Qoros 2 SUV PHEV Concept: Entering Shanghai 2015 in Style

Written by EightySix

Qoros 2 Plug-in Hybrid SUV at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show.  Photo Credit - Autoblog

Debuting this week at the Shanghai Auto Show is the Qoros 2 plug-in hybrid compact sport utility vehicle. A small turbo-charged engine powers the front wheels. A pair of electric motors power the rear. The battery size and many other details are undisclosed, but it will plug in and have pure electric range.

Its 102 inch wheelbase make it barely shorter that a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV. Qoros is aiming at that booming compact SUV niche. Can an unknown like Qoros compete with the world's big names?

Who is Qoros?

Qoros is a marriage between a Chinese car builder, Chery Quantum Automotive Corporation, and the Israel Corporation, a $37 billion enterprise which does business in shipping, energy and chemicals. The company is headquartered in Shanghai. They introduced their first prototype, the 3 Sedan, at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. It began selling in China and Slovakia that December.

Despite being the first Chinese-built car to receive a 5-star crash test rating by the Euro NCAP, initial sales have been sluggish. Total sales for 2014 were under 7000 cars. Breaking into the business as a new guy isn't easy, but Qoros is not discouraged.

They released two more models of the 3 at Geneva: a hybrid crossover and a four-door hatchback. They promise a new model every six months. Today, we get the Qoros 2.

A Fully Modern PHEV

The plug-in 2 SUV seems to be doing the electric thing the right way. It was built from the ground up to be electric. The batteries are built into the floor, Tesla style. This allows for a roomy interior. The various storage spaces are built into the floor and behind the seats. A sealed compartment in the trunk is intended to quarantine stinky running shoes.

Smart use of space in a small vehicle is the difference between comfort and claustrophobia. Ever sit in a car and decide in a minute you hate it simply because of elbow room, blind-spots and ergonomics? Not every big car feels big inside. The opposite is also true.

The 2 has four driving modes to get the best from both power sources: pure electric, permanent all-wheel-drive, sport and hybrid. No performance numbers are out, but a smart mix of instant electric torque and gas horsepower often delivers fast starts and consistent power. The wheels are pushed to the corners for balance. It could be a quality rock climber and snow vehicle.

It anticipates a future with abundant charging options. The charging probe pops up from the bottom of the windshield and is intended to mate with receiver sockets of the appropriate height. The driver will never touch a thing. It also has an inductive charging plate under the floor.

Will it Sell?

There are no plans for the 2 to sell in America. For now, it's just a concept. But if it delivers what it promises, it should make many drivers happy. A RAV4-sized SUV with generous room and 30+ miles of electric range? Yes, please.

So Qoros, forget about profit for a while and make this cheap. Get them on the ground and be sure they are rock solid. Many people will come to love them, whether they be Chinese or Israeli.