Chery whipped the wraps off its new Beta 5 concept, a compact SUV that is planned to join the Wuhu-based car maker’s line-up within the next 12 months, at the Shanghai motor show.

Looking production ready, the Beta 5 sits on Chery’s new iAuto platform. The modular structure is planned to form the basis of a whole new range of models in a move aimed at providing Chery with what one official described to Autocar as “dramatic improvements in development, engineering and production costs”.

Other models to emerge from the iAuto platform include the Alpha 7 – a compact sedan that made its public premiere alongside the Beta 5 in Shanghai.

The Beta 5 is set to compete in what is shaping up as one of China’s most competitive market segments against both locally produced and imported compact SUV offerings such as the Besturn X80, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan and an upcoming production version of the MG CS concept.

At 4505mm in length, 1850mm in width and 1741mm in height, Chery’s lastest in a long line of concepts is 95mm longer, 25mm wider and 81m higher than the Hyundai Tucson. It also boasts a wheelbase which is 30mm shorter than its strong-selling Korean SUV rival at 2610mm.

Among the engines planned to power the production version of the Beta 5 is Chery’s own in-house developed 120bhp 1.6-litre and 138bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.

As part of an efficiency program announced in Shanghai, Chery revealed it is axing its Riich and Rely sub-brands, both of which were created in 2009 in a move aimed at garnering greater domestic sales.

Chery is Jaguar Land Rover's proposed joint venture partner in China.

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