautiful diamond-look grille, innovative headlamps and more.
Our personal favourite by far though is its indicators, with individual lights that light up in succession when making a turn (a bit like Kit’s mush in Knight Rider). The interior’s just as beautiful – as you’d expect – with mixtures of suede and leather in equal measure to make it the most comfortable Mercedes in years. It also has cloud computing, for some reason.
The BMW i8 Concept Spyder
Another world premiere was BMW’s i8 Concept Spyder, which also features BMW eDrive technology. The car’s one of them there ‘electric hybrid’ vehicles that you hear so much about these days, but with breath-taking new technology that differentiates itself from other hybrid models currently on the market. BMW are making a lot of noise about eDrive, saying it’s going to be the groundwork technology for all electric vehicles in the BMW i range for the future.
It looks unbelievable, with the eDrive making the car exceptionally agile and fun to drive. Apparently the full torque of the electric motor is available from a standing start, with the i8 powered by lithium-ion battery cells. But however advanced its technology, nothing really takes away from how gorgeous it looks. Here’s a quick question – would you be willing to change your petrol-pumping habits for an electric car if it looked as good as this? We’d certainly give it serious consideration when buying a new BMW...
Aston Martin Dragon 88 Limited Edition
To celebrate Aston Martin opening up a whopping 11 new showrooms this year across China, they’ve gone all out and created a limited edition ‘Year of the Dragon’ range, which looks simply incredible. Three Dragon 88 special edition cars are available to view on the show floor, with the range including DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S models. The Dragon range goes to show how seriously Aston Martin view the Chinese market in their long-term strategy, and how much they’re willing to invest in the area to become market leaders.
Each car has its own bespoke design quirks. Some have dragon designs stitched into the upholstery, with all cars including 24-carat gold Aston Martin wing badges. All models are available in different colours (related to Chinese folklore, art and imagery). Aston Martin also announced the market introduction of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ at Beijing 2012, which allows owners to essentially customise the interior and exterior of their Aston Martin. They’re also offering a glimpse of their One-77 supercar, which is helping Aston Martin become the biggest talking point at this year’s exhibit.
Have you been keeping up to date with the announcements at Beijing 2012? What have been your favourite cars exhibited so far? Think we’ve missed out something and want to peddle us with death threats? Contact us via our @Askaprice Twitter account, or leave us a message on our Facebook page!