Doom and gloom have had their day--when it comes to auto shows, that is.
The 2009 Shanghai auto show just might pull off what all the American and European auto shows held this year couldn't. It may keep the sense of optimism that's evaporated on the Continent and in the U.S. China, after all, is a market where 2009 new-car sales might actually equal last year's numbers. The country's riding a post-Olympic prideswell, and luxury brands are still fighting for an ever-growing slice of the world's theoretically largest new market.
It stands to reason, then, that the world's luxury automakers--including Audi, BMW, Benz and Cadillac--all will unveil new production and concept cars this week in Shanghai.
High Gear Media's team of reporters is live in Shanghai and at the news desk this week for the major Chinese auto show of the year. We'll bring you some updates on the wacky, sometimes woeful vehicles planned for the Chinese market. We'll also have more details on some serious machinery coming from China and elsewhere, including the new Porsche Panamera.
Here's what's planned for the Shanghai show opening to the media on Monday, April 20th:
2010 Porsche PanameraEnlarge Photo
Porsche Panamera: Shown in pics and video everywhere but on in-flight movies and high school health class, the 2010 Porsche Panamera will offer a rear-drive, 400-horsepower Panamera S and an all-wheel-drive Panamera S. The Panamera Turbo sports a twin-turbo V-8 and all-wheel drive. Direct injection, stop-start technology and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox are other highlights of the drivetrain. Another highlight: transparently Photoshopped illustrations proffered for your enjoyment. Mangia!
Audi Q7: Audi's popular crossover is having some work done before the 2010 model hits the lots later this year. Under the hood, there'll be three different options for buyers. On the gasoline side, there's a 3.6-liter V6 with 280hp yielding 14mpg city and 20 mpg highway, as well as a 4.2-liter V8 with 350hp that earns mileage in the 13 city/18 highway range. Most notable, though, is the Q7's new TDI clean diesel option: that 3.0-liter V6 generates 225hp, and not surprisingly, it beats both gas engines in fuel economy, getting 17mpg city/25mpg on the highway. There's a new MMI controller for the technically adventurous, too.
BMW 760i: We've told you all about the 2009 BMW 7-Series. Now, the expected short- and long-wheelbase 760i and 760Li make a world debut with a new 12-cylinder engine. The 6.0-liter V-12 sports two turbos, direct injection and VANOS variable cam timing. An eight-speed automatic gears into place as the first octobox from BMW.
Mercedes S-Class: The new revamped S-Class, plus the AMG S63 will be on hand in Shanghai. Mild cosmetic tweaks inside and out give the mid-cycle sedan a leg up on the Lexus and Audi big-buck sedans, and COMAND's been simplified. Or so we hear.
Buick and Cadillac concepts: No word yet on what these might be, but we'll also see a LaCrosse at Shanghai as well. GM's in a bit of a dither so we can't promise advance pics or anything; word has it new GM CEO Fritz Henderson ceased and desisted on a plane ticket to Shanghai as GM's relationship with Nancy Pelosi hits a fever pitch.
Stay tuned for more--we'll be updating this page throughout the week. Bookmark it for updates, follow us on Twitter, and keep your eye out for other Shanghai surprises this week. (We promise: not that awful.)