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Future models - Chery - Beta 5

Chery previews smoother soft-roader

Brave face: Chery’s Beta 5 soft-roader concept features the new corporate logo that marks a new direction for the Chinese car maker.

Beta 5 concept heralds a great leap forward for Chinese car-maker Chery

Chery logo18 Apr 2013

CHINESE brand Chery’s Australian distributor says it will be “very interested” in a compact soft-roader slated to make its debut at the Shanghai motor show this week.

Details are scant ahead of the Beta 5 concept’s debut, slated for production in 2015, however it is believed to be powered by a 1.6-litre supercharged four-cylinder engine producing about 110kW of power.

The car is also believed to be based on the Chery Tiggo, a small soft-roader sold in most parts of Australia since 2011 as the $17,990 Chery J11.

The J11 is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 102kW of power and 182Nm of torque.

It is not sold in Victoria because it did not meet a state government mandate that requires every new vehicle sold to include electronic stability control, which helps a car recover from a skid.

Chery Australia spokesman Daniel Cotterill said the Beta 5 concept would be a big advance for the Chinese marque.

“It will be worth waiting for from our point of view because it will be quite an advanced model,” he said.

“We’re quite optimistic with the safety standard that car will achieve, and also with the level of refinement and sophistication of other on-board systems.” Chery cars have fared poorly in Australian crash testing, with the J11 scoring only two stars out of a possible five when results of its test were released in 2011.

The concept is also expected to include a first look at Chery’s “iAuto” system, announced at a major rebranding of the company earlier this week that also includes a restyled logo. The Apple-esque “i” is meant to represent intelligence, Chery said.

Part of the iAuto program is a move to cloud-based infotainment services that, similarly to Holden’s MyLink, enable the car’s audio system to piggyback off an owner’s smartphone-based internet connection.

Also identified as a part of iAuto was a lift in the quality standards of Chery products.

The Beta 5 concept will show alongside a remodelled Alpha 7 sedan, a mid-size five-seater that is also said to be close to a future production model for the brand.

Similar to the Beta 5, the Alpha 7 is fitted with a 1.6-litre engine, but said to be mated to a six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission.

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