Qoros is expected to improve its sales performance as the fledgling Chinese auto brand enriches its product portfolio with an SUV.
The Qoros 3 City SUV that hit the market in December is designed to attract young, well-educated consumers looking for a car to fit their active, premium city lifestyle, said Daniel Backman, Qoros director of product management and strategy.
Industry insiders say with SUVs now one of the most popular vehicles in the Chinese market, the new model could give Qoros a needed boost.
Statistics show more than 4 million SUVs were sold in 2014, a 36.4 percent surge from the previous year, almost four times the growth in the overall passenger vehicle market in the country.
Many agree Qoros has produced models with modern design and good quality, but total sales of its 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch were less than 6,000 units in the first 10 months.
Established in 2007, Qoros is a joint venture between Chinese automaker Chery and Israel Corp to build cars that meet international quality standards.
Compared with its first two models, its new SUV takes a more rugged approach to balance the requirements of urban commuting and rural activities, said the automaker.
The model is 4,452 mm long, 1,854 mm wide and 1,504 mm tall. It has a relatively long wheelbase (2,694 mm) for the compact class, a ground clearance of 170 mm and up to 403 liters of storage room with the rear seats down.
Like other Qoros models, the SUV sports a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a maximum output of 156 hp and a top torque of 210 Nm.
With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the compact SUV can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 10.1 seconds, while with the optional six-speed DCT automatic, it takes 10.8 seconds. The model's top speed is 208 km/h.
The SUV also excels in fuel economy, said the automaker, with consumption averaging 6.8 liters per 100 km with the manual transmission and 6.9 liters with the DCT.
The model is equipped with LED headlamps, a unique front grille with a massive chrome frame and a sculpted bumper. Graphite-colored body cladding, including new front and rear skid-plates, accentuates the lifestyle character of the car.
Twin roof rails, a prominent rear spoiler and large diameter wheels also contribute to the model's distinctive design.
The model's interior design is simple and clean, emphasizing the crossover's roominess. Horizontal trim runs along the dashboard, separating the infotainment system and the controls from the upper section.
Standard equipment includes the automaker's multimedia hub infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows, electric mirrors and keyless start.
"One outstanding feature of the model is its QorosQloud connected services platform," said Huang Zherui, a senior product strategy manager at the automaker.
Standard on most models, it provides more than 30 services, including several from major Chinese content providers and social media networks, with many of them industry firsts.
One function that appeals to many is Pick-Me-Up that allows the user to offer a ride to a WeChat friend that can locate and track the car through QorosQloud.
It makes it easier for Qoros drivers to pick up friends who are not familiar with the location, said the automaker.