2022-23 Guangzhou motor show highlights

The doors were opened to the 2022 Guangzhou motor show on December 30, making for a rather awkwardly timed event.

Running until January 8, the 2022 Guangzhou show – arguably more of a 2023 exhibition thanks to its delayed opening – has proved perhaps to not be the most noteworthy of shows, with one exception.

A concept car from firm IAT Automobile caught fire, making for an embarrassing PR mishap and an unpleasant odour of burnt metal and wet carpet.

That snafu aside, there were some reveals of new products in key segments that went rather more smoothly.

GAC Aion Hyper GT

Hometown brand GAC took to the Guangzhou show with a rakish four-door electric coupe from its Aion marque.

The GAC Aion Hyper GT features dramatic scissor doors, slippery styling said to be inspired by liquid metal, and a claimed drag coefficient of just 0.19, besting the Mercedes-Benz EQS’ 0.20 figure. GAC Aion therefore claims it has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car currently available in the world.

It features an enclosed front fascia with a lower intake that opens automatically at a set speed to help reduce wind resistance. Likewise, the rear spoiler rises when the vehicle reaches 80km/h.

Full specifications, including dimensions, have yet to be released but GAC Aion says the Hyper GT rides its new dedicated electric AEP3.0 architecture.

A single-motor rear-wheel drive version produces 250kW of power and 434Nm of torque, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds. A dual-motor version is expected, however.

While the interior hasn’t been revealed, we can spy a large, portrait-oriented central touchscreen on the dashboard. The Hyper GT also features a glass roof, as well as a pod for a LiDAR unit above the windscreen.

Chery Tiggo 9

Chery has a dizzying array of SUVs across not only its namesake brand, but also its Exeed and Jetour marques.

The Tiggo 9 sits atop an eight-strong range of Chery Tiggo-badged SUV models, and measures 4820mm long, 1930mm wide and 1699mm tall on a 2820mm wheelbase – almost identical in footprint to a Kia Sorento.

It has a high waistline and a sloped tailgate, though Chery hasn’t gone full-coupe SUV with its styling – like a Sorento, it boasts a third row of seating.

A full-width LED lighting assembly at the rear has a whiff of Audi Q8 about it, while up front there’s a large, shield-shaped grille featuring an illuminated Chery badge.

Chery hasn’t revealed full specifications, but Car News China reports the Tiggo 9 uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 194kW of power and 400Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

It’s unclear whether the Tiggo 9 will join the local line-up.

Chery is set to relaunch in Australia this year with a range of three crossovers: the Omoda 5 small SUV, similar in size to a Kia Seltos; the Tiggo 7 Pro, which straddles the small and medium SUV segments dimensionally; and the two- or three-row Tiggo 8 Pro that’s sized close to a Mitsubishi Outlander.

Haval H-Dog PHEV

There may be only two Haval-badged SUVs currently on sale in Australia, but the Haval range continues to grow in China with the new H-Dog plug-in hybrid SUV.

It features a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine and two-speed Direct Hybrid Transmission, with total system outputs of 240kW of power and 530Nm of torque.

It measures 4705mm long, 1908mm wide and 1780mm tall on a 2810mm wheelbase, or 90mm longer than a Toyota RAV4 on a 120mm longer wheelbase.

It has a similar design aesthetic to the other Dogs in Haval’s kennel, the mid-sized Big Dog (aka Dagou/Dargo) and the slightly smaller Cool Dog. It features rugged design touches like black plastic wheel arch mouldings with exposed bolts, and like the other Dogs it has single round headlights.

Its bulging haunches and rounder rear with circular lighting elements, however, give it its own unique look.

Inside, there’s a large landscape-oriented central touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster.

A filing with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reveals the H-Dog – if it’s called that – will also have a variant with a 175kW turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Tank 300 Cyber Knight and Iron Cavalry 02

In addition to showcasing the new Tank 500 PHEV – which could be one of several electrified GWM models coming to Australia – Great Wall Motor also revealed two special edition Tank 300s.

The Cyber Knight was developed by both the Tank brand and Chaojing, with blacked-out styling and a more aggressive body kit. It appears to be the production version of the Cybertank concept of 2021, and will be available only in black – albeit with a choice of bold orange or blue highlights inside and out.

The Iron Cavalry 02 is a more off-road-oriented special edition co-developed with firm Topfire, featuring unique bumpers, an electric winch, a snorkel, retro 17-inch wheels in all-terrain tyres, and shock absorbers with eight-level damping.

Both special editions feature the standard turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine offered in the Chinese-market Tank 300, and not the hybrid powertrain offered locally.