European automakers plan to debut key new cars at the Shanghai auto show next week after the world's largest auto market recovered faster from the COVID-19 pandemic than their home region.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will display new electric models as they step up their challenge to Tesla and battery-powered cars from China's domestic brands. The two German premium automakers have reported record first-quarter vehicle deliveries, driven largely by explosive demand in China.
France's Citroen also aims to capitalize on robust customer demand in China with the reveal of its new flagship, the C5 X.
The show starts on Monday. Here are some key debuts from European, Chinese and U.S. brands:
Audi will preview the next addition to its e-tron range of full-electric cars. The EV is expected to be an A5 Sportback-sized sedan that will launch in 2023, motoring press reports said. Audi released a teaser picture of the car on its media site ahead of the show.
The automaker has yet to reveal what it will put on display. But according to Chinese media, the company's iX full-electric SUV will get its first public outing.
The General Motors brand will debut the Buick Verano Pro midsize sedan and an upgraded version of the Envision SUV called the Envision Plus. The Verano Pro is tailored around the needs and lifestyles of young families in China with advanced safety features and the latest Buick connectivity and infotainment system, GM said. The Envision Plus has an extended 2833-mm wheelbase, a new propulsion system and the latest connectivity system, according to GM's China unit.
The Lyriq crossover, the brand's first all-electric vehicle, will have its public debut after its online premier last August. The production car will be one of the first vehicles to adopt Cadillac's new EV naming strategy -- ending names with "iq." It also will be one of the first EVs to be powered by GM's proprietary Ultium batteries.
The C5 X combines the best attributes of a sedan, a station wagon and an SUV, Citroen says. The car marks the brand's return to the midsize segment after an absence of two years. It will be built in a Stellantis-Dongfeng joint venture plant in Chengdu and exported to Europe.
A midsize crossover will make its global debut, featuring new design language and intelligent vehicle architecture, Ford's China unit said, without disclosing further details. The vehicle will become the second new Ford utility vehicle to be rolled out in China this year. Last month, the six-seat Ford Equator arrived with a starting price equivalent to $28,977. Ford also will unveil the China-built version of its full-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover. So far, the U.S. automaker has only one electric model in its local lineup, the battery version of the Ford Territory crossover.
China's largest producer of passenger vehicles plans to announce a new EV brand it will call Zeekr, with the first product, a crossover, to be called the Zeekr 001.
The light-truck maker will launch a new standalone brand for full-size SUVs called Tank.
The Japanese automaker is preparing two models for global debut in Shanghai. One is the first EV to be marketed under the Honda brand in China. It's the production version of the crossover concept unveiled at the 2020 Beijing auto show. Honda will also show a new hybrid model, but details of that vehicle were not available.
Kia will exhibit a new compact electric sedan, the EV6, the first product developed on the Hyundai Motor Group's global E-GMP EV platform. Fully charged, the vehicle has a range of 600 km under the NEDC.
Two redesigned Kia models -- the Sportage crossover and the Carnival multi-purpose vehicle -- will also make their China debut at the show.
The Cyberster electric concept uses design cues from the Chinese-owned, British brand's past to visualize what a modern version of an MG sports car might look like. Among the open-topped two-seat roadster's styling details are headlights that recall classic MGs such as the 1955 MGA. The Cyberster was created by MG owner SAIC's advanced design studio in London.