If sheer size is any indication of a good auto show, this years Beijing International Auto Exhibition is the best. Although the recent Frankfurt Motor Show saw many exciting unveils, the auto show going on now in Beijing boasts the largest number of cars on display and the greatest number of guests.
China has emerged as the largest car market since 2009, so it's no surprise that their auto show would contain some gems specific to Chinese culture. Some of these years models are impressive for their high level of new technologies, and their following of the current trend of "thinking Green".
New and old concepts featured at the Beijing Auto show walk the line between innovative and absurd.
Take for instance the Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 Mobility Concept. Only a "car" in the since that it has four wheels and a steering wheel, this concept is "designed as a solution to traffic congestion, packing limitations and air quality issues that effect tomorrow's mega-cities." If I have to drive one in the future, I hope it goes a lot faster than 20 MPH by then.
Originally debuting in 2007 is the Toyota i-REAL, a "personal mobility vehicle" that is fully electric and runs about 18.6 miles on a signal charge.
So, yeah. It's basically a futuristic Hover-round.
Debuting late last year, and featured at this years Beijing show is the Toyota Concept Fun-Vii. Featuring huge screens on the side and interiors, this car of the future combines fully interactive displays and futuristic design to show us what the future may look like.
Think of it like an iPad car. Toyota has no immediate plans to begin production any time soon, hence "concept" car.
This years show saw the debut fo the Chery @Ant. Chinese Auto maker Chery hopes to change the way we think about cars with its "road train" system. Each "car" is a two seater, with a catch. They can actually link up with eachother on the road, creating a chain of @Ants.
@Ants will use a common cloud computer to determine whether or not other @Ants are traveling in the same direction and link up with them as they go down the highway. This link is designed to combine both of the vehicles power, resulting in greater efficiency.
This year also saw the introduction of the E-Bugster electric concept, convertible version of the electric hardtop concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this year. Based on the redesigned Beetle, this concept trades internal combustion for a 85 hW electric motor, fueled by lithium-ion batteries.
This new electric can be charged at home, or quick charged via a DC charging station in as little as 35 minutes.
Of all the e-concepts released, I think this one has the biggest chance of going into production. If not this actual concept, then something similar. VW has always been committed to exploring alternatively fueled drivetrains, and the body style is in line with their current trends.