New premium crossover from China: Toyota’s platform, BMW X5 rivalsOctober 24, 2018
The forerunner of the crossover – Hongqi S-Concept – the Chinese showed back in 2016. In the same year, trials of the commercial embodiment of the SUV started in the Middle Kingdom, this model should go on the market under the HS7 index. It was assumed that the serial car will be presented in 2017, but the cross has not yet reached the conveyor. In July of this year, the Chinese media got an official image of a serial SUV. And now at the disposal of the publication Autohome were “live” photos of the machine ready for production.
The body of the Hongqi HS7 is still plastered with camouflage film, but the cross in the fresh pictures flaunts neatly tucked in “native” headlights and lanterns – for a two-year-old test sample, the head optics were installed crookedly, and the rear lights got to the prototype from another car. In the cabin – leather trim with diamond-shaped stitching, multimedia system with a large touchscreen and a virtual dashboard. It is expected that the crossover will be offered in the five-and seven-seater versions.
According to preliminary data, the HS7 shares the platform with the Hongqi H7 sedan, which, in turn, is based on the rear-wheel-drive platform of the former Toyota Crown with a front double-lever suspension and a rear multi-link (FAW owning the Hongqi brand has a JV with Toyota). Motors of crossover is also likely to get from the HS7: gasoline turbo 2.0 (204 hp, 260 Nm) and V6 3.0 (231 hp, 300 Nm). For the Hongqi H7, a four-cylinder turbocharged 1.8 (188 hp, 260 Nm) is still provided, but, according to Chinese media, the SUV is unlikely to receive such a motor. In a sedan, all engines are combined with a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive H7 is not put, but the HS7 version will be 4 × 4. It is not excluded that the crossover will also acquire a hybrid modification, but there is no information about the installation yet.
Hongqi HS7 will probably enter the Chinese market next year. The competitors crossover local media tipped the BMW X5. The new product will, of course, be priced at: the estimated starting price tag is 280,000 yuan. For comparison, the BMW X5 in the Middle Kingdom will cost at least 729,900 yuan.
Recall, under the Hongqi brand in China, since 1958, they have produced limousines for the party elite. Since the 90s, under this brand, they began to produce cars for middle-level officials, and the H7 sedan became the first market model of Hongqi – it appeared in 2013. Not so long ago, two more models entered the free market: the L5 limousine and the H5 sedan built on the basis of the current Mazda6. The HS7 crossover will not become the only SUV of the brand – the company will be equipped with the E-HS3 electric SUV, and they are planning to expand the cross-line later.
Outside the Middle Kingdom, the brand is not represented. Meanwhile, earlier the FAW concern opened its own design center in Germany and lured the chief designer of Rolls-Royce – it is quite possible that the Chinese are preparing to enter the European market.