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This Old Corvette Is Actually A New Chinese Plug-In Hybrid

Illustration for article titled This Old Corvette Is Actually A New Chinese Plug-In Hybrid
Photo: Newspress USA

While pawing through photos coming out of the Beijing Motor Show this week, a recurring theme caught my attention: cool retro stuff! Some of these cars feel like Americana, while others are unique. They’re all pretty strange.

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Let’s start our tour with Songsan Motors, which has created a sports car called the Dolphin that looks like an American model you may have seen before, otherwise known as the Corvette. Car News China posted on its Facebook page that this vehicle is a plug-in hybrid with a 1.5-liter turbo engine and an electric motor with a total system output of 315 horsepower. Sonsang’s own website showcases the car in more detail, but Google translate didn’t seem to be working too reliably for me on that one.

It seems that the car will list for the equivalent of about $86,000, though. I think it actually looks pretty good, if you’re into the design’s whitewalls-and-chrome era.

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Songsan was also showing off a van called the Summer, which looks a little like an alternate-universe Volkswagen Kombi. VW better hustle up and get one of its vintage-inspired van revivals off the assembly lines soon — or Sonsang will eat its lunch!

Sonsang apparently has roots as a motorcycle outfit, which I guess explains the custom bikes it brought to the show.

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And now for something completely different, as they say in England, which must have been the source of inspiration for this LEVC London Taxi LX by Lorinser.

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Actually, LEVC (stands for the London EV Company) has been making these looks-old-is-new taxi vehicles for some time, but this one has been modified by the well-known Mercedes tuner Lorinser. I like the hood ornament, so let’s admire it together.

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Photo: Newspress USA

Finally the coolest, or at least cutest, car to roll out onto this year’s Beijing show floor is the Great Wall Futurist concept.

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I noticed more than one comment section around the internet pegged this as a cross between a Ford Mustang and a BMW 2002, and I can see it. But it feels like a fairly original design. In fact, if it hearkens back to anything specific, my mind goes to the Ford 021C which was similarly retro and futuristic at once. And timeless too, it turns out.

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Photo: Newspress USA
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If you check out the website of Marc Newson, you’ll see a bunch of images of that amazing ’90s concept car, and it 100 percent looks like something that could come out today. Clean lines never go out of style.

As for the Futurist here, CarScoops says former Land Rover designer Phil Simmons oversaw the project. I love it, it’s perfect.

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Keep your eyes open for more news out of the Beijing auto show, which will continue into October.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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DISCUSSION

The Vette /Bus look like those fiberglass metalflake cars at a 70's kiddie park ..( Knobels still has them)...I like their take on the 3.0/ Barvaria Neu Klasse sedan though