Remembering Beijing: Oddities From China’s Big Show

This year’s Beijing auto show featured a few notable debuts and concepts, despite not offering much as far as the U.S. market is concerned. With new cars like the Peugeot Urban Crossover concept, rehashed concepts like the NSX, and the usual representation of blatant Chinese copies, the 2012 Beijing auto show offers a unique mix of vehicles. Below are just a few of the show’s highlights that may not have been featured extensively elsewhere.

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Aston Martin Dragon 88 Editions

To celebrate the year of the Dragon as well as its recent success in China, Aston Martin unveiled special edition models of the DBS Volante, V8 Vantage, and Virage. Called the Dragon 88 editions, the special models will have a limited run of 88 units, and feature unique interior embroidery plus a 24-carat gold-plated Aston Martin badge on the hood.

Acura NSX

Though we’ve already seen it in Detroit, we can’t get enough of Acura’s stunning NSX concept. The brand’s halo sports car concept still boasts a mid-engine, rear-drive layout with hybrid SH-AWD electric front-wheel motors, but looks somehow more desirable painted in this delicious cherry red.

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Citroën DS9 Concept

Citroën’s DS9 concept is a wagon-lover’s dream, with its shooting brake profile and wide rear end. Sporting a plug-in hybrid powertrain good for 0-62 mph in a claimed 5.4 seconds, the DS9 concept offers guilt-free performance in a sexy wagon-like package.

Eterniti Artemis SUV

We believe the Artemis SUV from London-based Eterniti Motors is based on the Porsche Cayenne. With its Jaguar-influenced front end and quilted-leather heavy interior, the Artemis is anything but subtle.

Lifan 320 CVT

No, Mini hasn’t lost its styling touch. The vehicle you see here is the Chinese-market Lifan 320 CVT, which, though its styling apes the Mini’s, is powered by a less-than-inspiring  a 1.3-liter 88-hp I-4. As its name suggests, this particular model comes equipped with a continuously variable transmission, which also helps differentiate it from its sportier other-marker doppelganger.

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MG Icon Concept

The most disappointing aspect of the MG Icon, the first concept to come out of the Chinese-resurrected British sports car brand, is that it isn’t a sports car. Once you get past that, it’s not such a bad-looking car. That might be because it looks like a cross between its two compact crossover rivals, the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman.

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept

Crossovers keep getting smaller, and Peugeot is now one step ahead of the game with its Urban Crossover Concept. Even smaller than some C-segment cars, the Urban Crossover Concept is defined by its compact dimensions and French styling. Peugeot has yet to announce powertrain options, or if it even intends to produce the concept, but you can expect an appropriately small engine would sit under the hood of a production model.

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Smart Dragon Edition

The Smart Fortwo Dragon Edition is yet another special-edition Beijing debut commemorating the year of the dragon. The model gets a red and gold paint scheme with matching gold-painted alloy wheels, and has the Chinese character for “dragon” emblazoned on the B-pillar.

DongFeng HUV and EQ2050 M3D Brave Soldier

If you’re going to copy an SUV, might as well copy the biggest and baddest SUV out there. At least, that’s what Dongfeng’s train of thought might have been when it styled its EQ2050 M3D (nicknamed "Brave Soldier") like a Hummer H2. The automaker followed a similar path with its HUV, which resembles a Hummer H3 from some angles, and a Toyota FJ Cruiser from others.

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