By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
February 17, 2013
The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is setting up to be a exciting show with a number of vehicles making their debut. One of the big surprises for Geneva will be the launch of a new car company. Chinese automaker Qoros will be introducing itself to the world by showing off a production-intent sedan as well as two "concepts" that appear to be production ready. Qoros was founded as a part of a joint venture between Chery Automobile and global holding company, Israel Corporation.
Their production-intent sedan is called 3 sedan and unlike most Chinese cars of the past few years, this doesn't look like a blatant copy of another automaker. The design is mostly original and unique. Measuring at 181 inches long and 72.4 inches wide, the 3 sedan is slightly larger than a Ford Focus.
Power comes from either a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 126 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque or a turbocharged version of the same engine putting out 156 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission. A stop-start system is available.
Coming down the pipeline will be two other engines; a 1.3-liter inline-three and a 1.6-liter inline-four, both turbocharged and direct-injected.
Qoros concept showings will include a 3 Cross Hybrid Concept which previews a crossover model and a hybrid system that uses two electric motors; one mounted in the back and the other mounted between the engine and transmission. The other concept is the Estate Concept which previews a possible wagon version.
Qoros will begin selling the 3 sedan in China starting in the second half of this year. Europe will follow thereafter.
Press Release for the 3 Sedan is on Page 2, the Cross Hybrid and Estate Concept is on Page 3
World premiere: the Qoros 3 Sedan
Elegant design, class-leading interior space, generous specification, high safety standards
At its global debut at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, new automotive brand, Qoros, gives a world premiere to its first series production car, the Qoros 3 Sedan.
The elegant compact (C-segment) car will be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first sales in Europe starting later in the year. The vehicle is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of extensive testing at key locations around the world.
The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan draws heavily on contemporary German-influenced automotive design and introduces a distinctive brand identity. A unique, advanced eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, developed in-house by Qoros, will be fitted as standard across the Qoros 3 Sedan range.
The compact Qoros 3 Sedan offers class-leading interior space for maximum passenger comfort. A primary objective from the earliest stages of the vehicle engineering programme was to achieve high scores in both Chinese and European crash assessments. Qoros employs modern safety technology and has put the Qoros 3 Sedan through a rigorous testing regime in helping it meet this objective.
Two efficient four-cylinder 1.6-litre gasoline engines will be available at the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China, both of which feature VVT (variable valve timing), and which will challenge for class-leadership in China in terms of performance and efficiency.
The naturally-aspirated unit delivers an output of 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque. The turbocharged version offers 115 kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque. Both engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission available for both. A stop-start system will also be available.
"With the support of AVL, Qoros is also developing a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged engine and an all-new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, both with GDI (gasoline direct injection). These engines will deliver highly competitive performance and efficiency," comments Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, who was formerly a senior manager at BMW M-Power.
Elegant design with class-leading interior space
The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan was undertaken from a clean sheet by the Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai under the direction of Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand. It establishes the design direction for the entire Qoros model family and draws on contemporary German-influenced automotive design to exhibit a timeless, desirable elegance.
Driven by the theme 'Creating Future History', Gert Hildebrand's team set out to ensure that every model in the Qoros family is instantly recognisable as a Qoros. Key elements introduced with the Qoros 3 Sedan include an athletic, elegant profile, short overhangs, a coupé-like silhouette and a roof which flows smoothly into the strong rear quarters.
The Qoros engineering team established from the earliest stages of the development programme that the compact platform's design should incorporate a long wheelbase and generous proportions. At 4,615 mm long, 1,839 mm wide and 1,445 mm high, the sedan's athletic, elegant styling also presents a solid, well-planted profile. It features horizontal styling themes along and across the body that highlight its length and width.
The Qoros 3 Sedan has one of the longest wheelbases in the compact segment, at 2,690 mm. A striking contour edge running continuously from the headlamps to the door handles and on to the rear light clusters emphasises the seamless, cleanly sculptured bodysides. In conjunction with the striking accentuation strip in matt aluminium that runs above the side sill between the wheel arches, this contour edge visually stretches the silhouette even further.
At the front, the contours of the bonnet form a dynamic curve, and the front section is designed to meet the highest standards of crash safety and pedestrian protection.
The rear doors feature a 'hockey-stick' rear window line that extends into the C-pillar to allow easier access for occupants into the rear seats. Subtly flared wheel arches reflect the overall elegant styling theme without overtly interrupting the bodyside's lateral flow.
Wheel sizes start at 16 inches, compared to the 15-inch entry-level wheel size for most compact segment cars, and the Qoros 3 Sedan can be specified with wheels up to 18 inches, highlighting the car's unusually wide track, once again conveying solidity. Several alloy wheel design and size combinations will be available at launch. The bespoke-designed triple-split eight-spoke alloy wheel, with gloss black inner and matt silver outer surfaces are highly distinctive and are destined to become a hallmark Qoros feature.
Unmistakable "brand face"
The Qoros 3 Sedan introduces a characteristic "brand face", refined in its proportions and surface finishes, that will become familiar on future models in the Qoros family.
The top of the dual-section radiator grille is at the same height as the headlamp units and creates a striking contrast with the overall horizontal orientation of the car's face. The radiator grille forms an equal-sided trapezoid with a wide chrome bar as its upper edge and a second chrome bar at the bottom edge of the lower air intake. The grille itself has also been carefully designed with a mesh of matt black 'clouds' to hide the radiator fans behind – another neat styling finish.
The Qoros logo – also developed under the direction of Gert Volker Hildebrand – proudly occupies a central point within the upper contour line of the radiator grille. The horizontally stretched Q incorporates the full 'Qoros' brand name in uppercase letters in a tactile three-dimensional chrome and gloss-black arrangement.
The front and rear lamp clusters were another defining feature on which Gert Hildebrand's team paid painstaking attention to detail. The distinctive daytime running lights are horizontally positioned LED bars at the upper edge of the headlamp modules. The same applies to the three horizontal LED light bars in the wide rear lamp clusters that dominate the rear quarter flanks.
Interior: class-leading space
The Qoros 3 Sedan offers its five passengers remarkably generous interior space for a compact segment car, and is again dominated by a horizontally-oriented design theme that emphasises the length and width of the cabin. The elegance of the exterior continues inside. The steering wheel, which features a flat lower edge, sits in front of a 'floating' instrument panel and centre console that maximises the feeling of interior spaciousness.
The combination of thin red LED light strips along each edge of the central console and discreet red LED lighting in the door handles create a warm, welcoming interior ambience. This, as well as the instrument cluster displays that illuminate immediately when any one of the car doors is opened, emphasises the feeling of passenger cabin quality.
A high-resolution TFT display at the centre of the instrument cluster provides crucial information to the driver, including vehicle range and next-turn directions from the navigation system.
The Qoros 3 Sedan boasts a luggage compartment of 450 litres. The 60:40 split rear seatbacks fold down individually to optimise cargo carrying flexibility and incorporate a ski-hatch allowing the car to accommodate long items.
As well as a 2.8-litre glovebox (which will be air conditioned on top specification models), there are nine further storage compartments, including in the front centre console, front arm rest, as well as wide door pockets in all four doors, and rigid front seatback pockets for rear seat passengers. There are bottle holders in the front door pockets, two large cupholders in the front centre console, and two cupholders in the rear centre armrest.
Advanced touchscreen infotainment system as standard across the range
The Qoros 3 Sedan is fitted as standard with an innovative eight-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system that represents an automotive industry first and occupies a prominent position in the central console.
The advanced software, technology and graphics were designed and developed in-house to safely manage information displays for minimal driver distraction and to optimise ease-of-use while on the move. The intelligent and powerful package was created specifically with the young, aspirational, 'always-connected' target Qoros customer firmly in mind.
The innovative user-interface is based on the finger 'swipe' concept of modern smartphones and is unique in responding to multi-touch gestures. Replacing the array of switches and buttons that blights many modern car interiors, the capacitive touchscreen enables users to manage entertainment, navigation, 'Cloud' networking connectivity and vehicle settings with intuitive finger 'swipe' inputs (full functionality will be model dependent).
The system's user-interface is highly intuitive and is designed to fully exploit touchscreen technology. For example, an incoming phone call can be answered with a simple swipe anywhere on the screen towards the driver, or can be rejected and forwarded to voicemail with a swipe away. Audio balance (right-left) and fade (front-rear) settings for the speakers are shown on the touchscreen as a single focus point on an overhead view of the vehicle and can be adapted by moving the point with a finger.
Selected versions of the system allows drivers to book dealer service appointments, features an automatic emergency services alert in the event of an accident, and supports usage-based car insurance services. The state-of-the-art navigation system includes best-in-class traffic information and an advanced points-of-interest search. Integrated networking – enabled through 'Cloud' connectivity – enables drivers to share their driving experiences, points-of-interest, favourite trips and photos via social media channels.
Mobile phones on the most popular operating systems (Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and external music players can be integrated via Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN connections.
Powerful engines with optional dual clutch transmission
Two engines developed in collaboration with leading powertrain engineering specialist, AVL, will be available for the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China. Both are four-cylinder 1.6-litre units featuring variable valve control technology to optimise performance and efficiency.
The naturally-aspirated version delivers 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque at 3,900 rpm. With this engine, the Qoros 3 Sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
With the turbocharged engine, which offers 115kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque at 2,500 rpm, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is achieved in a brisk 9.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
Both power units are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. A six-speed dual clutch transmission is available as an option for both engines, offering the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.
Depending on model and market, the Qoros 3 Sedan will be fitted with an automatic start-stop system for increased efficiency, and manual models will also feature an optimal gearshift point display.
Other engine families are under development with the support of AVL. These will include a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 97 kW (130 bhp), and a brand new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 136 kW (160 bhp), both featuring GDI (gasoline direct injection) and VVT (variable valve timing).
These will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission available as an option, which will offer the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.
The 1.2-litre and all-new 1.6-litre powertrain units will meet the EU6 emissions standard which comes into effect in Europe in 2014, and will be highly competitive in the compact segment in terms of power, torque, fuel economy and emissions.
Ride and handling developed to European standards
The vehicle dynamics of the Qoros 3 Sedan have been tailored to European customer expectations. The sedan features McPherson struts at the front and twist-beam suspension at the rear to provide an ideal balance of responsive handling and a compliant ride. Rack-and-pinion steering with electronic power assistance delivers precise direction changes.
Stopping power is provided by 320mm disc brakes at the front and 285mm disc brakes at the rear. Braking performance and stability is enhanced by anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control systems developed in conjunction with TRW specifically for the Qoros 3 Sedan.
Qoros' first production model has undergone an extensive development and testing regime under the direction of Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, formerly head of the technology and driving dynamics department at BMW's M-Sport division.
"Our aim was to offer our customers a driving experience defined by predictable, clear responses to their inputs," says Schmidt. "Our all-new compact segment vehicle platform provides the ideal basis for excellent reactions and control during spirited driving, while also being comfortable and hassle-free in the city. We have achieved the right balance between ride comfort and performance in the Qoros 3 Sedan."
Solid body structure and high safety standards
The highly sophisticated safety technology of the Qoros 3 Sedan is engineered to achieve top scores in European and Chinese new-car independent crash tests. Its body architecture is based on the very latest insights in the field of accident safety and occupant protection. A precise arrangement of impact-bearing structures and generously-sized deformation zones ensure that the passenger cell is protected from the most diverse types of collision events.
Furthermore, there is an extensive package of safety features for occupant protection, including:
Highly effective load-limiting safety belts with dual pre-tensioners to ensure the effective restraint of front seat occupants
Optimised seat structures, providing robust occupant restraint in frontal impact and good whiplash protection in the event of a rear impact
Suite of front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags which deploy to cover the front and rear window apertures
Seat belt reminder functions for all seating positions
Comprehensive equipment as standard
The Qoros 3 Sedan meets the needs and expectations of modern motorists who demand generous features and infotainment, and who also prefer options to individually configure their vehicle.
The Qoros 3 Sedan offers three specification levels.
Six exterior paint finishes (solid Crystal White and solid Midnight Black, and metallic Macadamia Brown, Starlight Black, Diamond Silver and Shimmer Grey) and two interior colours (Lava Black and Sand Dune Beige) will be available for the Qoros 3 Sedan at launch in China. The interior upholstery can be specified in fabric, a fabric-leatherette combination, or in full leather.
Depending on the specification level, the Qoros 3 Sedan features interior décor finishes in various high-grade materials, as well as 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels in various designs.
Standard features on all versions of the Qoros 3 Sedan include the innovative touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, remote control central locking, all-round electric windows, electric exterior mirrors, and a four-speaker, 100-watt audio system. These can be supplemented by options that include a rear view camera with parking distance control, xenon headlamps, cruise control, electrically adjustable front seats, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system. An extensive accessories list offers further customisation options.
All-new production facility for quality, efficiency and sustainability
The Qoros 3 Sedan will be produced in an all-new manufacturing facility in Changshu. Construction of the facility – occupying 250,000 square metres adjacent to the company's headquarters – is nearly complete, and it will include a bodyshop, assembly line and paintshop.
The factory – and its production processes – exceeds legal requirements in both China and Europe in terms of the recyclability of end-of-life vehicles, components and materials.
The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept and Qoros 3 Estate Concept Versatile driving pleasure with innovative drive technology
Following the launch of its first production model, the Qoros 3 Sedan, the brand plans to expand its model family with the launch of a new model every six-to-eight months.
At the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Qoros presents a five-door crossover – the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept – that features a compact hatchback body, enhanced traction properties and an advanced hybrid drive.
This concept illustrates how the design themes introduced in the Qoros 3 Sedan may be applied to its future model range. It also offers a glimpse ahead to the brand's future technological developments with a pioneering hybrid drive that not only enhances efficiency but that also provides an exceptional all-wheel driving experience.
The intelligent Qoros modular vehicle architecture is a key factor in ensuring that new models can be introduced quickly and efficiently, and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept is based on the same vehicle platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan.
With the same long wheelbase (2,690 mm) and wide track as the sedan, the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept exhibits generous proportions and a solid, planted road presence.
Hallmark design features reinterpreted
The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept showcases a mild evolution of the styling introduced on the production sedan. Elegant lines and balanced proportions reflect sporty aspirations. Short body overhangs and the coupé-like roof line flowing into the hatchback tailgate give the five-door model a touch of dynamic flair. Horizontally oriented lines highlight the width of the boldly shaped rear, which featuresa large tailgate.
The front view of the concept is almost identical to the Qoros 3 Sedan, but the core elements of the Qoros 'face' are supplemented with bespoke accents. The lower air inlet at the bottom of the trapezoidal grille stretches further back, highlighting the concept's powerful front stature. Also distinctive are the rounded contours of the fog lamps, which are placed wide apart.
The headlamp clusters, featuring LED bars at their top edge as daytime running lights, are the same as those on the Qoros 3 Sedan, stretching far into the flanks and into a striking contour edge which runs through the door handles and rises continuously to the rear. The rear light clusters – unique to this concept, feature horizontal LED light bars in a neat compact arrangement.
Its raised ground clearance and specific design features that emphasise its robust, versatile characteristics hint at the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept's potential for excursions beyond the asphalt. It features underbody protection at the front and rear to protect against impacts, as well as uprated suspension and damper systems that ensure occupants remain comfortable even on rough terrain.
A combination of hybrid drive and all-wheel system for increased driving pleasure and efficiency
The development of advanced engineering innovations is a core strategic activity for the brand and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept features an advanced hybrid drive system developed in partnership with leading electric drive systems specialist American Axle.
A three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 97 kW (130 bhp) is installed transversely at the front to drive the front wheels.
A 50 kW electric motor is housed between the luggage compartment floor and the rear axle, not only convenient for power transfer but also safely isolated from rear collision impacts. The motor is powered by a LG Chem lithium-ion battery with a maximum capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours.
A second electric motor – the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – is mounted between the petrol engine and the transmission. Its role, as well as to start the petrol engine more discreetly – with less noise and less vibration – than a traditional starter motor, is to charge the rear electric motor's dedicated battery so that the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can operate continuously in all-wheel drive mode. And, during the most demanding driving, the ISG delivers additional power to the front axle, allowing the concept to deliver surprisingly swift performance: zero to 100 km/h is achieved in less than 7.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engine front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the most efficient mode to respond to the driver's inputs and the prevailing road conditions.
The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can be driven in pure-electric mode at a speed of up to 120 km/h, and for a maximum range of approximately four kilometres (provisional target, not yet verified).
The Qoros 3 Estate Concept: modern functionality in an elegant, athletic style
The Qoros 3 Estate Concept, featuring extended interior space, intelligent and flexible functionality, and elegant design, show how the new brand's compact segment model range might be expanded with an estate variant in the future. Qoros' modular platform provides the ideal basis for fast and efficient expansion of the model family, and the compact estate is becoming increasingly popular among European motorists. Its elegance and bold stature echo the Qoros styling themes introduced by the Qoros 3 Sedan, while the intelligently designed interior provides an incredibly versatile and adaptable space that allows luggage capacity to be adapted to individual needs.
An individual alternative to the classic sedan
Sales of compact segment estate cars are growing thanks to their more flexible capabilities to meet the diverse transport needs of ever more adventurous family lifestyles in Europe. The versatile trunk space provides additional flexibility and volume for luggage or other cargo, or to pursue leisure activities which might involve transporting bulky sports equipment, for example.
The practical advantages are married with the impressive driving dynamics and performance of the Qoros 3 Sedan, and the estate concept pleasingly adopts its timeless, elegant exterior design.
Signature design with distinctive touches
Based on the same platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan, the Qoros 3 Estate Concept is generously-proportioned for a compact segment estate. Appealing touches include the application of the horizontal design theme to highlight the long roof line flowing smoothly to the rear, and the large side windows that give the vehicle an elegant and elongated look.
Like the sedan, the concept has the characteristic Qoros face, featuring the same large headlamps which reach from the distinctive radiator grille far into the flanks. The rear lamp clusters are also identical to those on the product Qoros 3 Sedan, creating a strong family resemblance between the two models. The three bold horizontal LED taillight bars neatly suit the powerful rear, where the large tailgate opening features a convenient low loading sill.
Plenty of space and versatility in the interior
The wide-ranging options provided by the folding rear seatbacks and the ski hatch, as well as the numerous storage compartments and accessory attachments, offer prospective customers a highly versatile and functional vehicle, both for everyday driving and long-distance travel. The Qoros 3 Estate Concept is conceived for young families and other modern customers whose vehicle choice is based on an active, varied lifestyle.