Updated editions unveiled in Beijing

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Automakers unveiled facelifts of Western models for the Eastern market ahead of the Auto China show, which opened to the public on April 25.

Volkswagen introduced its new Phaeton, a luxury sedan that will hit showrooms in fall 2010. The new model has been given a revamp from the front, including a new grille, new LED lights and a reprofiled hood.

Two engines will be offered - a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel and a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine, while the car's navigation has also been integrated with Google maps for the first time, allowing drivers to get live updates from the satellite navigation system.

Volkswagen also claims that the car's climate control system can maintain a steady interior temperature of 22 degrees Celsius while the vehicle is at a constant speed of 186 mph in an ambient temperature of 50 degrees.

Skoda is also set to relaunch the Octavia MingRui, its best-selling hatchback and most popular global model, at the show. It is, according to the firm, manufactured to meet the needs of Chinese consumers and is available exclusively as a gasoline model, in 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 litre configurations.

"The introduction of the facelifted Octavia MingRui is another important step in our expansion in the prospective Chinese market," said Skoda CEO Reinhard Jung. "Last year was a record-breaking one for us again - using a network of already 245 dealers and authorized garages, we delivered altogether 122,556 vehicles to our customers in the Chinese market, it represents an increase of 106.6%"

Auto China 2010 is open to the public until May 2.

http://www.china-autoshow.com/

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