Concerns Grown For Hongqi’s Wellbeing As E111 EV Sedan Shows A Lack of Respect For Design Culture
China is going through a cultural revolution at the moment, a design culture revolution. And, as with any revolutions, the intentions start well but rarely do revolutions end well. And so it is for poor unfortunate Hongqi, a company that began life under communist China, making cars exclusively for high ranking government officials. But China is changing, 21st Century communist China has been replaced by a more streamlined communist capitalism. Today Hongqi exists as a maker of luxury cars for anyone with deep enough pockets to buy. Truth be told, Hongqi is no Bentley or BMW because it is still going through a transitional cultural phase as demonstrated with the E111 EV.
The East has long faced critiques of its copy cat design philosophy. As an example, the Western trope against Japanese automotive design is that Japan lacks a design culture. And there will be many who use this same cultural trope against Chinese design. The Chinese have a great art and design heritage spanning millennia. However, the Hongqi E111 EV reveals that the Chinese automotive design heritage has a ways to go. The E111 EV is destined to be a made for China-only model and while it looks bizarre to Western designers, at least the Chinese can turn around and say “well where is your electric car industry, the West”
Few technical details are known about the Hongqi E111 EV other than it will be powered by a 190 bhp electric motor and have a pure EV range of 279 miles (450km). And if you are laughing at the Hongqi E111, take a look at the UK car industry, as an example. There is no UK car industry, it’s just a British flag. A British flag being used as a sticking plaster to cover up what has been lost because the many lions were led by lambs.