China show: Chery thinks big
21 November 2006

The star of the China motor show has to be Chery, with four new models - including the country's first mass-produced hybrid.And the local manufacturer's varied display - which also featured a three-door coupe, a compact off-roader and a five-door hatch - was an impressive indicator of the things to come from China's burgeoning industry.

Fulwin IIA stylish Civic-sized three-door penned by Torino Design – a new company created by ex-Bertone high-fliers and bankrolled by Chery – this two-plus-two concept will enter production within the next 18 months, and with only minor changes, according to Chery’s top brass.Among the engines set to power it is a twin-cam 1.6-litre four that produces 107bhp at 5800rpm and 106lb ft at 4200rpm.

A3Another attractive offering by Torino Design, this five-door hatch has been labelled China’s answer to the Golf, and is the model most likely to spearhead the marque’s European assault.Two four-cylinder petrol options – the 1.6 featured in the Fulwin II and a gutsier (125bhp at 5800rpm and 130lb ft at 4600rpm) 2.0-litre – will probably be joined for the European market by a 1.9-litre four-cylinder common-rail diesel that generates 125bhp and 200lb ft. These can be mated to a five-speed manual or a CVT.Underpinning the A3 is a brand-new front-wheel-drive platform with MacPherson struts up front and torsion bars at the rear.

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A5 ISGChery’s Mondeo-sized four-door sedan has been given the hybrid treatment. Fitted with an 80bhp 1.3-litre three-cylinder petrol that cuts beyond 25mph and an around-town 10kW electric motor, Chery is claiming a 0-62mph of 11.3sec, a 104.4mph maximum and 57.6mpg for this 1278kg car.It is also a lot cleaner than many existing Chinese cars and, according to Chery, has a full Euro IV emissions capability.Greg Kable

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