Drive

Denza debuts first model in Beijing

April 24, 2012

BEIJING, April 24 — Denza, the new brand created by Chinese brand BYD and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler, has unveiled its first vehicle.

The Denza Chinese New Energy Vehicle (NEV) (picture) may not have a snappy name, but it drew plenty of attention at its unveiling at Auto China, the enormous Beijing show which opens to the public April 27.

It’s the first time that Denza, created specifically for the Chinese market, has shown off a vehicle and the model is designed to showcase the partners’ technological prowess, blending BYD’s EV know-how with Daimler’s automotive design pedigree.

The design is said to be based on a previous generation Mercedes-Benz, although it’s still very much a concept and likely some way from the production model slated to launch next year.

Unlike many of the brands on show at Auto China this week, Denza is electric-only, clearly reasoning that electrified vehicles are something to be in for the long haul, with Chinese authorities planning to have five million on the roads by 2020.

However, there has been a considerable softening on this stance recently, with China appearing more willing than ever before to consider hybrid and other solutions as part of a gradualist approach with the understanding that things won’t change overnight. Honda announced this week that it would give some of its hybrid technology to Chinese firms to help them produce the vehicles, while rival Toyota unveiled the Yundong Shuangqing, a China-only concept hybrid equipped with a hybrid powertrain. — AFP-Relaxnews

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