Chery's premium division keeps ticking over.
As their build quality, design sensibility and component sourcing improve, Chinese car companies are realising that marketing bias is not an easy issue to defeat.
Borrowing from the Japanese premium branding strategy of the early 1990s (think Toyota/Lexus and Nissan/Infiniti), most of the better Chinese car companies have created sub-brands of their own.
For Chery, that entails Qoros. Positioned as a Chinese premium vehicle brand, it was founded in 2007 with Israeli partners and in 2017, received additional American funding – before the US/Chinese trade conflict started in earnest.
With a complicated corporate structure of global partners and stakeholders, Qoros has not delivered a linear and organic range of new products. But what the Chinese car company has revealed, when it does happen, it has been impressive.
The latest images and details concept its Qoros 7, which is a luxury five-door SUV. Featuring a relatively independent design without obvious copying of any European model, the Qoros 7 looks ‘interesting’, with its huge grille and odd headlights.
Dimensionally this new Chinese SUV is slightly longer than a VW Tiguan but shorter than a Tiguan AllSpace.
Inside there is some inspired cabin architecture and a generous digital screen offering. The traditional instrumentation binnacle is replaced with a 12.3-inch display, whilst a huge 14.6-inch portrait orientated central touchscreen services the Qoros7’s infotainment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are coded into the SUV’s digital offering.
Powering this new Chinese SUV are two turbopetrol engine options, both featuring Valvetronic continuously variable valve technology, which would indicate an agreement of some sort with BMW. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder is good for 150 kW and 280 Nm, whilst Qoros 7’s 1.8-litre boosts 170 kW and 300 Nm.
Throttle inputs should convert to relatively brisk responses thanks to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and handling is kept tidy by Macpherson struts up front and a multilink rear suspension, with electric power steering harmonized by Bosch.
Qoros says that its new SUV will launch in Europe and China simultaneously.