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Judging from the series of releases at the Beijing Auto Show, China is far and away the most important market for global automakers. A trend first started by high-end luxury brands, Jeep is hopping on the bandwagon by introducing the Jeep Wrangler Dragon design concept, a China-market-exclusive vehicle that features a “dragon design” theme to commemorate the Chinese calendar’s Year of the Dragon.
“The Jeep brand is committed to China and therefore we must design and tailor our vehicles to the specific tastes and preferences of chinese consumers,” said Jeep Brand CEO and COO for Asia, Mike Manley.
Toyota will be heading to this year’s Auto China Beijing show with a new concept car, releasing two teaser images prior to its debut.
The popular blue shade that Toyota normally associates to its hybrid vehicles hints that the upcoming concept will either be a hybrid or electric vehicle. In fact, it’s believed to be a hybrid created in China specifically for the Chinese market.
Recently, Toyota announced its new framework called Toyota New Global Architecture in hopes to develop multiple models simultaneously to boost the quantity of common parts used across its vehicles. The NS4 plug-in was our first hint at the Japanese automaker’s hopes on a new design and it’s clear that Toyota believes it in with another concept sharing a similar look.
The other teaser image points to a compact or even a sub-compact (perhaps Yaris-sized) concept.
GALLERY: Toyota Beijing Motor Show Concept Teasers
Revealed ahead of its 2012 Auto China in Beijing debut is the Audi RS Q3 Concept boasting 360-hp from the same 2.5-liter TFSI engine that powers the TT-RS.
The German automaker’s Q3 concept has one goal: “It interprets the character of the compact SUV in a very special way – systematically dynamic.” The RS Q3 has been lowered almost an inch and widened, showing off the potential of the Q3 in an all new fashion.
The matte Ordos Blue finish on the exterior has been contrasted with brushed and polished aluminum trim frames while the single-frame black radiator grille undoubtedly resembles Audi styling. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill Q3 grille; Audi has slightly offset they honeycombs to give it a unique, three-dimensional effect. The headlights are slightly tinted while the carbon-fiber mirror covers are a nice touch.
The more aggressive front bumper sports carbon fiber components, including the front lip. The rear gets a similar tinted treatment on the taillights while the diffuser houses two large elliptical exhaust tips, typical of the RS style.
On the inside, the black and blue theme continues with plenty of carbon fiber and Fine Nappa leather. Dark blue Alcantara was used on the seats to contrast the rest of the black leather throughout the interior.
Most interesting is the 2.5-liter five-cylinder powerplant that boasts 360-hp thanks to a turbocharger. According to Audi, the RS Q3 hits 62-mph in just 5.2 seconds, very impressive for a compact SUV. Mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission, the 2.5-liter TFSI powerplant also features Audi’s coveted quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Rounding off the concept is a set of 20-inch wheels paired to 255/30/20 tires.
This is definitely one of those concepts we hope Audi makes a reality – a high-performance compact SUV certainly has a place in this world.
GALLERY: Audi RS3 Q3 Concept
JAC Motors might sound familiar, it caught our attention when the Ford F-150 clone called the 4R3 ran the internet gamut. Now the Chinese automaker will be presenting its S11 sports coupe at the upcoming Auto China Show in Beijing.
What’s interesting is that this isn’t the first time the S11 has made an appearance. In 2009, Tong Jian showed off the same vehicle at the Shanghai Auto Show and it appears that JAC Motors has reached an agreement with Tong Jian to brand the S11 as its own. We won’t go so far as to speculate that the Chinese automakers are now copying one another, that would just be shameful.
The styling on the S11 is a mixture of Germany and Italy’s finest exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Audi. The front end sports a very Lamborghini-esque design, while the rear is a blatant copy of various Ferrari models over the years. The side sills are undoubtedly influenced by the Audi R8.
Rumor has it that the S11 will be powered by a hybrid engine, but don’t hold your breath for anything amazing.
GALLERY: JAC Motors S11
Both vehicles look to sport custom accents catered to the Chinese market, with gold-themed graphics to celebrate the ‘Year of the Dragon.’ The 300C concept looks to feature a blacked-out exterior, a different front bumper, mesh grille, and new wheels.
The Wrangler is the concept with the black and gold exterior further accents by dragon graphics and unique lighting. The interior also features gold accents on the steering wheel, instrument cluster, and door handles.
Chances are both these concepts will be available strictly for the Chinese market if they make their way to a limited production.