Toyota Yundong Shuangqing and Dear Qin concept cars at 2012 Beijing motor show

Published: 23 April 2012

If you want an idea of how important the Beijing motor show has become, get this: Toyota showed 38 production and concept cars in China this week. But two stood out: the Yundong Shuangqing and Dear Qin concept cars.

Great names! What on earth is the Toyota Yundong Shuangqing?

That's the longer, blue car in our photos here. It's a petrol-electric hybrid developed by Toyota's China R&D thinktank in Changshu, and is designed for use in China.

Hybrids are just as big news in China as they are over here in Europe. Toyota sells the Prius and Camry Hybrid in China already - and to reinforce the fact, there's a cutaway body of a plug-in hybrid Prius at the Beijing show. It plans to build hybrid cars in China in three years' time.

The Yundong Shuangqing has zero production intent, however. Toyota is talking to its local partners FAW and Guanghzhou about building a new range of hybrids in China from around 2015 - and this concept car is a glimpse of what those plans could spawn.

That strange name is derived from Mandarin Chinese and means 'movement upon clouds', as far as we can make out. It's currently Toyota's advertising slogan in China.

Right… And the Toyota Dear Qin? Is that a car for agony aunts?

Touché. Not quite. This is a compact-sized hatchback and saloon, said to trial a new design for a global small car range. It's also an attempt to appeal to China's entry-level buyers - and something a bit like this is planned for production in 2013, says Toyota.

The Dear Qin twins are notable for their bold front ends, with the 'T' Toyota badges proudly expressed on grilles which merge with strong lighting graphics - continued in the frowning LED strips running into the lower bumper. It's a striking face. The smaller, green hatchback has an intriguing BMW i3-alike swathe of styling lines at the rear too.

And that name? Apparently it is a fond term of address in Mandarin, 'representing the wish for these models to become cherished by many.' Right.

Anything else on the Toyota stand?

Well, this is the Chinese debut for the Toyota GT86 models and there's a host of interesting local market fayre, such as the Crown, Reiz, Vios and other cars we miss out on in the UK.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet