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Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Automakers display cars and concepts at first major auto show of the year


Opening April 24 to the public, Auto Shanghai 2021, the first major auto show of the year, fills 12 display halls at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center. Media preview days were held earlier this week. Here are some highlights: 

SAIC Roewe Jing

“Jing” translates into whale, the obvious inspiration for the grille of this SUV (above). “The car follows the design philosophy known as ‘emotional rhythm’,” we’re informed. 

IM Motors Airo

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Designed in London by Heatherwick Studio, the Airo not only provides transportation, but it equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtering system that cleans up the pollution generated by petroleum-fueled vehicles with which this electric vehicle shares the roads. IM Motors is a brand of Chinese car company SAIC and plans to put the Airo into production in 2023.

Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Pop Explosion

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Done in two-tone GT Blue and Arctic White, this Rolls also has a hand-painted Koi Red pinstripe inspired, we’re told, “by a volcanic eruption against a menacing blue sky.” Splashes of the Koi Red also are featured in the interior.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan Mid-Century Modern

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Inspired by the Fender Stratocaster and Eames Rocking Chair, this Rolls SUV draws attention with its Serenity Green paint.

Genesis Electrified G80

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

The luxury brand of South Korean’s automaker Hyundai showed its first electric vehicle.


“China is not only the most important passenger car sales region for us, it is also the world’s leading market for electric cars,” said Hubertus Troska, Daimler AG board member, as Mercedes-Benz unveiled the long-wheelbase version of the new C-Class, the new CLS Coupe, and several designed-for-China vehicles — the EQB (above), EQX and EQA.

“We are extremely delighted to present the all-electric EQB here in China for the very first time. With its seven seats the new EQB meets the needs of very family-oriented customers. In addition to the right products, our local production footprint is one of the decisive factors for sustainable growth in China. That’s why we are looking forward to produce the all-electric EQB in Beijing.”

Wey Mocha

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Chinese automaker Wey launched its new mid-size SUV flagship under its Mochawas brand. The new model is called Mocha, “to express its deep association with ‘coffee intelligence’.” The hope, said Wey, is that “this car can be integrated into the user’s daily life like Mocha coffee, and carry the user’s pursuit of a better life.”

Volkswagen ID.6

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Following on the recent launch of its electric-powered ID.4, Volkswagen showed the ID.6, an electric SUV with 7 seats. Two versions are being produced specifically for the Chinese market, the ID.6 Crozz in the north part of the country and the ID.6 X in the southern part. 

Polestar 1

Volvo’s electric-car division showed the Polestar 1, an electric performance hybrid scheduled to go into production as “a truly golden halo car” later this year. The car has a carbon-reinforced polymer body, twin electric motors, Akebono high-performance brakes and Ohlins shocks, all to deal with its 609 horsepower.

Maserati Levante Hybrid

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

The Italian automaker unveiled the hybrid version of its Levante SUV, which provides 330 horsepower from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine and 48-volt electrical system.

Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept

Lincoln unveiled the Zephyr Reflection, which it called a “preview car” forecasting a vehicle designed only for the Chinese market. Lincoln also showed the Corsair, a plug-in hybrid, its first made-in-China vehicle.

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Lamborghini offered the first public display of its track-only Essenza SCV12 hypercar, of which only 40 will be produced, as well as the Chinese debut of the Huracan STO.

Audi A6 e-tron concept

Highlights from Auto Shanghai 2021

Audi previewed its new Premium Platform Electric chassis platform in the form of the A6 e-tron concept car with “Sportback” styling. The PPE setup for luxury electric vehicles is due to go into production in 2022, Audi said.


BMW says its iX offers a range of more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) and is the first of its vehicles featuring “an integrated floating curved screen and the new BMW iDrive system.”

New brands debut

BAIC Arcfox, Evergrande Hengchi, Dongfeng Free, SAIC-G Wuling Fighting, and Baojun Valli are among the new automotive brands making their debut at the Shanghai show.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I love gigrigs “Eh, wot’s up doc” !! (my variation). Agreed, there’s some awfully ugly frontal designs out there.
    I’m happy to stick with my 1973 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible. Such a beautifully styled auto.


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