The Hongqi L5: What you need to know about the King's new luxury vehicle

KUALA LUMPUR: When His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, was presented a new Hongqi L5 luxury vehicle, becoming the first private owner of such a car, only the biggest enthusiasts probably would not have been left scratching their heads.

First launched in 2014 as basically a Chinese take on the Rolls Royce Phantom, the L5 exudes luxury (where else can you get a jade inlay handlebar?) with a performance to match.

The standard L5 (let's face it, this is the King we're talking about, so he may not have gotten the standard version) is packed with modern features such as LCD screens, all while paying tribute to classic designs, such as the vertical bars on a new 3D "straight waterfall type" front grille and gun barrel-shaped halogen head lamps.

Makers FAW Hongqi say the L5 is a perfect fusion of tradition and modernity in time and space, which endows the limousine with an unsurpassed grandeur.

Through a combination of modern techniques and traditional crafts, the wooden parts of the limousine bring to its interior charming elegance. With the straight wood grain accompanying natural lacquer, the interior of the limousine, while looking so naturally complete, displays a poetic beauty, they say.

It is powered by the first indigenously self-developed, Hongqi V-type, 12-cylinder, total-aluminium engine which adopts a V-type 60-degree angle, with four valves on each cylinder, independent air vent systems and low speed with high torque reaching 440Nm/1000rpm.

FAW Hongqi claims the engine provides a perfect combination of energy-saving techniques, light-weight design, vibration noise control and robust power output.

A double wishbone independent front suspension, accompanied by H-type multi-link rear suspension, giving it excellent controllability and stability, even on bumpy roads.

The 20-inch, nine-spoke wheels, added to the road handling experience.

The seats are leather (of course), with a five-shift heating and three-shift ventilation system, and massage function to boot.

And the price? Well, FAW Hongqi's website doesn't list it, but one reputable auto website has put it at just under US$700,000, meaning it is more expensive than the Phantom.

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