Top 10 Cars of the 2014 Beijing Motor Show

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

It might seem easy to ignore the Beijing Motor Show. After all, it is halfway around the world. But the Chinese auto market is growing quickly. In fact, it surpassed the U.S. in 2010. The auto show in Beijing is getting bigger, too.

This year’s debuts mark a new pinnacle in BMW luxury sedans, a wildly powerful version of the VW Golf and even a thinly-veiled concept preview of a utility vehicle to come from Lincoln.

Check out our Top 10 cars of the Beijing Motor Show and see all the cars that didn’t make the list here.

The second concept to come from Nissan‘s Chinese design studio, the Lannia concept debuted at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and was billed as a follow-up to the brand’s Friend-Me show car from 2013. The sedan sports a futuristic design drawing styling cues from recent Nissan models such as the 2015 Murano with prominent features such as the brand’s V-motion grille and boomerang headlights. Overall, the Lannia was designed to appeal to the younger generation of Nissan consumers in China, or what they refer to as the “Post-80s” generation.

“The Lannia concept exudes ‘daqi,'” explained Taiji Toyota, the head of Nissan’s Chinese design studio, in a statement. “Daqi is a Chinese word that is hard to define but that has the strength to push people towards better things.”

The latest craze among automakers worldwide are four-door coupes and Volkswagen is the latest one to join in on the fun. The New Midsize Coupe concept from Volkswagen took a straight-on approach for its name, and gives a look at a model that would be positioned below the Passat in the German automaker’s lineup.

SEE ALSO: VW New Midsize Coupe Concept Photos

Under the hood of the New Midsize Coupe concept is a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine with 217 hp and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Targetting the Chinese market was the New Midsize Coupe’s interior, sporting Silk and Ebony Black seats with Dragon Red piping.

It isn’t yet clear if VW intends to offer this new model in other markets and if so, how it would compare to the coupe-styled CC.

Ford has brought the Escort nameplate back to life, but it likely won’t be seen in North America. The American automaker introduced the Ford Escort concept at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, a sedan that will be built exclusively for the Chinese market.

Residing in the engine bay is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, though Ford didn’t announce any specifications for the concept. The all-new Escort will be built on Ford’s global C-car platform and will be manufactured in China through Changan Ford.

BMW gave Beijing show-goers a glimpse into its luxurious future with the Vision Future Luxury concept, which hints at the possibility of a new range-topping 9 Series model.

SEE ALSO: BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept photos

With a body composed of lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum, the Vision Future Luxury concept sports a sleek design that has been tweaked for aerodynamic performance to help improve fuel efficiency. The styling is heavily influenced by the Pininfarina-designed Gran Lusso Coupe but sporting four doors and a more traditional sedan body.

Mercedes is looking to invade BMW’s space in the “Sports Activity Coupe” market ad introduced the Concept Coupe SUV at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The concept is reportedly heading to production as a rival to the BMW X4 and X6 models.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes Concept Coupe SUV photos

With Mercedes recently debuting the new GLA compact crossover the brand says that “customers love more choices.” In other words, they’re hoping customers in the market for an X4 or X6 will look Mercedes-Benz’s way.

When you make a name out of being a sports car, it’s extremely strange when you decide to spin off the nameplate with a. . . crossover. Audi brought its TT Offroad concept to the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and it’s anything but off-road ready. According to the automaker, its all-wheel drive is built for “slippery roads and light off-roading,” but it’s clear that Audi is trying to inject some sportiness into the crossover segment. The brand showed off a hybrid powertrain with 408 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, hitting 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Audi has remained adamant ever since it debuted its all-new TT that the nameplate would grow into a family of vehicles with a crossover and a sedan under consideration.

Designed to capture the attention of consumers worldwide, Lincoln previewed its next-generation MKX in Beijing. The debut of the Lincoln MKX concept also marked the first time the American automaker has ever shown a concept debut outside of the U.S.

All that aside, the MKX concept is a stunning vehicle and the American automaker wanted to ensure its aesthetics were on point by hosting several customer research clinics. There’s a bit of off-road capability with a separated front skid plate, heightened ground clearance and reinforced wheel arches while the floating aluminum body-side rocker molding has been engraved with the brand’s logo.

“The transformation of The Lincoln Motor Company is under way, with sales up 27 percent in the United States over the last six months, due largely to the all-new MKZ sedan, and excitement is building for the soon-to-arrive MKC,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president, global Ford marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.

The introduction of the MKX Concept at the Beijing Motor Show coincided with the launch of Lincoln as a brand in China.

One of the few non-concept debuts at this year’s Beijing Motor Show was the 2015 MINI Paceman. The British automaker continues to update its lineup, which started with the new MINI Hardtop at last year’s LA Auto Show. Sales for the 2015 Paceman will likely begin this fall and along with new design details, sportier interior and minor revisions to the powertrain, the MINI Paceman follows in the foot steps of the Countryman and Hardtop models with a rejuvenated exterior. The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine will remain at 121 hp while the Cooper S model’s turbocharged powerplant will churn out 190 hp instead of 181. The JCW model will have the same engine as the S model, but will provide 218 hp now instead of 210.

Previewing a future SUV model that will be built and sold by Ford’s JMC joint venture in China, the Everest concept was created by Ford’s Asia Pacific design team in Australia and features a prominent inverted trapezoid front grille, swept back headlights, chiseled tail lights and large wheels. The America automaker kept quiet about the vehicle’s mechanical details and interior, which is expected since it’s a concept for now. Reports indicate that the production Everest will share its underpinnings with the Ranger truck.

“The Ford Everest Concept shows how we envision cementing our leadership in the SUV segment with a rugged and versatile vehicle that combines stunning design with the promise of incredible off-road capability,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China. “We see a strong market in China for a vehicle like the Ford Everest Concept, which would expand and complement our existing world-class family of SUVs.”

A true SUV, could the Everest make its way to America in the future? Or perhaps this new model previews updates headed for the Explorer.

Making the hot hatch even hotter, the Golf R 400 concept makes an incredible 395 hp and is easily our top pick from Beijing. Making it even better is that VW is putting it into production.

Whether or not it’ll make its way to North American remains unseen, but we can always hope . . . can’t we? Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Golf R will likely have the most powerful production four-cylinder engine once it becomes production ready, taking the crown away from AMG’s power plant in the CLA 45 AMG. Hopefully the more aggressive styling bits and neon green highlights make it to production as well.

Oh, and the interior looks even more incredible. Check our more Golf R 400 photos here.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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