Four-door Jetta-sized saloon from new Chinese manufacturer is set to spearhead Qoros's European assault next year

This compact saloon is the first offering from the Chinese Qoros brand. The four-door, which currently goes by the codename C11, is due to go on sale in China and Western Europe next year.

The car, which is being developed in conjunction with Austria-based automotive industry specialist Magna Steyr, was spotted testing in southern Spain.

Qoros was established by Chinese giant Chery and industrial company Israel Corporation last year with a view to producing high-standard cars that will appeal to both Chinese and European tastes.

In addition to the saloon, Qoros has plans for a hatchback – aimed squarely at western Europe – plus an SUV, a hybrid and an electric vehicle.

Qoros is run by former Volkswagen employee Volker Steinwascher, an industry veteran who hand-picked most of the Qoros management team, including Gert Hildebrand, former chief designer for Mini.

C11 is said to be a rival for the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta, although after the brand's launch last year Steinwascher told Autocar, "We don’t have a single competitor, the way we try to make products is a little bit different to others. We’re not so much on the performance side as the Europeans, but we are more emotional than the Japanese, it’s a different market mix.”

The Europe-bound saloon will be powered by a 1.6-litre engine from parent company Chery, while Qoros also has access to 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel units.

The Qoros C11 will represent a 'soft' European launch for the brand, and is earmarked for launch at a motor show in the last quarter of 2013. After that Qoros will ramp up its presence and aims to export about 40 per cent of its sales from China by 2016.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta has a big boot, pleasant dynamics and good pricing, but is a bit dull

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