Beijing Motor Show preview: India-bound cars, SUVs and more


The Beijing Motor Show returns for the first time since 2019, and will be held between April 24 and May 4. The show will debut a long list of new cars and SUVs, including a few that will also come to India.

European manufacturers will have a strong presence with Mercedes launching the new electric G-Class, the long-awaited Mini Aceman making its public debut and the unveil of the Volkswagen Tiguan-rivalling Smart #5.

  1. Sixth-gen Mercedes-Benz E-Class to be on display
  2. BYD to showcase a Hilux-rivalling pickup truck

India-specific models at the Beijing Motor Show 2024

BMW Neue Klasse SUV

The concept, which previews the future design of BMW’s electric SUVs – and more specifically the next-generation iX3 – will make its public debut in Beijing.

Bringing back some retro styling cues from BMWs of old, like the kidney grille modelled on the brand's ultra-cool 1960s sedans, it will be based on BMW’s new EV-specific architecture, and feature new-gen battery tech and an advanced new software stack running on four high-performance computers.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance

The plug-in hybrid version of Mercedes-AMG’s new four-seater super-coupe will be Affalterbach’s sixth PHEV, armed with huge power and even more performance. It gets the same engine as the top-spec SL roadster, and pairs a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with a rear-mounted electric motor. The combined output is 815hp and 1,420Nm, which takes the car from 0-100kph in 2.9sec. The brand currently sells the 4-door version of the performance car in India, priced at Rs 3.3 crore (ex-showroom).

Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ technology

Mercedes will finally start production of the quad-motor EQG concept that was showcased at the Munich Motor Show in 2021. Wearing a familiar two-box shape, the new electric G-Class has a motor on each wheel, with the ability to do tank turns like BYD's luxury SUV, the Yangwang U8. It uses a modified version of the steel ladder-frame chassis used by combustion models, alongside which it will be produced by long-time partner Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The sixth-gen Mercedes-Benz E-Class was globally unveiled last year, and the model will make its debut at the Bejing Motor Show 2024. The new sedan has grown in size, thereby offering more space in the interior. The model will be offered with a revised range of drivetrains, including overhauled petrol plug-in hybrid systems in some markets. According to our sources, the new E-Class is headed to India somewhere around the festive season this year.

Mini Aceman

It perhaps comes as no surprise that the replacement for the Mini Clubman is an electric SUV that's 192mm longer, 23mm wider and 130mm taller than the Cooper hatchback. Power will come from a single motor at the front axle, with an output of either 184hp or 218hp. A John Cooper Works (JCW) range-topper is also expected with a performance-inspired makeover and chassis tweaks.

Other models at the Beijing Motor Show 2024

Avatr 12

This upmarket five-door liftback is the second production model from the Chinese EV manufacturer Avatr, and it has partnered with mobile phone company Huawei and battery manufacturer CATL. It will be based on the firm's EP1 EV platform, like the 11 SUV launched in 2022, with production of right-hand drive models set to begin this year. The 12 (pronounced 'one-two') is expected to make its debut in Beijing before it goes global in the coming months.

BYD pickup

Having already become one of the world’s biggest carmakers, BYD will enter the light commercial vehicle market with a new midsized truck to rival the Toyota Hilux. Heavily camouflaged prototypes have been spotted in China sporting a dual-cab design and slab-sided profile. It's expected to be offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid in various global markets.

GWM Ora 07

The Ora 07 wears a swooping, retro-inspired shell that seems to have taken inspiration from both the Porsche Panamera and its smaller stablemate, the 03. It is expected to be offered with rear- or four-wheel drive, with up to 400hp and 678Nm for a 0-100kph time of 4.4sec. The electric range is not yet known, but in China – where it is sold as the Lighting Cat – it uses an 83kWh battery that delivers 600km of range.

Smart #5

Smart’s largest model yet will be a Volkswagen Tiguan-sized crossover with a chunky, square profile and the same SEA underpinnings as its smaller siblings, the #1 and #3. Details remain under wraps, but we expect it to use the same 66kWh battery as those cars, powering a front-mounted motor with 272hp and a range of around 483km. A Brabus version could also be on the cards with an additional 156hp.

Zeekr Mix

This or a Volkswagen ID Buzz? Revealed in a batch of Chinese regulatory filings, the Mix is one of a quintet of models that three-year-old Zeekr is set to launch as part of a broader push into right-hand-drive markets by parent firm Geely, which also owns Volvo and Lotus.

Expected to officially debut in Beijing, it will receive a battery developed in partnership between CATL and Geely – likely the 86kWh pack used by the Zeekr 001, which is equipped with 800V hardware for 360kW charging. In engineering terms, it has been developed in tandem with the Smart #5, which will also be revealed at Beijing.

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