Today in China Car History and Spotted in China a beautiful black Hongqi HQ430 sedan, seen on a rainy day in easy Beijing. It was in super shape and carries a license plate from Jilin province with the ultra rare sequence of 9990.
The Hongqi HQ430 was a variant of the Hongqi HQ3 series, manufactured from 2006 until 2010. The HQ3 was based on the fourth-generation (S180) Toyota Crown Majesta.
There were two variants: the HQ300 powered by a 3.0 V6 with 231hp and 300nm, and the HQ430 powered by a 4.3 liter V8 with 280hp and 430nm.The engines and six-speed automatic ‘box were sourced from Toyota.
Size: 4965/1795/1485, and wheelbase is 2850.
At the time, the fourth generation Crown Majesta was made in China by the FAW-Toyota joint venture. FAW, First Auto Works, is also the owner of the Hongqi brand. FAW’s reliance on Toyota continues with the Hongqi H7 which is based on the fifth-generation (S200) Toyota Crown Majesta.
Hongqi also made a one-off super stretched ‘Flagship’ limousine based on the HQ430.
The interior was in very good shape and completely original. Leather is a bit worn out but a good cleanup will fix that. Wood looks very good. The stereo system has a CD player and a cassette player! Hongqi didn’t change much about the Toyota interior. Nothing really. They added a Hongqi badge in the center stack, between the CD and cassette trays, and a FAW badge on the steering wheel. Job done.
Rear bench looked like it was never used. Note handle bars on the front seats.
On the left side the FAW “winged-1” logo imprinted in the glass. The sticker looks original. Oddly, it is in English. The HQ3-series was never exporter, bar for the occasional state-to-state gift.
A three-stripe chrome ornament on the D-pillar.
The winged-1 badge on the wheels.
Over the years I have seen a many HQ300 on the road, but this was my very first HQ430. They are very rare. Approximately 95% of the HQ3-series sold were of the 300 model. The 430 was much more expensive. Price in 2009 stood at a massive 688.800 yuan. The 300 did ‘just’ 399.800 yuan.
Love this badge! The 3UZ-FE 4.3 liter V8, see a photo here, was also used to power the S160 Lexus LS and the XF30 Lexus LS430. Hongqi claimed a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour and a 0-100 in 7.3 seconds. Fuel consumption was on the high side, claimed to be 11.3 liters per 100 kilometers.
Badge on the left: Zhongguo Yiche, China First Auto. Characters in the middle: Hongqi, in Mao’s handwriting.
The massive grille was made to impress.
It was topped by the Hongqi red-flag ornament on the bonnet. The frame is made out of metal, the ‘flag’ out of hard plastic. Great car, great Chinese-Japanse cooperation, and a great V8.