The Chinese automaker hopes to rival the likes of Mercedes and BMW with a new flagship sedan.
The luxury-car segment in China is currently dominated by the LWB versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and with the C80K concept, Chinese automaker BAIC hopes to have a strong competitor. Helped in part by design and engineering companies Eastone and Fioravanti of Italy, which both have bases in Shanghai, BAIC has prepared a concept featuring a pillarless design and rear-opening suicide doors, which will debut next week at the Beijing Auto Show.
According to Autonews Europe, if built the sedan, which is 5203mm long and 1915mm wide, would become the carmaker's flagship model and help them enter the lucrative premium car segment. Luxury cars are China's fastest growing segment, with sales up by 36.7 percent to 130,416 from January to March over the same period last year. BAIC also produces Mercedes- and Hyundai-branded vehicles for the Chinese market, and has recently required intellectual rights from GM for certain Saab models.