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Future models - Chery - Exeed TX

Frankfurt show: Chery uncovers Exeed TX

Pitching it: Chery says the Exeed TX SUV was “conceived to appeal to the new generation of young, urban, forward-thinking customers who choose sophisticated, high-quality products”.

Australia waits as TX SUV marks first of new Chery family under Exeed sub-brand

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Chery logo13 Sep 2017

By TERRY MARTIN

CHINESE car-maker Chery Automobile staged the world premiere of its TX crossover at the Frankfurt motor show overnight, the first of a promised new line of export-oriented passenger cars and SUVs that come under a newly developed sub-brand dubbed Exeed.

Shown in pre-production guise, the Exeed TX marks a fresh assault “in the coming years” by China’s leading vehicle exporter on the European market and a broader rollout to other western countries, including Australia, where independent importer Ateco Automotive has first right of refusal for a resumption of Chery exports after sales ground to a halt last year.

An Ateco Automotive spokesperson told GoAuto today that the importer – which has distribution rights for both Australia and New Zealand – understands that, “as far as we know”, the all-new five-seat compact SUV is only slated for left-hand-drive production at this stage.

Chery reaffirmed in Frankfurt that European markets are its prime focus for now, but that still-to-be-announced R&D and design facilities to be established in Europe will accelerate its plans for “global expansion”.

The TX is based on what Chery describes as an “all-new, high-quality” platform specifically developed for the new Exeed family and which is ready to accommodate electrified powertrains, with the SUV and its still-secret stablemates to emulate rivals from other major car-makers in offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full-electric variants.

The TX will be sold in Europe with all three powertrain options, starting with the plug-in hybrid variant that combines a 110kW 1.5-litre petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor, driving all four wheels through a seven-speed ‘hybrid drive’ transmission.

According to the car-maker, the Exeed TX PHEV can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 200km/h, while returning combined-cycle fuel consumption of 1.8 litres per 100km (NEDC).

The TX can reportedly travel for 70km in pure-electric mode based on speeds up to 120km/h, while a full recharge of the lithium-ion battery takes only four hours from a conventional 220-volt household outlet. Chery also says that a fast-charge to 80 per cent requires just 30 minutes.

Working overtime to remove any doubts over quality, Chery insists that the TX is being put through “a brutally rigorous international development program” and points to a broad range of global suppliers involved in development, including German firm Benteler which has worked with the Chinese manufacturer in designing and engineering the new platform codenamed ‘M3X’.

The TX uses MacPherson struts up front and a relatively sophisticated multi-link rear suspension system, with Chery claiming that the chassis was tuned to provide the driver with “direct response, excellent feel and predictable, reassuring handling”.

The all-wheel-drive system was co-engineered with Dana and BorgWarner, while the six-speed manual and seven speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions were supplied and integrated with Getrag. Valeo is supplying various technologies such as the clutch and driver-assist systems.

Bosch is also heavily involved in the vehicle, providing various safety and engine management components and supplying the main 10.0-inch TFT display unit and 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster, while other major automotive suppliers on-board include Hella (LED front and rear lamps) and Continental (tyres, body control module and other electronics).

The TX shown in Frankfurt is fitted with 19-inch wheels and is fully loaded with a comprehensive range of active and passive safety features, including collision protection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, a driver fatigue detection system and a full complement of airbags (front, side, rear side and curtain).

Chery says the SUV will be backed by a five-star China NCAP rating, which should translate to either a four- or five-star rating in Europe and Australasia.

The TX was penned by former General Motors and Ford designer James Hope, who has developed a new iteration of Chery’s ‘Life in Motion’ styling philosophy that will be identifiable across all SUV and crossover models developed as part of the Exeed family.

In the TX, the result is a typically modern, stylish and athletic-looking SUV that does not look out of place among the current crop of new-generation models from mass-market brands.

A useful level of technology is apparent in the cabin including the requisite smartphone connectivity, infotainment apps, voice recognition, built-in WiFi, “intelligent” satellite navigation (with real-time traffic information) and telematics.

As well as the large central display on the dash stack, two smaller ‘touchscreens’ are provided within the main ventilation rotary dials underneath.

Keyless start, cabin air filter (with LED display), 360-degree surround-view camera, smart-opening boot and park-assist systems are also included, while creature comforts run to premium heated seats (with driver’s seat position memory), a panoramic sunroof and auto-change ambient lighting.

Unveiling the Exeed TX in Frankfurt, Chery Automobile chief executive Anning Chen said: “In just a few years we intend to start selling a family of vehicles in European markets across multiple segments, with power supplied by a range of electrified powertrains.

“Our brand will target open-minded, relatively younger customers in particular, with a product rollout strategy that focuses on quality, low- and zero-emissions powertrains, and emotional engagement with customers.

“All Chery vehicles that are intended to be sold in Europe will feature class-leading connectivity, be fun to drive, offer flexible and spacious interiors and will provide comprehensive personalisation, all of which are aligned with our high standards of product quality and aftersales support.”

Chery Automobile executive vice-president of product development Ray Briezinski said the Chinese car-maker was well aware of the level the XT and other Exeed models needed to reach in order to be a success in Europe and other western markets.

“Europe is one of the most mature automotive marketplaces in the world, and is home to the most demanding and sophisticated customers,” he said.

“We are leaving nothing to chance to ensure our new model line is engineered to meet and even exceed expectations. Our entire development program is driven by the philosophy to ensure we leave a very positive and compelling first impression.”

Also on display at Frankfurt are Chery’s Tiggo Coupe concept – a coupe-style version of the Tiggo compact SUV – and the current Tiggo 5x and Tiggo 7 models.

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