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Hongqi L5 rendered

If you’re Xi Jinping, the new Hongqi L5 will be of great interest to you.
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The most expensive passenger car made in China is being redesigned.

Carscoops has shared these renderings of the upcoming, second-generation L5, the flagship of China’s oldest car brand, Hongqi.

Used as the official state car of China, the current Hongqi L5 was first introduced in 2014 and has a price tag north of A$1 million. Though primarily used for official duties, the L5 has been made available in small numbers to private buyers.

From the front on, the upcoming L5 looks almost exactly the same as the current L5, down to the red flag hood ornament (Hongqi translates to ‘red flag’).

Instead of the boxy, upright body of the current L5, however, these renderings reveal a sleek, tapered roofline and suicide doors.

The side profile is reminiscent of a current-day Rolls-Royce Ghost but the rear has a decidedly retro vibe with its sloping boot and cathedral taillights.

The interior looks much the same as the current L5, with two separate digital displays in the centre stack. The gauges appear in the top display.

The L5 is known for using colourful and distinctive wood appliqués and the new model is no exception.

The new L5 is expected to carry over the current model’s 6.0-litre V12 engine. In the current L5, it delivers 300kW and 550Nm to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Above: The current Hongqi L5

The current model also weighs 3150kg, or around 500kg more than an extended-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantom despite measuring around 500mm shorter.

There's no word yet on when the new L5 will be introduced, though it's likely to go into government duties before private sales start.

Though the L5’s front-end resembles Hongqi's first model, the 1958 CA72, the new L5 is arriving much sooner than the CA72’s replacement did.

The CA72, later renamed CA770, continued in low-volume production for 23 years. It was based on the Imperial, then Chrysler Corporation's flagship line.

Above: Hongqi HS7

The L5 sits atop a freshly expanded range of luxury sedans, the Toyota Crown Majesta-based H7 and the Mazda6-derived H5.

The brand has also very recently entered the luxury SUV market. It offers the HS7, HS5 and electric e-HS3, roughly corresponding in size to the BMW X5, X3 and X1, respectively.