Stars of Auto Shanghai

Bentley’s Exp 10 Speed 6 is Volkswagen Group’s most exciting story in Auto Shanghai 2015

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Unmindful of the board room struggle at the main headquarters and lifestyle checks in key urban cities of China, the Volkswagen Group unleashed its might at the recent Auto Shanghai 2015 with a pompous display of vehicles showcasing improved technology at the National Center for Exhibition and  Convention (Shanghai).

From the Bugattis, to the Porsches, the Bentleys, the Audis, and the Lamborghinis, the head-turning models lit up the newest megastructure in Shanghai and there was no denying which group was lording it over in the premium segment.

There was no better, or bigger, venue to shake up the battle for supremacy with the German automaker’s promise of introducing 60 new models and derivatives. And that eye-popping number is just for 2015 alone.

Auto Shanghai found a new home this year in a giant complex, which was  billed as the largest single block building and the largest exhibition complex in  the world, probably big enough to accommodate the new cars sold in the Philippines for a year.

Of all the cars that were unveiled for public scrutiny, Bentley’s Exp 10 Speed 6 concept was definitely the star of the show.

The car that has become the auto world’s most-talked-about and to-come-soon model, first seen in the metal at the Geneva Auto Show, seems to provide a deep insight on how the coupé wars would be like in the coming years.

Resplendent in its heavy metallic British Racing Green color, the two-seater Exp 10 was described by Bentley Motors chief Wolfgang Dürheimer as a Bentley sports car concept showcasing modern automotive design, the best of British handicrafting and advanced performance technology.

Alluring

Just as alluring was the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce, which made its Asian debut as well.

The Aventador SV takes the brand value of Lamborghini several notches higher with features never before carried by any of its predecessors. Significant use of carbon fiber has reduced its overall weight by at least 50 kilograms and the naturally aspirated V12 engine getting even more powerful at 552 kilowatts or 750 HP.

The Superveloce accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.8 seconds, and powers on to reach a top speed of more than 350 kph.

Global demand is expected to be high, with only 600 units built at the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory to be made available for the particular model which takes over the Gallardo line after the end of its 10-year product cycle.

So what’s a car show without a Porsche show?

This time, there was the shiny red Porsche GT3 RS with the most powerful, naturally aspirated engine the 911 family has ever seen under its hood.

The GT3 RS packs 500 HP and 450 Nm from a 4-liter flat-six mated to an improved PDK dual-clutch transmission. Because of this, it can hit 100 kph in mere 3.3 seconds compared with the previous 3.9 seconds of its predecessor.

With electromobility becoming a key word in every auto show, there were more than enough new introductions to further raise hopes of reducing carbon emission. And Audi vowed to take the lead.

Audi thus presented two new models with plug-in hybrid drive systems: the Q7 e-tron Quattro and the A6 L e-tron.

The A6 L e-tron is a plug-in hybrid with 180 kW (245 HP) using an average of just 2.2 liters of fuel and will be manufactured in a joint venture by FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun, in northeast  China, to be launched to the Chinese market in 2016.

In addition, Audi also unveiled the Audi prologue all-road concept car, a five-door model whose operating concept enables digital interaction between the driver and passengers. The plug-in hybrid drive offers an impressive 540 kW (734 HP) system output, with consumption of just 2.4 liters per 100.

There was so much on the Volkswagen Group’s plate at Auto Shanghai 2015 for its top executives to even worry about the boardroom battle between its chair Ferdinand Piëch and chief executive Martin Winterkorn. Much more than the austerity campaign and corruption crackdown of Communist Party head Xi Jinping, which has sent shivers down the spines of premium car strategists worried of sales being affected.

The show must go on whatever way. And the Auto Shanghai 2015 still became the party that was meant to be for the Germans.



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