Haven't heard of Qoros Auto? Not surprising, since it's an all-new Chinese brand. But it's about to make headlines with the launch of a hybrid crossover at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March, alongside its first actual production model. Qoros is itself a hybrid, a joint venture between top Chinese automaker Chery and an Israeli investment group.
The new Qoros hybrid – as yet unnamed – was designed by former BMW/Mini styling boss Gert Volker Hildebrand, for the Chinese and European markets.
The Qoros Hybrid Concept is one of three models to be built at a new factory in Changshu, China now under construction. The other two models are the conventional gas-powered GQ3 sedan and wagon built on the same platform. It is expected the hybrid also will share that platform, since Qoros production is focused on an "advanced modular architecture," according to the British magazine Autocar.
The factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, which can be expanded to 450,000 if demand warrants. The GQ3 is scheduled to go on sale in China in mid-2013, and a few months later in Euorpe. The hybrid is due for release in 2014. In addition to the joint venture to build the Qoros brand, Chery has a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to build cars in China.