It’s only a matter of time. China will become a key player in designing cars in the next centuries, a German automotive expert told Xinhua here at the 3rd German-Chinese Automobile Congress in Ingolstadt, Germany.
“In the future, the Chinese automotive industry will be very important (to the whole industry),” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, automotive expert at the German CAR Institute.
China boasts several important batteries manufacturers, so it has a big stake in the future car, Dudenhoeffer added.
In addition, Dudenhoeffer said that it is very impressive to observe what is going on in China in the field of artificial intelligence, which will help to define the car of tomorrow.
According to him, it is hard to imagine the current development of German carmaker like Audi AG without China, as Audi has delivered 5 million units to Chinese customers from its entry into China in 1988 to 2018.
China is the center of the car world; it sells more than 20 million cars. That number could be 30 million in a few years, he said.
British designer Peter Horbury, head of design for auto brand Deely, told Dezeen, that Chinese car companies have put copying behind them, and now have the confidence to create their own designs.
“[There has been] a bit of lack of inspiration and a bit of lack of confidence that in the last few years has been set free,” Horbury told Dezeen. “There has been this release of creativity.”
Horbury is global head of design for Geely, which is China’s country’s third-biggest car maker, and owns Volvo, Lynk & Co. and Lotus.
He is widely known for his role as design director at Volvo, where he was responsible for the brand’s revival in the 1990s. He was also previously head of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which included Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, and then became design director for the Americas at Ford.
Horbury said he had seen a big change in his six years at Geely.
“China is now quicker than Japan and becoming more confident with their own creations,” he said.
“At the moment there is no stopping it.”
Among the leading edge in Chinese automotive design — the Nio EP9 electric supercar and the BAIC ArcFox GT — all concepts, and all highly advanced.
According to Evan Williams at Wheels.com, the Nio EP9 is a 1,300-plus hp electric supercar, one that can run well under seven minutes at Nurburgring, which is impressive company.
It also broke records at the Circuit of the Americas, Shanghai International Circuit, and the Circuit Paul Ricard. It even set fastest autonomous lap at Circuit of the Americas.
The batteries tip the scales at 635 kg, providing up to 427 km of range. They can be charged in 45 minutes, or swapped in eight. So bring a spare pair and you can lap all day.
Meanwhile, the ArcFox is a crossover concept electric car featuring GT3-esque aerodynamics and state-of-the-art tech solutions straight from the Formula E championship, TopSpeed reported.
Arcfox is owned by Beijing Electric Vehicle, (BJEV) which is itself, a division of Beijing Auto. The cars are also built in Spain, at the research and development center of the BAIC Group in Barcelona.
The GT is a two-seat, mid-engine supercar making 1,005 hp and 973 pound-feet of torque, good for a 0 to 100 km time of just 2.59 seconds. A faster “Race Edition” GT turns the wick up to 1,609 horsepower.
And for outright, groundbreaking creativity, there’s the Shanghai-based Iconiq Motors MUSE, built in collaboration with Dubai-based W Motors.
According to Dezeen, MUSE, a fully autonomous electric vehicle, features three metre-wide gull-wing doors, along with two front seats that can revolve so the car can be reconfigured into a mobile meeting room.
A fleet of MUSE cars is being manufactured to be used during the Dubai Expo 2020, with production vehicles set to be available for purchase in 2023, the report said.
And recently, at the Frankfurt auto show, Chinese luxury brand unveiled the spectacular S9 Hypercar.
According to FAW Group chairman Xu Liuping, the Hongqi S9 concept packs a “V8T hybrid power system,” leading us to believe the powertrain combines a turbocharged V-8 gas engine with one or several electric motors, CarScoops.com reported.
Hongqi claims the S9’s hybrid powertrain delivers a maximum power of 1,400 horsepower, allowing the hypercar to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 400 km/h (249 mph). As crazy as it sounds, Hongqi will put the S9 hypercar into production.
More than 400 company representatives, government officials and experts from China and Germany, attended the 3rd German-Chinese Automobile Congress in southern Germany.
Participants discussed a wide range of topics, including industry cooperation, future technologies, as well as intellectual property rights and talent recruitment.