Three Qoros models debut at Geneva

6 Mar, 2013 9:30am Paul Bond

Chinese car maker Qoros has revealed a trio of new cars at the Geneva show

You may not have heard of Qoros yet, but this new Chinese car manufacturer could soon be one of Europe’s biggest players.

Stefano Villanti, Executive Director of Sales, Service, Marketing and Product Strategy, revealed that Qoros is gearing up to produce 150,000 cars within two years, with a factory capable of expanding production to 450,000 units if needs be.

The first to come from the facility will be the new 3 saloon, scheduled for European release in 2014, which has just made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Penned with European buyers in mind by ex-MINI designer Gert Hildebrand, the 3 is lower, wider and has a longer wheelbase than rivals like the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

Not only is Hildebrand proud of his creation but he also realises its importance. “The 3 is going to be the longest living car in the company, and the one that all others will be judged from. We’re not here to impress, we’re here to last”.

Inside the 3 saloon feels like it has been designed with European buyers in mind and while some of the plastics on major touch points feel a little cheap the large central touchscreen and VW-inspired switchgear both really impress. Room in the back is decent too thanks to the long wheelbase - and the Qoros stand was generating significant interest from potential rival manufacturers at the show, including Honda and Kia.

Underneath sits an all-new modular architecture, allowing for the platform to be lengthened, shortened or raised as needed. Euro NCAP has been a previous problem for many Chinese makers, but Villanti assured Auto Express that the 3 will “pass the tests with no problem, in fact with many it will positively shine”.

Despite its European intentions, over 50 per cent of Qoros models will be sold in China, so there’s no diesel model currently in the pipeline. A four-strong petrol line up ranging from a 1.2-litre three cylinder, to a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder will be supplemented by a new hybrid instead.

The latter will use an electric rear axle, originally developed by American Axle and Saab Automobile in Sweden, in conjunction with the three-cylinder petrol engine. It will produce over 220bhp and 450Nm of torque, while keeping emissions under 120g/km.

Qoros has also debuted its Cross Hybrid Concept at Geneva. For this, the drivetrain is combined with a 60mm raised ride height and a soft-roader style hatchback body. Complete with a Coupe like roofline, chunky plastic wheelarches and a redesigned front and rear it’s the most exciting to look at of the trio.

Less exciting but equally important is the Estate Concept, which offers 500-litres of luggage space with the seats in place and 1,400-litres folded.

Promising though the Qoros brand may be, it hasn’t yet confirmed if right-hand drive vehicles will be available. If this turns out to be the case, it would immediately sink the firm’s ambitions in the UK, and much of Asia and Australia, before it’s even begun.

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What an incredibly derivative bunch of pics. The interior could well be an amalgamation of all the VW Group products from circa 2005. If MG is struggling to gain any traction with the 6 and a known brand, I cannot see how this company will make an impact on the market without some serious backing. Who's going to sell these cars? Dealers etc?

MMmmmmmmmm great. Looks like a Mini Jaguar. If the engines are good it should be a winner .

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I must say, it sounds impressive, and if they can deliver a quality diesel as well, Qoros could be on to the start of something special.

Q O R O S. Hmmm! Let me think. Nope! Doesn't ring a bell. Never heard the name. If you said they made watches, I would've easily believed.
However a 3-car launch is something special by any means. Israeli-Chinese car maker? I bet Chinese will do the making. Israelis the selling.
The key factor will be the price. If Qoros gets that right it could well be the car that fills the space left by Kia/Hyundai since they moved upmarket.

Not in any way appealing. The Chinese should stick to producing carry out food and getting to grips with human rights and sorting out the massive pollution they produce etc....

For some reason that interior pic reminds me of a ten year old Lexus?

are you mad? the Chinese make EVERYTHING. The 'massive pollution' is down to them making the clothes you are wearing right now and the computer you are looking at.

And what about the 'human rights'? I agree with 'Cuzy' -why support any Chinese company

I'm sure it will be all good when first sold and launched. But then little things will start to happen - perhaps around the 13th-18th month of ownership, like a little blister in the plastic of the door handle will cause it to peel, due to the excessive use of plastic fillers.....maybe some of the electronics start to act up, because the capacitors they used in them were Chinese sourced......little things.

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