This image was lost some time after publication.

You're looking at a China-built car that could rewire the entire European automotive industry, or it could be a nice also-ran. A joint venture between BMW and China's Brilliance motors will bear fruit later this year, when the first Zhonghuas begin arriving in Europe. Fittingly, "Zhonghua" translates from Mandarin into a concept of China in its broadest, most unified sense — including all native and ethnic Chinese — making the introduction of a world-class, Giugiaro-designed car in the European market a matter of national pride.

What's more, the Zhonghua is no chinzy econo box — it was engineered with help from Porsche — though it will sell for very economical 20,000 Euros ($24,000). Even if it's only three-quarters the way to an E-Class, it'll still pack tremendous value. The only wildcard is quality, an issue Mercedes itself is struggling with.

Chinese Cars To Hit European Market [DW-World via AutoWonder]

Honda s First Chinese Export Heads for Europe [internal]