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Hongqi L-Concept: Who Needs a Steering Wheel When You Have a Chandelier?

Every once in a while, particularly around the time of various auto shows, carmakers like to indulge in a bit of fantasizing about what the future might hold for the auto industry. Not few are those who imagine one in which the driver is no longer needed since autonomous vehicles have become the norm.
The Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touches 12 photos
The Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touchesThe Hongqi L-Concept looks to a luxurious future of full autonomy and glitzy design touches
That’s the same kind of future Hongqi, China’s oldest carmaker, also dreams of. The 2021 edition of Auto Shanghai is now underway, and one of the models presented to the public at the carmaker’s booth is the L-concept. That's a sedan with clear limo influences that disposes of the steering wheel and adds outrageous luxury touches instead.

First of all, the idea of cars without steering wheels is not new. In fact, it’s been increasingly noticeable in concepts in the past couple of years as autonomous technology evolves. Many manufacturers are convinced man will be more than willing to relinquish full control to the machine, so lounge-like vehicles, all-electric and fully autonomous, will travel the roads, delivering entertainment, remote working spaces, or even R&R spaces like a hotel room on wheels.

The L-Concept is also like that. Details on the luxury sedan are not available as of the moment of press, but you know what they say—pictures do speak louder than words. And what a fancy, decadent story these photos tell! Just check out the gallery above.

The L-Concept is a sedan posing as a limousine. It’s shiny, it’s hard to miss because of its massive grille and rather gorgeous diamond pattern on the rear windshield, two-tone exterior, and a distinct “look at me” vibe. Impressed? Well, it’s twice all these on the inside. The two rear doors are suicide doors, opening to a three-seat interior. To say it takes a while to take everything in is quite an understatement: there’s a certain elegant two-tone, white-on-brown interior, but the trimmings are a lot.

You get fuzzy carpets (in white, no less, because that’s how you know how rich you are, when you can afford to get white, hard to clean carpets for your car), copper-like trim, lots of polished veneer that just screams fingerprints, crystal embeds and an actual, pink-looking chandelier hanging between the rear seats. Because there’s no front passenger seat, the corresponding seat in the back can move all the way up front for heightened comfort.

Perhaps more striking than this interior is the rumor that the L-Concept will go into production in 2023. Unless carmakers have autonomous technology sorted out by then, which is highly unlikely, it will most likely include a steering wheel.

Editor's note: For all the new models launched at the Chinese show this year, check out our extended coverage of Auto Shanghai 2021.

 
 
 
 
 

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