Many of the most popular debuts at Auto Shanghai 2019 were electric vehicles, with the trend extending to SUVs along with sedans and small cars. New, battery-powered crossover concepts from BMW and Volkswagen previewed an emissions-free future and could reach public roads in China and the U.S.
More traditional, gasoline-powered vehicles were also on display. Porsche opted to unveil an expansion to its Cayenne family in Shanghai instead of New York, and Mercedes-Benz revealed a rugged adventure rig designed to slot into its GL line of SUVs. Lexus brought an aggressive take on the minivan.
Here are a few of the biggest announcements from Auto Shanghai:
PORSCHE CAYENNE COUPE
Porsche debuted a variant of its Cayenne luxury SUV called the Cayenne Coupe. It will compete in the fastback crossover segment against the Audi Q8, BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe when it goes on sale this fall.
Trim levels include a base Cayenne Coupe with a 3.0-liter V6 engine and a Cayenne Turbo Coupe with a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8. The base engine delivers 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, while the turbocharged engine is capable of 541 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque.
Interested buyers of the Turbo Cayenne should expect to pay a massive premium, as Porsche announced it will start at $131,350, including a $1,250 destination charge. That price is $55,000 more than the standard Cayenne Coupe’s starting price of $76,550 including the destination fee.
Though the Mercedes GLB compact SUV was unveiled as a concept, the German automaker did announce plans to bring the rugged vehicle to the U.S. and other markets. It will launch in China and was designed with Chinese buyers’ demands in mind.
It slots between the GLA and GLC crossovers in the Mercedes lineup, yet will have a longer wheelbase than both at 111.3 inches. The GLB at the show featured protective cladding, a rear bumper underguard for off-roading and all-terrain BF Goodrich tires.
The concept brought to Auto Shanghai had a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 224 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Production versions will feature the same engine, and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive will be available. The GLB will come standard with three rows of seating.
VOLKSWAGEN ID. ROOMZZ
Volkswagen debuted an all-electric, full-size SUV concept called the ID. Roomzz that it plans on bringing to the global market in 2022.
The ID. Roomzz will join the I.D. Crozz as electric SUVs in VW’s lineup, though the former would be the largest version of the automaker’s electric platform, with room for up to seven passengers.
It will feature an estimated range of 295 miles, according to China’s NEDC scale, and can reportedly charge to 80 percent battery life after just 30 minutes of charging via 150-kW DC Fast Charging.
The ID. Roomzz will also house an electric motor on each axle and will be able to deliver 302 horsepower capable of going 0 to 62 mph in roughly 6.6 seconds. It can register a top speed of 112 mph before being electronically limited. Volkswagen plans to include advanced autonomous driving features pending government approval.
The Lexus LM, for Luxury Mover, is a luxury minivan designed specifically for growing demand in the Chinese auto market.
The LM will be offered in two different trim levels when it hits dealer lots: the LM 350 and LM 300h.
A 3.5-liter DOHC engine is used in the LM350, while the LM300h uses a 2.5-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine and hybrid system. Front-wheel or all-wheel-drive is available on either model.
Lexus will offer a variety of customization options for the LM’s interior. Available upgrades include leather-wrapped surfaces, silver ink ornamentation and a four-seat rear configuration with a reclining feature. This configuration also comes with a 26-inch color display with DVD player and a refrigerator.
The four-seat setup also features a center console touch panel that controls the seats, climate control and audio. A seven-seat option is available that puts two bucket seats in the second row and a three-person bench seat in the third row.
BMW VISION iNEXT
BMW’s Vision iNext concept debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, but the German automaker brought its vision of autonomous driving to China for the first time at Auto Shanghai.
Emission-free, fully electric and highly autonomous, the Vision iNext is BMW’s idea of a mobile office or living room. It will feature an always-on personal assistant capable of learning a rider’s routines and habits in order to plan a daily schedule. It will even be able to plan battery charge stops.
The Vision iNext’s front windshield is designed to act as an augmented reality screen. The internal assistant and cabin experience is “not a voice interface; it’s a digital character,” said Dieter May, BMW Group’s senior vice president of digital products.
It features a spacious interior capable of seating up to four people comfortably, and its dimensions are similar to those of the BMW X5. A panoramic sunroof, large front windshield and wide side and rear windows will allow for an almost seamless view of the outside.
BMW says the first production model of the Vision iNext will be built in 2021, and it will then slot itself into the automaker’s fleet as a new technology flagship.