No Chinese auto show is complete without a reference to Hongqi (Red Flag), one of the oldest nameplates in the country and at one time, the only brand for the domestic political elite.
At the Auto China 2012 in Beijing, Hongqi presented two new models, the flagship L7 showcar and the production ready H7 sedan, while its parent company First Automobile Works (FAW) laid out a new five-year investment plan for the brand.
As with Hongqi’s previous flagship limousine concept, the HQD from 2005, there’s a V12 engine located behind the brazen 1950’s style front end. The 6.0-liter mill is said to produce a little over 400-horses.
The other model premiered by Hongqi is the H7 full-size luxury sedan that’s based on the running gear of the Chinese market Toyota Crown. The H7 is described as Hongqi’s answer to the long-wheelbase versions of the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class and is said to be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter straight four, two V6 engines, and possibly a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle).
At the Beijing show, FAW also announced plans to invest 10.5 billion Yuan (US$1.67 billion) in the next five years to reshape Hongqi and develop a new lineup of four models including two SUVs.