Car News

Extended Luxury Abounds at the Beijing Auto Show

The Beijing Auto Show has come and gone, and we brought you the interesting cars that are coming to Canada. But aside from those, there were some serious luxury cars unveiled. Most were just extensions of an existing car, but one was brought back from the dead for the Chinese market. Here's a look.

Volvo S90 Excellence: This one is actually not a car. It's just an interior. Volvo unveiled a sculpture that is based on the interior of the new S90 Excellence. The top-end S90 model. The S90 Excellence sculpture showcases the rear seating comfort and "supreme convenience of a centre control panel for features such as the heated/cooled cup holder, the sound system, massage function and the large multi-media screen". There is also a fridge in the rear armrest complete with hand-cut crystal glasses from Orrefors. The concept removes the front passenger seat, because who needs that anyway? Nobody has two chauffeurs, so lets have more leg room and better visibility.

Bentley Mulsanne First Edition: To help launch the new ultra-luxury Mulsanne, Bentley is starting with 50 "First Edition" cars, split between the standard car, the Speed, and the extended wheelbase. On display in Beijing was the extended wheelbase, with 25cm of extra legroom and first class airline-style seats with footrests. It will also come with a pair of Android tablets and, of course, window curtains. Inside and out will be a large number of "First Edition" badges, and the show car featured veneer from a 350 year old English Walnut tree. You'll also get a "luxuriously weighted" sterling silver vanity kit created by Asprey of London and custom fit to the tray table. This one will be available here, but expect all 50 to disappear quickly. And one wouldn't want to settle for the "regular" Mulsanne, would one.

Citroen C6: The C6 was a beautiful car, but sales never met expectations and it went away in 2012. Well, Citroen has announced they are bringing it back for sale in China only. They're bringing back the nameplate anyway. The actual car is much more bland than the last C6, and looks more like a slightly warmed over previous generation C5. There were no announcements for the engine or anything else, but the interior is full of Nappa leather, wood, brushed aluminium, and pneumatic massage seats.

Jaguar XFL: Another Long Wheelbase car for China, this one adds 140 mm to the wheelbase for a total of 157 mm more legroom. Jaguar claims this will be the first aluminium-bodied car built in China, and will be glued together at Jaguar's Chery joint venture facility. Some new tech for the rear seat passengers is Clear Exit Detection, that will warn you of oncoming traffic before you pop open the door. It will also have cabin air ionization to try and make it a little nicer to breathe inside. The lucky passengers will also get wifi, folding tables, massage seats and electric curtains. The interior will also get more chrome because, as Jaguar design director Ian Callum explained, "we felt it was more in keeping with local tastes".

Mercedes E-class LWB: I'll end with this. Mercedes has not done well in the Chinese market for years, and they are hoping that adding 140 mm to the E-class will help give them a boost. Changes are entirely to the rear seating area, which has had new cup holders, a USB port and notably a 64-colour LED ambient lighting system. Mercedes has also added larger c-pillar windows for a more airy atmosphere.