GM announces China version of hybrid Volt

SAIC-GM president Wang Yongping announces the global launch of the Buick Velite 5 an extended range electric hybrid during a global launch event ahead of the Shanghai Auto 2017 show in Shanghai China Tuesday

Even Great Wall Motors Ltd., which became China's most profitable auto brand by making nearly nothing but SUVs, has unveiled an electric compact sedan, the C30 EV, which looks nearly comically small next to its hulking other vehicles.

As we've noted before, this week's Shanghai auto show is turning out to be a whole lot better for new green cars and concepts than last week's NY auto show.

The pressure for electrification in China is an added headache for automakers at a time when sales growth is slowing and competition heating up in a market they are counting on to drive global revenue.

The I.D. Crozz has a six-link rear axle and a MacPherson strut front suspension, providing what Volkswagen describes as "GTI-like handling", complete with a balanced 48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution.

China has aggressively promoted plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars, dubbed "new energy vehicles", to fight urban smog but is gradually phasing out subsidies in favor of hard requirements like quotas.

As with all of Volkswagen's more recent electric auto concepts, the I.D. Crozz has been conceived to offer the choice between manual and autonomous driving modes.

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Nearly every global and Chinese auto brand is displaying at least one electric concept vehicle, if not a market-ready model.

The light show also includes the glass VW badges that light up in blue and white, as well as a fine line of light at the front that sweeps from the badge towards the headlights. The most important information is projected into the driver's visual field by augmented reality. Meanwhile, a new CleanAir system continually guarantees good air quality in the vehicle - in all outdoor conditions.

The I.D. CROZZ was conceptualised as a sporty, interactively designed zero-emission all-rounder - with electric all-wheel drive that is equally impressive in the urban environment as it is on the tracks of an active lifestyle.

Other bold claims by the German automaker state that the four-door can be charged up to 80 percent in only 30 minutes using a 150 kW DC fast charger. When activated the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard an the vehicle will drive itself. However, the concept version has an on-demand autopilot system that when activated makes the steering wheel retract into the dashboard. More touch-operated controls have been implemented onto the door panels. Ambient lighting transitions during the drive, such as the "eyes" (LED lighting) adjusting to higher speeds through narrower and concentrated focus. They range from family-friendly SUVs to futuristic-looking, premium-priced electric muscle cars from Chinese startups such as NextEV and Qiantu.

It follows on from the I.D. Like the I.D. and I.D. "Production will start in 2020", said Herbert Diess, chairman of the VW brand's board of management, in a statement. A Volkswagen User-ID on a smart device lets owners store various settings, such as climate preferences and typical drive routes for navigation.

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