You might have heard that China is the second biggest car market in the world. But when it comes to Chinese car brands most Westerners are still blissfully unaware of the homegrown Chinese car market. If you do have an impression of such brands, it's probably that they're shameless copiers, ripping off vehicles like the Range Rover Evoque with cars like the Landwind X7.

However, we've been going to the Chinese Auto Show — which annually alternates between Shanghai and Beijing — for about five years now, and it's safe to say that in 2016 the Chinese brands have truly got it together.

If you've read elsewhere that the show is full of copycat designs, you're being misled. There are still one or two rip-offs, but you have to seek them out. For the most part, leading Chinese brand design has quickly caught up — and is level-pegging — with mainstream European, Japanese and American models. That's something that would have been unthinkable, say, five years ago.

Our round-up takes you through the important debuts from some brands you'll have heard off, and takes a look at some you won't have — but ones that you might want to watch out for in the future. The message in Beijing was clear: watch out Europe, China is coming.

Click here to open our full-page gallery, featuring 17 cars from the show.