Qoros doesn't, as of yet, participate in the North American market (or really any outside of China), but after launching just last year, it's already expanding its product portfolio with the reveal of the Qoros 3 City SUV at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
Joining the Qoros 3 Sedan and Qoros 3 Hatch, the new City SUV takes a more rugged approach that's more crossover than sport-ute. Think of the transformation Subaru performed on the Impreza to make the XV Crosstrek or Volkswagen on the Golf to make the Alltrack, and you'll be on the right track. Only the Qoros, we're sorry to say, doesn't have all-wheel drive. Instead, its 1.6-liter turbo four drives its 156 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission to the front wheels, taking over ten seconds to reach 62 and topping out at around 128 miles per hour, depending on the transmission.
Chinese buyers will also be able to choose between four trim levels and five exterior colors, but either way, they'll get German designer Gert Volker Hildebrand's now familiar design, albeit beefed up with a higher-riding suspension, wider track, lower body cladding and upgraded rolling stock.
Modern distinctive design, ideal for an active city lifestyle, commanding driving position, excellent connectivity, high safety standards
1 – OVERVIEW
New international car brand, Qoros, is revealing its third series production car, the new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T, at the 2014 Guangzhou International Auto Show. The pinnacle of the range, the compact City SUV is designed and engineered to appeal to consumers with an appetite for living life to the full, looking for a car to fit into their active, premium, city lifestyle. With its distinctive, modern design it has the flexibility to balance the requirements of the urban commute with the pursuit of weekend leisure activities in the countryside. The new compact urban SUV is scheduled to go on sale before the end of December 2014 with prices starting from RMB 140,000.
Developed by an international team of experienced specialists and new, young automotive talent from China, the Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T exhibits the top quality engineering and excellent safety standards with which Qoros is making a powerful global impression.
Conceived simultaneously by the Qoros design team at the same time as the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch, the new City SUV with its increased ride height has a distinctively robust appearance and a commanding driving position. It will appeal to very different audience – consumers who are looking for a car to enable them to lead an active lifestyle in both city and country.
Based on the same innovative modular platform as the 3 Hatch, the new City SUV features a taller stance with raised ride-height. Graphite-coloured body cladding, including new front and rear skid-plates, accentuates the unique lifestyle character of the car, while providing increased peripheral and underbody protection. Eye-catching twin roof rails, a prominent rear spoiler and large diameter wheels with high profile tyres also contribute to the car's distinctive design.
The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T is available with a choice of four trim levels at launch (Active, Style, Style Plus and Excite) with generous standard equipment and available features across the range that are not normally offered on compact segment cars. For example, the brand's innovative eight-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system, Qoros MMH™ (Multi Media Hub) is standard across the range, and the pioneering QorosQloud™ connected services platform is standard on most models.
The City SUV shares with the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch its highly-efficient 156 bhp (115 kW) four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged engine combined with either six-speed manual or six-speed DCT automatic transmissions.
The urban SUV is being manufactured in the brand's new highly-efficient and environmentally-sustainable assembly plant in Changshu, 80km north-west of Shanghai, on the same production line as the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch.
The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T model line-up in China is as follows:
1.6-litre turbo with six-speed manual
1.6-litre turbo with six-speed DCT
1.6-litre turbo with six-speed DCT
1.6-litre turbo with six-speed DCT
2 – EXTERIOR DESIGN
The new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T features a bold evolution of distinctive signature Qoros design cues, based on enduring elegance and simplicity, clear character lines and muscular shapes and surfaces. The City SUV is immediately recognisable as a Qoros, with signature features including LED daytime running lights, hockey-stick rear window lines and a deep chrome horizontal split grille. In addition, the City SUV incorporates aesthetic enhancements that give the car a unique character and reflect the individualistic preferences of its target customers.
Sitting 67mm higher than the 3 Hatch, City SUV drivers benefit from a higher seating position, providing customers with a commanding driving position that delivers a sense of control, safety and security. The modern and flexible design makes the new compact SUV ideal for city living and weekend retreats to the suburbs and countryside. For day-to-day city driving the City SUV provides better visibility for the driver, while the increased ride height ensures easier entry and egress. For out-of-town leisure activities, the new model offers higher ground clearance, larger wheels and robust body protection. The higher ride height enhances driveability and manoeuvrability to give the driver more confidence on rough or uneven road surfaces.
The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T was created by Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai under the direction of Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand. In designing the City SUV, the Qoros Design Team set out to create the most powerful application of the brand's signature design themes.
"The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T has been designed to deliver a strong marriage of form and function, of style and purposefulness," comments Gert Hildebrand. "We set out to design a vehicle that is distinctive and modern, with the flexibility to cope effortlessly with both city commutes and out-of-town leisure drives. The design team concentrated our efforts on creating a fresh, distinctive form for the City SUV, and the result successfully achieves this important visual and functional juxtaposition."
For the compact class, the Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T features a comparatively long wheelbase (2694mm), generous width (1854mm), and a short rear overhang (815mm). These elegant proportions suit perfectly the vehicle's bold, high stance (1504mm), distinctive body cladding and detailed styling.
At the front, the deep split-frame radiator grille – which features the signature Qoros 'cloud' mesh – now sits above a deeper bumper with additional cladding and a front skid-plate to give the face a more rugged, masculine countenance. Like the 3 Hatch, the round fog lights are set into boldly-contoured recesses that wrap around the bumper, details that provide energy and poise.
The City SUV's headlamps feature distinctive LED daytime running lights positioned as horizontal bars along the top edge. Top-of-the-range Excite models feature Xenon headlamps with automatic height adjustment, headlamp washers, and adaptive cornering technology that provides a wider beam when taking corners, greatly improving safety at road intersections and in low-light conditions. Every City SUV also features door mirrors with integrated LED turn indicator lamps.
The dominant features of the City SUV's profile are the bold wheel arches, defined by protective body cladding which continues along the side sills and lower edge of the doors. Further design enhancements, including larger wheels and tyres, a chrome belt-line trim beneath the side windows, and the larger two-part, two-colour roof spoiler, combine to give the City SUV a distinctive look in the Qoros line-up. The body-colour section of the prominent boot spoiler aligns with the door shut lines and rear bumper shut line, while the extended black section reduces aerodynamic drag.
Like the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch, the rear door windows of the City SUV feature a 'hockey-stick' trailing line that extends into the C-pillar to allow easier access for occupants into the rear seats.
At the back, the City SUV's lamp clusters are positioned high up on the flanks, as is the horizontal chrome trim bar across the tailgate. The lamp clusters are precision engineered with light guides that wrap around the corners of the car creating a distinctive, high quality appearance. They exhibit strong brand DNA, while helping to clearly mark out the newcomer as a Qoros.
The deep rear bumper (part body colour, part graphite) sits above the new silver skid-plate. Symmetry is a key Qoros characteristic and because it is available exclusively with the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, all City SUV models are fitted with twin exhaust pipes which are set into the rear skid-plate to provide added protection when traversing poor road conditions.
Reinforcing its increased ride height, the City SUV is offered with larger 17-inch alloy wheels as standard. Three dynamic alloy wheel designs specific to this model will be available for the City SUV from launch. Entry-level Active models have 17-inch 'Tri-Spoke' wheels, while Style and Style Plus models are fitted with 17-inch 'Spark' alloy wheels: these are fitted with 215/60 R17 tyres as standard. As an option, buyers of these two models can specify the larger 18-inch 'Blade' alloy wheels – fitted with 215/55 R18 tyres – which are standard on the range-topping Excite model.
The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T will be available in a range of five exterior paint colours – all available without extra cost: Crystal White (solid), Starlight Black, Diamond Silver, Shimmer Grey and Sunrise Red (all metallic).
3 – INTERIOR
Commanding driving position, comprehensive equipment and generous space
Qoros is determined that its high quality products will meet the needs and expectations of modern metropolitan consumers who demand generous features and infotainment, and who also welcome a range of options to individually configure their car.
The Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T's cabin is dominated by a clean, horizontal design theme that emphasizes the length and width of the cabin. The steering wheel, which features a flat lower edge for easier driver access, sits in front of a 'floating instrument panel' and centre console that maximizes the feeling of luxury and interior spaciousness.
Standard features on all versions of the City SUV include the brand's innovative Qoros MMH™ (Multi Media Hub) system (see next section), Bluetooth® for hands free calling and wireless music streaming, all-round electric windows, electric exterior mirrors that feature turn indicator repeaters, and dual exhaust pipes. At the centre of the instrument cluster, a high-resolution 3.5-inch colour TFT display provides crucial information to the driver, including remaining fuel range and next-turn directions from the navigation system.
When launched in China, the Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T will offer customers a choice of four trim specifications – Active, Style, Style Plus and Excite – with rising levels of standard equipment. Interior upholstery will be available in a two-colour combination – Lava Black and Graphite – on all models, with Qoros Black and Sand offered as an alternative pairing on all but the Active models.
Seat trim materials include high-grade 'Stylish' fabric-leatherette blend, or Leather – each featuring patterns that are new and unique for the City SUV. A leather-clad steering wheel is fitted as standard on all but the Active variant.
Entry-level Active models will also feature keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, manual air-conditioning, dual rear ventilation outlets, a four-speaker 100-watt audio system, 60/40 split folding rear seat, an anti-theft alarm and immobiliser system, and 'Stylish' fabric-leatherette blend upholstery.
Moving up the range, the Style specification will benefit from QorosTroniq™ - a six-speed DCT automatic transmission (with a manual mode). Other additions include dual-zone automatic air-conditioning – allowing the driver and front passenger to select their own preferred temperature settings, heated door mirrors, a leather multifunction steering wheel. Cruise control and a rear parking camera provide added safety and assistance to the driver. An upgraded 150-watt six-speaker audio system delivers high grade entertainment, and rear seat cup holders offer rear passengers extra convenience. Style models enjoy advanced QorosQloud™ 3G connected services with enhanced navigation and networking as standard.
Buyers of Style Plus models also receive leather seats with front heating, a 6-way electrically adjustable driver seat and 4-way electrically adjustable front passenger seat, automatic door mirror folding, a tyre pressure indicator and a powered tilt/slide sunroof.
Top-of-the-range Excite models build on the Style Plus specification with Xenon headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated and powered front seats (with two-setting memory for the driver's seat), seatbelt reminders all passengers, keyless entry and keyless start. The driver also benefits from the addition of 'dusk-sensing' auto on/off headlights, an automatic dimming interior mirror and a rear parking camera with dynamic guideline and distance sensors.
The flagship Excite model is also fitted with full cabin ambient lighting, aiding the realisation of Qoros' strategy to deliver a level of quality and specification more often associated with cars positioned well above the compact class. The combination of thin red LED light strips along each edge of the central console and discreet red LED lighting in the door handles creates a warm, welcoming interior ambience.
The new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T is designed to accommodate five passengers in a remarkably generous interior space for a compact segment car, and its long wheelbase (2,694mm) and substantial width (1,854mm) mean that overall cabin space is among the best in class. Front seat occupants enjoy plentiful head (972mm), leg (1,047mm) and shoulder (1,446mm) room, while rear occupants are assured of a comfortable experience with class-leading headroom (960mm) thanks to the City SUV's high roofline.
At the rear, the tailgate opening is 983mm wide and gives easy access to a luggage compartment with a class-competitive capacity of 403 litres with the rear seats upright. To ensure that all buyers can easily reach and operate the tailgate, its opening angle is reduced to 78.5deg compared with 83.0deg for the 3 Hatch.
As befits a model designed to deliver optimal lifestyle practicality to active customers, the standard 60:40 split rear seatbacks fold individually to optimise cargo carrying flexibility. Folding both seatbacks down increases cargo capacity to 1,105 litres when loaded to the roof. Style Plus and Excite models incorporate a rear seat ski-hatch that allows the car to accommodate long items while still carrying four occupants in comfort.
In addition to the 2.8-litre glovebox (air-conditioned on Excite models), there are numerous further storage compartments, including in the front centre console, front arm rest, as well as wide door pockets in all four doors and front seatback pockets. There are bottle holders in the front door pockets, two large cup holders in the front centre console and – for Style models and above – two cup holders in the folding rear centre armrest.
Refinement in the interior is optimised thanks to extensive NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and acoustics development, which were a high priority for Qoros' vehicle development team. Occupants of the City SUV also benefit from the softer, more comfortable ride and further enhanced NVH provided by the higher profile tyres with taller side-walls.
As a result, the turbocharged engine note in the City SUV is moderated in gentler driving, yet emits a confidently powerful note during increased acceleration. The development team succeeded in controlling and suppressing vibrations and noise from within the vehicle – engine, transmission and other components – as well as those triggered externally, such as tyre roar and wind noise.
4 – QOROSQLOUD™ CONNECTIVITY AND TOUCHSCREEN INFOTAINMENT
Comprehensive connected services with QorosQloud™
QorosQloud – pioneered on the Qoros 3 Sedan – is the portal to an exclusive suite of connected services. From its launch in China, QorosQloud will be included as standard on Style, Style Plus and Excite models in the Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T range.
Based on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform, and delivered via China Unicom's 3G network, QorosQloud is part of Qoros' strategic objective to be innovative and creative in meeting the lifestyle needs of the modern, metropolitan consumer. QorosQloud provides more than 30 services, including several from the major Chinese content providers and social media networks, and many of which are industry firsts. New services and features are regularly added as part of an ongoing upgrade programme – as will be familiar to smartphone users – that constantly enhances the capabilities and user experience of QorosQloud in and away from the car.
Accessed in the City SUV via the advanced eight-inch Qoros MMH™ system (see next section), QorosQloud services can also be accessed from the user's smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac via a dedicated website at www.qorosqloud.com and QorosQloud apps for Apple iOS and Android.
The website and mobile apps enable QorosQloud to be integrated across customers' connected devices and enhance the way they interact with and incorporate their car into their digital lives. This creates a closer connection than ever between the driver, the vehicle, the dealer and the digital world. It enables motorists to remain 'always-connected' to navigation and traffic information, their social networks, and the car's condition, maintenance and service requirements.
While the majority of services are available free-of-charge for life, they can be enhanced with QorosQloud Premium Services, which include Dynamic Traffic Info, Dynamic Parking Info and Map Update features.
Furthermore, in what represents a major innovation for the Chinese motorist, Qoros has partnered with a major insurance provider, China Pacific Insurance Group, to offer the Safe Drive Plan, a range of exclusive insurance and safety-related services that helps to maximise safety and provide a worry-free ownership and driving experience.
These services include Emergency Services and Roadside Assistance, an industry-first in China. Should the car be involved in an accident, QorosQloud automatically notifies the emergency centre. Operators then attempt to contact the driver by telephone and will dispatch emergency and recovery services if assistance is necessary, or if there is no reply from the driver, and all at no extra cost.
The Safe Drive Plan also includes real-time monitoring and display of driving behaviour. QorosQloud uses this data to warn drivers about poor or dangerous driving habits. It encourages safer and more considerate driving by generating tips displayed on the Qoros MMH touchscreen and through the personalised QorosQloud website and smartphone apps.
Qoros Vice Chairman, Volker Steinwascher, commented: "We engineer cars to be far more than merely a mode of transportation, including innovations that enable them to fit seamlessly into the modern metropolitan consumer's lifestyle. QorosQloud perfectly embodies this approach, with its advanced connected services providing a constant link between the driver and the City SUV."
From early 2015, a new incarnation of QorosQloud – QorosQloud 2.0 will be available. This further enhances the simplicity of the user experience for the driver, making it more intuitive and fun to use.
Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard
In the car, QorosQloud is accessed through the innovative Qoros MMH system that is fitted as standard to every City SUV, just as it is standard across the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch line-ups. The eight-inch capacitive touchscreen boasts a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Qoros MMH is one of the first touchscreen infotainment systems in the world to be specifically designed to maximise the opportunities and capabilities of multi-touch gestures.
The advanced user interface, software and graphics of the Qoros MMH were designed and developed in-house to safely manage information displays for minimal driver distraction and to optimise ease-of-use while on the move. The innovative user-interface is based on the finger 'swipe' concept of modern smartphones. For example, an incoming phone call can be answered with a simple one-finger swipe anywhere on the screen towards the driver, or can be rejected and forwarded to voicemail with a swipe away. This means drivers do not need to divert their eyes from the road to locate a specific part of the screen.
Those who enjoy high quality music to enhance their journey are well catered for across the entire Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T range, with a four-speaker 100-watt audio system fitted to the Active models as standard, and a six-speaker 150-watt audio system for the rest of the line-up.
As standard, the FM/AM radio is complemented by comprehensive compatibility with mobile devices, via AUX-IN and USB (iPod compatible) ports below the front sliding armrest which helps ensure music devices are protected and secure. In addition, Bluetooth allows wireless streaming of music, and pairing to mobile phones allows hands-free calling via the built-in microphone.
5 – POWERTRAIN
Powerful turbocharged engine and two six-speed transmissions
The new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T will be available on all trim levels from launch with the powerful, efficient four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine as standard, which it shares with the higher-specification models of the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch. Developed by Qoros engineers in collaboration with leading powertrain engineering specialist, AVL, this DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) 1.6-litre 16-valve power unit is fitted with VVT (variable valve timing) to optimise performance and efficiency.
The European-developed turbocharged 1.6-litre engine suits the extra flexibility required for city and country driving. The engine produces 24% more power – 115 kW (156 bhp) – and 35% more torque – 210 Nm over a broad rev range between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm – than the naturally aspirated unit available in the entry-level 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch models.
As standard, this engine is paired with the six-speed manual transmission in the Active model, accelerating the City SUV from zero to 100 km/h in 10.1 seconds
Also with six speeds, the smooth shifting DCT transmission is standard on Style Plus and Excite models. With this gearbox, acceleration to 100 km/h is achieved by the 3 City SUV in 10.8 seconds and top speed is 208 km/h.
The QorosTroniq™ 6DCT is a dry dual-clutch transmission system that performs seamless gear changes with very short response times by pre-selecting the next gear with its second clutch. Not only does this transmission offer the driver the choice of both automated gear selection and a sequential manual shift mode, but because it uses an electro-mechanical control unit, it is also compact and highly efficient, delivering improved fuel economy compared to conventional torque converter automatics. Supplied by renowned leader in DCT technology, Getrag, the 6DCT250 unit is a highly-regarded and exceptionally reliable transmission.
Highly efficient, the turbocharged 1.6-litre delivers fuel economy that is amongst the very best in the compact class. Based on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) standard, fuel consumption is 6.8 l/100km with the manual transmission and 6.9 l/100km with the DCT.
6 – VEHICLE DYNAMICS
Ride and handling retain Qoros DNA in a new flexible form
The vehicle dynamics of the new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T have been developed to fully exploit the new car's higher chassis, wider track (up by 9mm at the front and 2mm at the rear compared to the 3 Hatch) and longer wheelbase (up 5mm), while also being tailored to deliver driving characteristics to rival those of compact SUV's developed by leading European brands.
Like the highly acclaimed 3 Hatch and 3 Sedan, the City SUV's suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and an OMEGA-shaped twist beam at the rear to provide an ideal balance of responsive handling and a compliant ride. Electronic power assistance is provided for the rack-and-pinion steering which delivers precise direction changes while also providing direct feedback to the driver.
Compared to the 3 Hatch, the City SUV has a distinctively taller stance, with its ground clearance increased by 57mm to 170mm thanks to suspension changes which raise the ride-height and the fitting of larger diameter wheels and tyres. The 17-inch tyres are 41.6mm taller and the 18-inch tyres 25.0mm taller – compared with the equivalent tyres fitted to the 3 Hatch.
The City SUV, which employs the same core structure as the 3 Hatch and has the same longitudinal and torsional rigidity, weighs around 20kg to 31kg more (depending on trim levels) thanks to its additional aesthetic elements and larger wheels. To ensure that the City SUV has similar 'DNA' characteristics to the 3 Hatch in terms of ride, handling and steering – despite its higher centre of gravity – engineers have introduced some chassis modifications for the new model.
Spring rates are decreased by 8% front (to 24 N/mm) and 4% rear (to 43 N/mm). The dampers have been optimised to improve roll-control and yaw response, with a new valve design and up to 20% front and rear increased high speed rebound damping, while the rear jounce bumpers (bumpstops) have been lengthened by 20mm at the rear – also to help maintain roll control.
As the weight of the City SUV is broadly similar to other Qoros models, stopping power in the latest model is provided by the same 305mm ventilated disc brakes at the front and 285mm solid disc brakes at the rear. Braking performance and stability are enhanced by anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) systems developed in conjunction with TRW specifically for the Qoros 3 family of vehicles.
7 – SAFETY
Highest safety standards to maximise protection
Like the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch, the new Qoros 3 City SUV 1.6T was designed and engineered to achieve the highest safety standards, a goal which has been verified by the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch each earning a five-star rating from the independent testing organisation, Euro NCAP.
The City SUV embodies the same Qoros Crash Management System philosophy as its two siblings, and incorporates all the structural, passive and active safety features first introduced on the 3 Sedan and 3 Hatch.
In September 2013, the City SUV's stablemate, the Qoros 3 Sedan (Elegance specification), secured the accolade of being the first car developed in China to achieve the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests and was also ranked the 'safest car' of 2013. It scored highly in all four areas of the Euro NCAP tests and its overall score (88%) was the highest achieved by any vehicle tested that year – placing it amongst the very safest cars ever tested by Euro NCAP.
Qoros' debut production car scored the best result for Adult Occupant protection (95%) and maximum points for Child Occupant protection (87%) in the front and side crash tests. It also achieved an impressive result in Pedestrian protection (77%) – thanks to Qoros' expert safety team developing one of the best pedestrian protection systems ever assessed by Euro NCAP – and recorded an excellent result (81%) for its Safety Assistance Systems.
Volker Steinwascher, Vice Chairman of Qoros, said: "The five-star Euro NCAP rating for both the Qoros 3 Sedan and the Qoros 3 Hatch demonstrates the level of design, engineering and production quality that has enabled us to achieve these high safety standards."
To maintain the same strength and stiffness achieved by the 3 Sedan, the new City SUV incorporates the 'torsion ring' around the tailgate opening with an additional crossmember in the roof connecting the C-pillars, first introduced on the Hatch.
From launch, the City SUV will be fitted with a comprehensive suite of standard 'passive' safety equipment (designed to keep occupants safe during an accident) which includes dual front airbags (and front side airbags on Style models and above, plus full length curtain airbags on range-topping Excite models), three-point automatic seat belts on all seats and belt pre-tensioners for the driver and front passenger. The front seat head restraints are designed to reduce whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision.
ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake distribution) and a driver-set speed limiting device are standard across the range, as are ISOFIX child seat mountings with top tethers on the right and left rear seats.
Additional standard safety equipment on all City SUV models apart from the entry-level Active, will include: ESC (electronic stability control), ETC (electronic traction control), BA (brake assist), and CBC (cornering brake control), automatic brake disc cleaning, a seat belt reminder for the driver (and front passenger on Excite models).