Mike Stevens | Apr 20, 2012

China's BAIC is preparing an assault on the nation's luxury market with its C80K saloon heading to next week's Beijing Auto Show.

If the C80K makes its way to production, it will take on a segment dominated by European prestige brands, BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Giving the new concept a styling edge over its often awkward compatriots, the C80K is penned by Italy's Fioravanti, founded by former Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti.

The concept draws styling cues from the likes of Bentley, with its standout feature being Rolls Royce-like 'suicide' rear doors and the absence of a B-pillar.

While the styling house has no major carmakers on its client list, its founder was involved in the design of a number of Ferrari cars, including the Daytona, 288 GTO and 308 GTB.

Fioravanti teamed with engineering outfit Eastone to develop the C80K, with the project involving 15 staff in Italy and 70 in Shanghai.

Measuring 5203mm long, the C80K would take on the long-wheelbase BMW 5 Series and the short-wheelbase 7 Series, along with similar versions of Audi's A6 and A8, and Mercedes' E- and S-Class cars.

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