The 83rd edition of the Geneva Motor Show is fast approaching, one of the more important shows on the calendar. If you can make it at Geneva, you can make it anywhere, at least that is the hope of an all-new Chinese automotive brand that will make its global debut in Switzerland this March.
Among the vehicles making its world premiere at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show is the Qoros 3 Sedan. The brand was formed in 2007 when Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation shared in a $1.5 billion capital investment to launch Qoros Auto Co. Ltd. The Qoros 3 Sedan, a compact model, will be the first vehicle to wear the Qoros insignia, a sedan featuring a very European design language that the company hopes will appeal to Chinese and European car shoppers alike.
The new model will offer naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The standard engine is estimated to offer 126 horsepower and 114 foot-pounds of torque; the turbocharged edition is expected to make 156 horsepower and 155 foot-pounds of torque. Both engines will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission will be available.
Qoros also says that it is working with AVL to develop a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and an all-new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Both new engines will feature gasoline direct injection.
The Qoros 3 Sedan is a clean-sheet design, one with an extended wheelbase, short overhangs and what it says is a coupe-like roofline. The company has leaned heavily on European designers to design, engineer and develop the vehicle, and has expressed its intention to nab EuroNCAP five-star crash test rating scores. If it succeeds, it will be the first Chinese model to do so.
Qoros claims that the 3 Sedans cabin is both spacious and well appointed, making use of high-quality materials throughout. An infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen display is standard, designed in-house to replace many of buttons and switches that are typically used by manufacturers. A navigation system, social media connectivity and numerous safety features are also included.
Manufacturing and Distribution
The sedan will be built at a factory in Changshu where the company is headquartered. That plant, with an initial production capacity of 150,000 units, is nearing completion. It will go online in the coming months with the first models produced in the second half of the year. Following that, additional body styles will roll out every six months, including a coupe and wagon. A crossover model is expected to follow suit. Plant capacity can be tripled if demand requires it.
Qoros will launch European sales later in 2013, but has not announced its North American plans yet. At the Geneva auto show the sedan will be showcased with a pair of concepts including a hybrid sedan. A March 5 press conference is scheduled; the show opens to the public on March 7 and runs through March 17.
Photos courtesy of Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.