New Audi TT RS RoadsterEnlarge Photo
This past week’s 2016 Beijing Auto Show turned out to be a treat for sports car fans. One of the stars was the new TT RS which is due in showrooms early next year. The car was shown in both coupe and convertible bodystyles and looks especially tasteful in this gray paint. As expected, there's 400 horsepower under the hood.
2017 Porsche 718 CaymanEnlarge Photo
Another attraction was Porsche’s 718 Cayman. It may feature a new name but the car is actually an update of the Cayman currently on sale. There are enough changes to almost warrant it an all-new car, though. The list includes exterior tweaks, a new dash and turbocharged engines. And for the first time the 718 Cayman will see the Cayman line priced lower than the Boxster.
Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
It wouldn’t be a Chinese auto show without some big SUVs and stretched sedans, and in this regard the Beijing Auto Show didn’t disappoint. Volkswagen rolled out a full-size SUV concept called the T-Prime. The big brute is as long as a Phaeton and has been confirmed to preview a new SUV positioned above the Touareg.
Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration concept, 2016 Beijing Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Another popular SUV concept was Infiniti’s QX Sport Inspiration. This one previews styling of Infiniti’s future SUV models starting with a next-generation QX50. Like Jaguar's F-Pace, the Infiniti concept proves SUVs can still be sexy.
2016 Acura CDX (Chinese spec)Enlarge Photo
Sadly for Acura, there’s nothing sexy about its CDX compact crossover SUV based on the Honda HR-V. Right now this model is for China only and we hope things stay that way.
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class LEnlarge Photo
There were also plenty of long-wheelbase sedans designed exclusively for the Chinese market. One of these was the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L. Although the car features similar treatments to the larger, plusher Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, this one is still only a Mercedes-Benz.
2017 Audi A4 LEnlarge Photo
Audi also had a long-wheelbase sedan on display, the handsome A4 L based on the latest-generation A4. Compared to some of the long-wheelbase models we’ve seen in the past, the A4 L’s lines look more natural and the proportions more balanced.
2017 Lexus IS 350Enlarge Photo
Lexus didn’t have a long-wheelbase sedan but it did have an updated version of its IS. The small sports sedan is now at the midway point in its life cycle and to keep it fresh Lexus has made some tweaks inside and out. The updated model is due for the 2017 model year.
LeEco LeSee concept, 2016 Beijing Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Sadly, this year, there wasn’t much happening on the stands of the Chinese automakers. There were some highlights, though. Chinese tech giant LeEco rolled out the LeSee concept. The sleek sedan gives a taste of LeEco’s plans to compete in the car building business, plans that include the backing of American electric car startup Faraday Future.
Qoros Qamfree concept, 2016 Beijing Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Chinese automaker Qoros impressed us with its concept powered by a “camless” engine developed by Koenigsegg sister company FreeValve. The remarkable engine does away with the camshaft and instead relies on a pneumatic system to control its valves.
Hungry for more? You'll find the rest of our Beijing Auto Show coverage over at our dedicated hub.