What's the news?
Now, we need to take all that follows with a significant pinch of salt. Many, many times in recent years, Chinese car makers have flattered to deceive with new models that looked good, that looked as if they might be competitive with the best from Europe and Japan, but which disappeared without trace. The Chery Exeed TX could well be different, though. It could be the Chinese car that finally breaks through in Europe.
Chery is actually one of China's largest car makers, with sales of just over 700,000 cars last year, and the Exceed TX is all its own work. Rather refreshingly for a Chinese car maker, there's nothing here that's obviously ripped-off, style-wise, from another car. There are certainly elements to the Exeeed's styling that look a touch like the Land Rover Discovery, or the Lexus RX, but it does add up to a coherent whole. It's nice, actually.
It's high-tech underneath too. Chery has made its own platform, and the Exeed will be offered in either hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric forms. The all-electric version is expected to have a one-charge range of 500km, while the hybrid and plugin hybrid use a turbo 1.5 petrol and electric motor to score, claims Chery, a 200km/h top speed, fuel economy of better than 1.8 litres/100km (156mpg), an electric-only range of 70km (for the plug-in hybrid), and a 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds.
It looks pretty sharp inside. Bosch provides the all-digital instruments and the big ten-inch infotainment screen, while the overall quality looks not bad at all. The electrical system is provided by Continental, so while this is a Chinese car, there's a lot of European expertise in it too.
On the safety front, the Exeed has already scored a China NCAP five-star award, so there's no reason, yet, to think that it will do anything less than well on the European NCAP test.
"In just a few years we intend to start selling a family of vehicles in European markets across multiple segments, with power supplied by a range of electrified powertrains," explains Chery CEO Dr. Anning Chen.
"Our brand will target open-minded, relatively younger customers in particular, with a product rollout strategy that focuses on quality, low- and zero-emissions powertrains, and emotional engagement with customers. All Chery vehicles that are intended to be sold in Europe will feature class-leading connectivity, be fun to drive, offer flexible and spacious interiors and will provide comprehensive personalisation, all of which are aligned with our high standards of product quality and aftersales support".