Spotted in China: Hongqi CA7202 E3L

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This is the Hongqi CA7202 E3L limousine, based on the Hongqi CA7202 E3 Shijixing (Century Star) sedan. The CA7202 E3 was the last Hongqi (Red Flag) based on the  Audi 100/200 that was made by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture. The CA7202 E3 arrived in 2000, long after the Audi 100/200 was replaced with the first generation Audi A6. The E3L arrived two years later in 2002.

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Just like some other Hongqi Audi-based limousines the CA7202 E3L was stretched around the C-pillar instead of around the B-pillar, which is much more common. Length of the CA7202 E3L was 5206mm, the base CA7202 E3 measured 4890mm. Power came from a Nissan VG20E 2.0 liter V6, good for 123hp that likely had some trouble moving the 1430kg heavy limousine around. Top speed was claimed at 172km/h. The Nissan V6 engine also powered many other Audi-based Honqi’s, such as the CA7220.

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Very spacious inside, but build quality was never top notch… Hongqi never sold many of these limousines, the government which used to be the biggest customer for Hongqi went for the Audi A6 and private buyers were still very few at the time. How many were made is as usual very uncertain but its a couple of thousand at best.

I met this fine carvehicle on da streets in Beijing, it seemed in perfect condition, well taken care for, and that indeed is a very good thing. The CA7202 E3 was the first Audi-based Hongqi that had its own design with a new front and a new back, the earlier cars only had a slightly different grille. The rest of the car however was classic Audi.

Hongqi also designed a new dash that replaced the old Audi dash that has been used continually in all Audi-based Hongqi’s.


Note tail fins, in 2002! Well, why not?


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  1. It seems to be based on an original German design. It looks very much like the Audi V8 Limousine. That design was developed by Treser or Trasco in Germany, and assembled by Stey-Daimler-Puch in Austria. The tell-tale is the lenghtening between the C- and D-posts, and that the rear door outer skin continues in a straight line without a wheel well cut-out. Going through that much work for the rear door is unusually much work for a limousine conversion, even so if it’s made in China. The Limousine part of this Chinese car looks very much like the V8 Limousine, except that it seems to be based on an Audi 100. The V8 Limousine was sold through official Audi-channels in Europe. Is it possible they cribbed that design, or even got their hands on the original tooling?

    • It is known for sure that Audi imported a couple of Lorenz-made limousines to China in 1981. these were rebadged as Hongqi’s and one was shown on an exhibition in Beijing. those cars however were much bigger with three doors on each side.

      I know the Treser Audi’s but I am now aware of any connection with Hongqi.I guess this is the vehicle you mean:

      The construction around the C-pillar is indeed similar, but otherwise it is a much larger car.

  2. Interior looks very cheap and nasty. They may have had original tooling and designs but they certainly didn’t have the same quality of materials.


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