When you think about luxury cars, it’s easy to default to the Germans. Of course, there’s the Japanese, the British, and the Americans too, but the German brands remain top of mind. But one automaker wants to shake up the establishment, and that brand is Hongqi.
But wait, what exactly is Hongqi? The name may be new to most ears, but the brand has actually been around since 1958 and is known to be China’s oldest automaker. In its home country, the brand has been associated with luxury and authority as it was the transport of choice for important government figures and the elite. Hongqi has been in the business of building luxury cars for over 60 years, so it has that going for it.
Hongqi plans to leave a strong impression on the Philippine luxury car market with its first two model, namely the H5 and e-HS9.
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The Hongqi H5 is a mid-sized executive sedan that is aimed at the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Lexus ES. At nearly five meters long, it’s one of the largest sedans in the market today, only dwarfed by long-wheelbase flagship sedans from Germany and Japan. The H5 makes its presence felt with that near-vertical grille that’s flanked by a pair of slim headlights. There are more curves when you get to its sides, and the rear section will get people talking thanks to those distinct tail lights.
There are two engine options available for the H5. First is a 1.5-liter turbo with 166hp and 258Nm of torque. The other is a 2.0-liter turbo packing 221hp and 340Nm of torque. The 1.5-liter uses an seven-speed dual-clutch transmission while the 2.0-liter has an eight-speed automatic.
Of course, you can’t launch a new brand here without bringing in a crossover or SUV. But Hongqi does things a little differently. Instead of bringing in a conventional fuel-powered model, it chose to bring the the electric version of the HS9. The e-HS9 is a full-sized SUV at well over 5.2 meters long. At that length, it’s about the same size as a BMW X7, Mercedes-Benz GLS, and Lexus LX 600. Like the H5, the e-HS9 gets that imposing front end treatment that’s complemented by gentle curves in the rest of the body.
There are three variants available for the e-HS9, namely Executive, Deluxe, and Flagship. All versions come with dual motors, but with varying power outputs. The Executive has a total system output of 430hp and 600Nm of torque, while the Deluxe and Flagship doles out 544hp and 750Nm.
There are no final prices just yet, so stay tuned.