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Three letters to identify body, brand and segment
Compact GQ3 inaugurates the new Qoros brand models
At the 2013 Geneva and Shanghai Motor Shows this spring

Qoros GQ3 compact sedan, profile.

GQ3: short overhangs normally favour wheelbase and agility.

03 Jan. 2013, Tony Kanaan: An old Arabic adage wisely says: "Had it ("it", representing all material things on earth) lasted indefinitely for others, it wouldn't have reached you next."

From this angle, isn't it significant to watch today the birth of new car brands from emerging markets, just a few years after the eclipse of some other brands such as Plymouth (2001), Oldsmobile (2004), Pontiac (2009) and Mercury (2011), to name just a few?

Qoros GQ3 compact saloon, front.

Wide headlamps with horizontal LED bars at the upper edge.

Today, while Indian car maker Tata expanded its reach both geographically and in segment diversification terms, with the purchase of the British premium brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008, the much younger Chinese automaker Chery Automobile is preparing on the other hand its next international step, with the world première of its compact Qoros GQ3 sedan (4-door saloon) at the 83rd Geneva Motor Show (public days from 7 to 17 March 2013).

One month later, the GQ3 will be exhibited at the Shanghai Motor Show.

By the way, Chery has also agreed last March, with Jaguar Land Rover, on a joint project for the production of models and engines. But that's another subject.

 In the name

Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.

Founded in 2007, Qoros Auto Co. Ltd. is presented as an independent automotive manufacturer built on an equal partnership between Chery Automobile, China's largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation, a global holding company.

The company was first called Cherry-Quantum Automotive Corporation (Quantum is an American subsidiary of Israel Corporation), before it took the new name since 2011.

Qoros says that its aim is to develop vehicles with an independent identity and a high level of quality, with the support of reputable global suppliers such as Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Microsoft and Iconmobile. The main target markets are China and Europe, at least as a start.

Headquartered in Changshu, with large offices in Shanghai, the completely new production plant of the new brand is being built in Changshu, with an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, expandable to 450,000 per annum.

The first model of the new brand, Qoros GQ3, will be introduced during the second half of this year, first in China then in Europe later during this year. The other models should follow in intervals of approximately six months.

After its world premiere in Geneva, the Qoros GQ3 will be exhibited at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2013.

Let's get back to Qoros then, and to the GQ3 name first, since everything starts with a name, as goes Bob Dylan's song:  "Man gave names to all the animals... in the beginning" (derived from Genesis 2 20). Well, there were no cars to name at Adam's time, only animals and plants.

Qoros, which sounds easily like "Chorus", says that its three-digit model naming structure designates in the first letter, the body style.

Hence, all sedans will carry the first letter "G". Guess then what an "X" might mean? AWD? Why not, if you think so!

The second letter of all Qoros models will be a reference to the brand name, hence the 'Q" naturally.

Finally, the segment of the vehicle in question will be indicated in the third digit. So the number "3" in GQ3 refers to the C-segment (compact cars, lower-medium category), like the "2" should refer to subcompact B-segment cars (superminis), or the "4" for the D-segment, also called upper-medium or midsize cars.

 Styling

In styling terms, the compact Qoros GQ3 introduces the brand identity, conceived by the Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand and his team in Munich and Shanghai.

4-door Qoros GQ3 compact sedan, rear.

Muscular arches can accommodate up to 19-inch alloy wheels.

The body looks rather elegant, with a good wheelbase which takes advantage of the short overhangs (a helping element for agility also) and a roof that flows smoothly into the rear. Only the width is given, at 1839 mm (72.4 inches), which should give the compact car, proportionally, a good presence on the road, especially with the muscular arches which can accommodate alloy wheels up to 19-inch in size.

The wide headlamps flow into the flanks of the car, with horizontal LED bars at the upper edge of each headlight and in the rear light clusters. Another signature design element for the Qoros brand will be visible in the triple-split eight-spoke design of the standard alloy wheels.

On the side, the swage line rises clearly from the headlamps via the door handles to the rear lights, while a matt aluminium strip above each side sill adds to the visual stretch of the side profile.

 Interior

Qoros GQ3 interior, front, dashboard door trim and seats.

 A standard eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Inside, Qoros promises a generous interior space, with a "floating" dashboard to enhance the impression of space, and new standards for cars produced in China to be comparable with the best-selling cars in Europe. This means that we should be able to compare them with VW or Renault products for example. Why not? It only needs to be checked later, especially after several years of use in different weather conditions.

 Infotainment

In the GQ3’s central console comes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The package will be fitted as standard across the model range.

The touchscreen enables users to manage entertainment, navigation, internet connectivity and in-car networking functions with finger "swipe" movements that will be familiar to smartphone users, and probably for older, "young-at-heart" audiences, who usually detest surfaces cluttered with confusing switches and buttons.

Qoros GQ3: interior, seats, front and rear (side view).

A "floating" dashboard to enhance the impression of space.

Qoros points out that the touchscreen infotainment system will support usage-based car insurance services and features which allow drivers to book dealer service appointments, in addition to an automatic emergency services alert in the event of an accident (depending on markets of course).

The navigation system includes traffic information, points-of-interest search, in addition to the usual social networking connectivity to share points-of-interest, favourite trips and photos via social media through the interface.

On the safety side, Qoros indicates that the GQ3 is engineered to achieve maximum European and Chinese crash test ratings. It incorporates supporting structures with large-scale deformation zones. Other passive safety measures include front, side and curtain airbags.

 

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