What will be the biggest cars of this year’s Auto Shanghai?

The new Mercedes S-Class will make its global debut at Auto Shangahi 2017. — Daimler pic
The new Mercedes S-Class will make its global debut at Auto Shangahi 2017. — Daimler pic

NEW YORK, April 17 — After the New York International Auto Show, the automotive industry is already looking to the next big vehicular event, the biennial Auto Shanghai, which gets underway on April 21. Another roster of new models is preparing to launch, with Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Audi getting ready to make huge announcements alongside Chinese carmakers like Qoros, Nio and Lynk & Co.

Volkswagen has confirmed that Shqnghai will see the unveiling of the third in its line of electric I.D. concept cars. Following a futuristic Kombi van-cum-MPV and a reimagining of the Beetle for 2030, this model will be a crossover complete with all-wheel drive and technological aids that will help it autonomously negotiate all types of terrain, not just the urban jungle.

Lynk & Co will be taking things one further with the official launch of an entire electric car company. The new brand, owned by Geely, Volvo’s parent firm, will be unveiling its first plug-in production model. With it comes an open digital platform that will let owners turn their vehicles into a potential revenue source through on-demand car hire or ride-sharing.

Qoros will be showing off its latest creation, developed in partnership with Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg. The two firms have already worked together to integrate Koenigsegg’s ingenious camshaft-free engine into a mass-production car, and for their latest trick the firms are going to the other extreme of the market with The Super EV concept. It is described as a four-seat electrically-powered super GT, and could well be one of the show’s stars.

And the Super EV won’t be alone. Audi has chosen Shanghai to debut its e-tron concept which is also expected to be an all-electric or plug-in hybrid performance car.

Meanwhile ten years after its takeover by Chinese firm, SAIC Motor, MG will be debuting its first new sportscar concept since the ownership change. The MG E-Motion is expected to be a plug-in electric super GT car.

Nio, a firm that has raced into the automotive world with its phenomenal EP9 battery-powered hypercar (the fastest electric car ever to lap the Nürburgring) will show its first series production car, which promises to be a much more sedate electric SUV. However, all that’s currently known about the car is that for now at least, it will be exclusive to China.

As exciting as all of these cars might be, the biggest single reveal at this year’s event will be the new Mercedes-Benz S Class.

The executive luxury sedan will come with a raft of new six- and eight-cylinder and hybrid powertrains, and promises to reset all existing benchmarks in terms of active safety sytems and real-world semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

“The development of the new S-Class was extremely extensive. With a whole series of new features and functions the S-Class remains the technological pioneer”, said Ola Källenius, Daimler’s head of Research and Development. — AFP-Relaxnews

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