Shanghai Motor Show 2015: preview

The 16th Shanghai Motor Show kicks off with the first press day on April 20th and runs through to April 29th at the National Centre for Exhibition and Convention in Shaghai, China. Auto Shanghai is an event that has grown in prominence in the international motor show calendar in parallel with the increasing importance of the Chinese car market. 

Chinese consumers are now in there forefront of the thinking of the world’s major car manufacturers and the Shanghai show is the premier opportunity for these brands to showcase their wares in this rapidly expanding market. The likes of Mercedes, BMW, Citroen and Volvo are all showing new production or concept cars at the 2015 event, while McLaren’s presence underlines the importance of the show even to specialist manufacturers. 

There will be plenty of activity from other well-known car brands too with Lexus, Ford, Nissan and others in attendance showing models that we’ve either seen before or that are not destined for the UK.   

Of course, China has a thriving domestic car manufacturing industry and naturally, a large part of the Shanghai Motor Show is given over to the latest models from Chinese brands like BYD, Changan and   Jiangling. It promises to be an important event and as always, the Auto Express team will be at the show reporting live on the best, most relevant and oddest exhibits.

Key cars at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show

Shanghai Motor Show 2015: manufacturers A to Z

Audi concept car

Audi will be showing us another concept car in Shanghai and rumours suggest it’ll be a development on the Prologue Concept we’ve already seen in Coupe and Avant estate from at the LA and Geneva shows respectively. The word is that this Prologue will be an Allroad version with off-road accoutrements.  

BMW X5 xDrive40e

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid SUV will be shown in Sanghai. Previously seen as the Concept X5 eDrive – this production ready version is BMW’s first core plug-in model, following unprecedented success of the i3 and i8 from the ‘i’ sub brand.

Featuring a four-cylinder 242bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a 111bhp electric motor, the xDrive40e offers a combined output of 309bhp with 350Nm of torque. All cars get an eight-speed automatic transmission, and can run for up to 19 miles on electric power alone.

Citroen Aircross concept

Citroen shook up the crossover class with the C4 Cactus last year, and the brand is now looking to replicate its success in the SUV market with the all-new Aircross concept at the Shanghai Motor Show

Beneath the Cactus-inspired exterior, the Aircross is powered by a 218bhp 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, paired to a 95bhp rear-mounted electric motor. This enables 31 miles of all-electric driving. The Aircross also promises a 4.5-second 0-62mph time, plus 166mpg economy and CO2 emissions of just 39g/km.

McLaren 540C

McLaren bosses have confirmed that the British brand will not introduce a model or model series beneath the new Sport Series range. The all-new 570S Coupe that made its world debut at the New York Motor Show will remain the core model in the range but a cheaper 540C, priced at around £126,000, is coming to rival the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. We’ll get our first look at the 540C in Shanghai.

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Mercedes is looking to take over BMW’s dominance of the premium SUV market with two new midsize models. Development on the GLC is well underway, and now a a swoopy new GLC Coupe is being shown in Shanghai. The car is set to appear in 2016 and go head-to-head with the BMW X4.


Before its new Juke rival arrives in 2017, MG will launch the larger GS SUV next year. It’s set to debut in UK market form just after the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016 but the Chinese version is already on sale and we’ll see it in Shanghai. The GS will be MG’s first ever entrant into the hotly-contested small SUV segment dominated by the Nissan Qashqai.

MINI Augmented Vision concept

MINI will unveil its Augmented Vision concept car in Shanghai. It’s not a new model as such, more a set of virtual reality glasses that project important information into the driver’s field of vision. Users will be able to see navigation data, speed limits and views from external cameras through the glasses. There’s even an ‘X-Ray view’ mode that uses cameras to make solid parts of the car appear transparent to improve visibility.   


Shanghai-based Qoros will be heading to the show with a concept for a new Nissan Juke-sized SUV. The ‘2 SUV’ will sit underneath the 3 City SUV when it appears in China towards the end of 2015. But this isn’t totally irrelevant to Brits, as Qoros is likely to be heading to the UK 

Volvo XC90 concept

Volvo’s new XC90 is already causing a stir in the luxury SUV sector but we’re expecting to see a clue as to how the range could expand in future at Shanghai. Rumour has it that a super-luxury version of the XC90 is set to take a bow at the show. Watch this space.

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