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First look: Chery set for global hybrid car rollout

Olympic moment: Two versions of Chery’s production-ready A5 Hybrid are running at the Beijing Olympics.

Chery puts the A5 Hybrid through its final paces at the Beijing Olympics

11 Aug 2008

CHERY Automobile is showcasing its forthcoming A5 Hybrid at the Beijing Olympics ahead of its production debut later this year.

A strong candidate for sale in Australia alongside the regular A5 sedan, which is scheduled to arrive here in March next year, the hybrid version is still to be confirmed for release Down Under.

However, the car's development partner Ricardo revealed last week that the model was engineered to meet European emissions requirements and would enter “full production shortly... for both domestic Chinese and export markets”.

62 center imageAccording to Ricardo, Chery has developed two hybrid variants based on the A5, opening with a stop-start version combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox with a 12-volt Belt Starter-Generator (BSG).

Then there is a “more comprehensive mild hybrid based on the same baseline vehicle but instead equipped with a 1.3-litre gasoline engine and a 12kW crankshaft-mounted 151-volt Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG)”. The latter also offers stop-start functionality.

The technologies are claimed to offer significant fuel savings. The BSG version is said to achieve a seven per cent improvement over the conventional model in the European urban drive cycle, with more than 10 per cent expected in “real world” urban driving, while the ISG variant is expected to realise a 15 per cent improvement compared to the 1.6-litre model it was benchmarked against.

The fleet of 50 hybrid cars in final pre-production testing in Beijing are known as the “Olympics Green Messengers”. Of these, 40 are BSG hybrids and 10 ISG hybrids.

The fourth-largest passenger-car manufacturer in China, Chery exported just over 81,000 cars in the first half of this year – a 57.3 per cent increase over the same period last year – and now has overseas sales accounting for 40 per cent of its total volume.

This result has enabled Chery to claim it is China’s number-one passenger-vehicle exporter, with total export revenue year-to-date exceeding $US478 million.

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