What do a Bentley Flying Spur, a Ferrari 458, and a 1,900-square-foot South Beach Condo have in common with each other?
They all cost less than the $US803,000 a Chinese businessman paid for his Hongqi L5 luxury sedan this week.
Hongqi, Chinese for Red Flag, is the flagship product of China FAW Group and has long been the vehicle of choice for the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.
The exact details of this particular sedan are hard to come by, but according to China Auto Web, all L-series models are powered by an all-aluminium 6.0 litre V-12 engine producing 402hp and 405 lb/ft.
The L-series is also said to feature “intelligent” 4-wheel-drive technology and will ride on an adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension.
The 7,000-pound sedan is an incredible melange of modern and retro-themes. While the side and rear profile of the car are reminiscent of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph/Bentley Arnage of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the front end is decidedly more archaic.
In fact, the car’s designers drew inspiration for the front fascia from Chairman Mao’s 1960s era Hongqi CA770 sedan.
According to Bloomberg, FAW began taking orders for the L-Series sedan this week at the 2014 China Auto Show. FAW’s decision to shift the L-Series from exclusive government runabout to commercialized production vehicle can be interpreted as an attempt to cash in on the Chinese government’s push for domestic branded products. In fact, the Chinese government has now banned the purchase of foreign-branded vehicles with public money.
Wang Zhonghua, the buyer of the $US800,000 L5, tells Bloomberg that delivery is expected to take place in roughly 3 months.
In addition to its in-house brands, FAW also produces vehicles for Audi, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen under joint-venture agreements.
Here is a close look at the Hongqi L-Series sedan:
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