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Geneva show: Qoros to debut production GQ3 sedan

Tech-savvy: The Qoros GQ3 small sedan will include an infotainment system claimed to offer world-first features.

New Chinese brand Qoros to show production GQ3 and two concepts at Geneva

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Qoros logo21 Jan 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

START-UP Chinese vehicle brand Qoros will debut its first production model, the Holden Cruze-sized GQ3 sedan, alongside two concepts at the Geneva motor show in March.

The GQ3 – for which Qoros is targeting top scores in European and Chinese crash tests – will be launched in China during the second half of this year, followed by introduction to Europe before the end of the year.

Qoros promises to launch more models at the rate of one every six months, but no right-hand-drive production precludes an imminent Australian launch, despite some testing taking place here.

The company said the GQ3 would come with a high standard specification – including safety aids –and claims a technological first for the car’s infotainment system.

Accessed through an eight-inch touchscreen, the unit provides satellite navigation, social-networking connectivity and in-car dealer service booking facility.

Of the concepts, the Subaru XV-like Cross Hybrid uses a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain to provide front-drive (petrol), rear-drive (electric) or all-wheel-drive capability.

And the Estate concept is said to demonstrate a spacious, versatile interior with various seating and storage combinations plus a number of storage compartments and accessories that “further optimise the functionality of the cabin for both everyday trips and long-distance travel”.

All three Geneva debutantes are based on a modular platform that Qoros Auto vice-chairman (and former Volkswagen of America executive vice-president) Volker Steinwascher said enables the company to “create new vehicle concepts quickly and efficiently”.

“The Qoros GQ3 is the first of many models that will be based on this platform, and the technology will allow us to develop a complete model family in a very efficient manner,” he said.

With former Mini chief designer Gert Hildebrand on board, Qoros describes its vehicle design as “German-influenced”.

Initial renderings of the GQ3 reveal an exterior clearly influenced by Volkswagen Group products, with an uncluttered interior of clean lines also seemingly inspired by the German giant.

Qoros says the GQ3’s long wheelbase and short overhangs provide interior space “unusually generous” for its segment.

Qoros is a 50/50 joint-venture between Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation founded in 2007, and will aim its products at “discerning young buyers in China and Europe”.

The company has hired some established figures from around the automotive world and signed up world-class suppliers such as Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Microsoft and Iconmobile.

Qoros claims its new factory in Changshu, around 100km northwest of Shanghai, will deliver the “highest production quality standards”.

The plant will initially be capable of producing up to 150,000 units per year, with the capacity to increase that to 450,000 annually.

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