Beijing is probably the most important auto show of the year. Actually, I was sure, and I was not alone with that: NEVS would be celebrating world premiere there with the Saab EV.
Have I been wrong or misinterpreted? Sure, it's motor show without NEVS and without the Saab EV! Plans are changing, for whatever reason. Another Saab descendant stood in the limelight. Accessible to all journalists was the Shenbao D60 Aero Concept. It assumes the series variant of the D60, which is already completed.
Parallel to the Shenbao D60 Aero Concept, a production car was available in a locked room for special guests. Pictures of the production version could not be made.
The Shenbao D60 is based on the Saab 9-3, whose rights BAIC has acquired from Saab. The Aero is made quite sporty and, as always, represents the top version of the model range. It seems that BAIC is allowed to use the name unabashedly. Just like BAIC in China generally appears as the legal successor to Saab and advertises Saab DNA and history. But, we don't know the treaties, so don't worry. If you can live with it in Trollhättan at NEVS, then I can too.
The Shenbao D60 is powered by a 2.0 liter turbo with Trionic and 204 hp. Not the engine we know from the 9-3 II, but BAIC is said to have transplanted the 2 liter from the old 9-5 into the D60. Perhaps organ donation from 9-5 to 9-3, with considerable effort, is one reason why the start of production of the D60 is repeatedly postponed. The start of series production should now be in the 4th quarter of 2014; a 1.8 liter turbo with 177 hp developed by BAIC is to complement the engine range. An electric version should also go into production.
Prices for the D60 are expected to start at 120.000 yuan in China, which is pretty much the equivalent of € 14.000. A competitive price, at least in my eyes, because the “Shenbao” brand is considered a domestic premium brand in China. Which is on the market with some success against the European brands.
More pictures of the Shenbao D60 Aero Concept at the BAIC booth are available from the bloggers of leblogauto who were in Beijing.