Posted Jul 6th 2012 10:29AM
Let us explain. Qoros is a Chinese automaker co-owned by Chery and the Israeli Israel Corporation, reportedly working on bringing a handful of models to Europe. The company's vice chairman, former Volkswagen executive Volker Steinwascher, says that Qoros vehicles aim to "combine German design quality and craftsmanship with Japanese convenience and functionality."
The first of Qoros' products, the C11, has just been caught testing by our spy shooters in southern Europe. The car is said to be about the same size as a Volkswagen Jetta – fine, since that's the class of car it will be competing against. The sedan appears to use a rather conservative design scheme, though we'll wait for the zebra paper to be peeled away before making final judgments. What's more, former Mini designer Gert Hildebrand is understood to be leading the styling direction at Qoros, so at least this sedan shouldn't look as, shall we say, "patched together" as many other Chinese autos tend to do.
Power is expected to come from a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four sourced from Chery, mated to either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch transmission.
After the launch of the C11 sedan, Qoros will reportedly launch a hatchback version, as well as a crossover and full-on utility vehicle. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled.