Chinese-Israeli car firm Qoros might not have made many waves outside China yet but its stated intention is to become a worldwide brand. And with the new Qoros 2 SUV it looks like it’s going to make a big step towards that goal.
The Qoros 2 is due to make its first official appearance at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20. The firm officially revealed a sketch of the concept earlier this week, complete with the usual oversized wheels and squashed proportions typical of a show car, but we’ve managed to get our hands on images that provide clearer insight into how the real thing will look when it enters production towards the end of 2015.
Aimed at the booming mini-SUV market that’s typified by machines like Nissan’s Juke, the Qoros 2 concept to be revealed at Shanghai will be a plug-in hybrid, but the production version is expected to be powered by a 1.8l turbocharged petrol engine putting 136kW through all four wheels. A front-drive-only version is also more than likely to appear, as are variants using the existing Qoros 3’s 1.6l engine, with 93 kW in normally aspirated form and 115 kW with a turbo.
The styling, under the direction of former VW, SEAT and MINI design boss Gert Hildebrand, is a huge step forward from the firm’s first-generation range – the Qoros 3 – which is offered in sedan, hatch and SUV variants. While that car shows a restrained style with clear VW/Audi influences, the Qoros 2 seen here is a much more playful and confident shape; short, stubby and featuring pumped-up wheelarches and the sort of intricate and unusual detailing that has helped make the Nissan Juke such a worldwide success.
Particularly noteworthy are the boomerang-shaped head and tail-lights, running up and along the tops of the front and rear wings, along with the low roofline that’s surely taken an element of inspiration from the Range Rover Evoque. It’s clear, though, that the pictures don’t feature the too-big wheels of the officially-released sketch, and also include details like realistically-sized wing mirrors and useable door handles, revealing it to be a model intended for production rather than a designer’s flight of fancy.
An extended front scuttle ahead of the windscreen appears to incorporate access hatches, suggesting that it may be possible to reach certain service items – perhaps the windscreen washer filler and even the oil dipstick – without opening the bonnet.
Intriguing though the Qoros 2 is, the chances are that unless you live in China you face a lengthy wait before you’ll be able to get your hands on one. While the firm’s intention is to have its vehicles on sale in Europe by 2017, it’s currently working flat out to satisfy demand in the massive Chinese market before developing versions of its vehicles to meet regulations for international sales.