You’ll be forgiven for not knowing what a Qoros is. I had little clue until very recently when I heard about the brand’s second model due for release at the 2014 Geneva auto show.
Qoros is notable for a few reasons. Firstly, it is an all-new company. And secondly, its Sedan 3 scooped Euro NCAP's highly coveted safest ‘Small Family’ car of 2013.
A brand new brand
It was founded in 2007 but introduced to the world at the 2013 Geneva show where, unluckily, it was somewhat overshadowed by Lamborghini, Ferrari and McLaren's hypercar launches. The Chinese-based company is equal joint venture partnership between Chery Automobile and Israel Corporation, a global industrial holding company. The firms is based at a facility in Changshu where it plans to produce 150 000 new vehicles a year, initially.
The first of these debuted last year without much international fanfare and the Qoros 3 sedan will be joined by a hatchback variant in the upcoming months. Qoros boasts an impressive array of technical partners and suppliers that includes Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Getrag, Benteler, Lear, Microsoft and Harman.
Both cars, unlike most of their Chinese counterparts, aren’t deliberate knock-offs of European or American models. Though not especially stylish, they are very clean with a far more resolved/uncluttered design language.
Safest car of 2013
Two years of testing were conducted before the Sedan was launched and, not long after its launch, the Qoros Sedan 3 was awarded the highly coveted safest ‘Small Family’ car of 2013 by Euro NCAP. With safety seen as a bug bear of Chinese brands, this award is well-earned.
Both models feature a selection of two four-cylinder petrol engines, a naturally aspirated 1,6-litre (93 kW/155 N.m) and a 1,6-litre turbocharged (115 kW/210 N.m) unit. Both engines can paired with a twin-clutch or manual transmission. These C-segment offerings are said offer quiet, sumptuous cabins that are among the best in class, with high quality materials and particular attention paid to the reduction of NVH.
A serious contender?
If they haven’t been paying attention already, this may just be the company that gets the rest of the automotive world to sit up and take real notice of the Chinese Automotive world. We look forward to testing a Qoros model sooner rather than later.