Beijing’s Gems and Garbage

The Beijing International Auto Show has been going on for a couple of days now. Been keeping a small eye on it and already reported on the MG Icon last week. That was quite pretty in my modest opinion, but I’ve also seen a lot of turds on wheels pass by.

So, let me show you one of those ugly birds, but just to get a nuanced piece across, let me sort out some good and bad ones too.

The Good

So first, “The Good”, of which I’ll kick off with the Denza NEV, short for New Energy Vehicle. The fact that I categorised it under “The Good”, does not mean it’s good looking. In fact, quite the contrary. Denza, a joint venture between Chinese BYD (Build Your Dreams) and Daimler that exists since only 2011, is both designed and built in China. I see some Merc C-Class lines in the sides, a big flashy Mercury-like front end and a length-to-height ratio that makes it look like it’s driven into a wall a little too fast.

Nope, not its looks, but its propulsion system are what’s good about it. The electric car (BYD also produces batteries) is to make a big difference in the “mass-electrification” of Chinese road transportation. Big claims and all, but in any case they’re good intentions. Marketing hotshots found a way to explain the blue in the brand’s logo too: it’s to signify the green character of the brand on the one side and the fact that it’s full of modern technology on the other. Amazing what cr*p some people can come up with…

The Bad

Like with The Good not being pretty per se, “The Bad” isn’t necessary an ugly piece of work. It is quite hilarious though, which, I’m sorry for saying it, must have something to do with it being American. It’s a special edition of the Chrysler 300C for China, to celebrate the model’s return on the market over there. All they did was use black paint all over the thing and then they’ve got the guts to call it a concept car.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not looking mighty cool. If you’re a drug dealer or mobster – OK, I’ll give you that – but the absolute “wrongness” of the thing makes it pretty bad-ass. It’s potential clientele isn’t the only thing bad about this though, as it has also got a 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 engine that does 292 bucking broncos.  Surprised it isn’t fitted with a V8 to be honest, but it’s still not cheering up tree huggers.

The Ugly
“The Ugly”then. For this one it doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or bad. It’s so bum-ugly – I used that term because I’d like to keep things civilised – that I don’t ever hope to see one on the streets for fear of instant death. I doubt you’ll be surprised when I say it’s Chinese, but let me point out not everything the Chinese do worth of cars is necessarily bad. I’ll probably get back to you with examples of that in a later piece. This one though is absolutely horrid and to complement its looks they’ve given it a ridiculous name too: the ‘Urban Ark’.

Yeah right, like something this ugly is ever going to save the continued existence of humanity, let alone all the rest of the animal kingdom!

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