The affluent in China have a new, homegrown chariot to compete with the likes of Rolls Royce. The Hong Qi L5–which, literally (and troublingly) translates as “red flag”–is powered by a 400-horsepower, 6.0-liter V12, which is paired with a six-speed automatic. The AWD flagship need all that power, because the L5 tips the scales at over 7000 lbs.
It comes courtesy of a government-backed program to promote domestic brands that dovetails neatly with efforts to step-up China’s diplomatic profile, partly through a greater emphasis on the pomp and circumstance accompanying state visits. The L9, is reserved for Chinese state leaders, flaunts a 6.4-meter (21-foot) armored chassis, suicide doors that open backward, and a price tag reported at around $1 million.