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From opulent interiors to cutting-edge technologies, discover how these Chinese luxury cars redefine prestige in the face of legacy brands from Europe Image Credit: Supplied

In recent years, the concept of luxury in the automotive world has undergone a transformation - nowhere is this shift more apparent than in the burgeoning landscape of Chinese luxury cars. As China's economic prowess continues to surge, so too does its appetite for opulent cars. With a rapidly expanding number of millionaires (over 6 million according to recent reports) China finds itself at the forefront of the global luxury car market, a landscape traditionally dominated by European legacy marques such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche. Yet, Chinese automakers are emerging as formidable contenders, offering a blend of craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, and distinctive design ethos. This new age of luxury reflects not only China's economic power but also its cultural evolution, as discerning consumers seek vehicles that not only signify status but also the latest in technology. These top five Chinese cars are just the beginning of the country’s aspirations on the global luxury stage.

1 Zeekr 001

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Introducing the Zeekr 001, a mass-market car from China to the world - it’s happened before but what sets the Zeekr 001 apart is its innovative modular architecture, allowing for seamless customization and future-proofing. This car is proof that China is in it for the long run, so European brands should take notice. The Zeekr’s sleek design integrates advanced aerodynamics with a minimalist aesthetic, and it’s priced to undercut German rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes at approximately $60,000. The Zeekr 001 boasts a range of over 600 kilometres on a single charge and blistering acceleration courtesy of its electric powertrain. This is one to watch as it’s priced to compete in a crowded mid-size luxury car market.


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The NIO ET9 is testament to China's ambition in the realm of luxury executive cars. This formidable electric machine embodies the fusion of cutting-edge technology and performance prowess. What distinguishes the ET9 is its next-gen solid-state battery technology, for unrivalled range and charging efficiency. Priced at around $150,000, the ET9 offers a glimpse into the future of automotive luxury, delivering blistering acceleration of below two seconds to reach 100km/h and track-ready handling. With its futuristic design the NIO ET9 stands as a symbol of China's emergence as a formidable force in the executive sedan class.

3 BYD U8

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You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to big luxury SUVs, and China’s BYD wants in on the action with the new electrified $150,000 BYD U8. BYD, by the way, sells three million electrified cars a year, so they aren’t new to the game. The Toyota Land Cruiser-sized BYD U8 is quoted to produce a staggering 1,200 horsepower, which is Bugatti territory, thanks to a range-extender four-cylinder combustion engine paired with four electric motors. The craziest part? BYD claims a range of one thousand kilometres. They also own their own lithium mines and make their own batteries, which is unprecedented in the car industry, so these impressive specs should be taken very seriously. Oh, and a $235,000 BYD U9 luxury supercar is on the way next.

4 HiPhi A

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This HiPhi A is one of the most exotic examples of China’s tech know-how, and the simplest way of describing it would be as a four-door, four-seater Nissan GT-R. In fact, it’s much more than that. The upcoming HiPhi A is the ultimate evolution of luxury supercar engineering, featuring the company’s in-house developed 800-volt architecture and three electric motors which means it packs a staggering 1300 horsepower. That’s good enough for a top speed of 300km/h and zero to 100km/h in less than two seconds, making it amongst the fastest vehicles in the world. Plenty of carbon fibre is used for the construction of the car, as well as aero-grade TC4 titanium inside and out, which is a first in the car industry.

5 Hongqi L5

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Ah, at last, the Hongqi L5, the epitome of Chinese luxury. Designed to effortlessly glide down the road surrounding its occupants in sumptuous leather and handcrafted wood veneers, the L5 is China’s answer to Rolls-Royce. Underneath its classical styled exterior lies a 6.0-liter V12 engine, delivering power and refinement in equal measure, with an output of over 400 horsepower - despite weighing as much as a medium-sized drawbridge, the L5 can propel you from zero to 100km/h in a leisurely eight seconds or so, quite a feat for a car this size. But it's not just about raw power; the L5 is brimming with cutting-edge technology, from its state-of-the-art infotainment system to its advanced driver assistance features, and then you get to the elephant in the room. With a starting price of around $800,000, the Hongqi L5 isn't for the faint of heart or light of wallet. It doesn’t matter much anyway since Hongqi wouldn’t sell you one anyway, because the L5 is only for Chinese statesmen and government big shots. Sorry…