Three all-new models from Great Wall Motor are going to hit the market this year: Haval M3 small crossover-SUV, Haval H6 mid-size SUV, and Voleex C50 compact sedan, all of which debuted at last year’s Beijing Auto Show and appeared again at last month’s Auto Guangzhou. Among them, the Voleex C50 has a special importance for Great Wall, for it may well decide if the leader in China’s SUV and pickup market can successfully establish itself as a top sedan maker as well. With the first three-box sedan from Great Wall, Voleex C30, becoming the second most popular new car in China last month (selling 24,723 units in Dec.), that goal looks ever closer. All it needs is a push from C50.
To be released in the second quarter this year–possibly April, during the Shanghai Auto Show, the C50 is said to be inspired by the current Honda Civic. It has the same wheelbase of 2700mm and same type of suspensions (front MacPherson, rear double wishbone) as the latter. Yet the C50 will have larger overall body dimensions, as bigger stance is a major selling point in the Chinese vehicle market.
(Below: compare Voleex C50, which is on top, with Honda Civic )
According to previous disclosures, a turbo-charged 1.5-liter (GW4G15T) will be employed, which can put out up to 98kW and 188Nm. But on the list of upcoming releases posted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology the C5 gets a less-powerful 1.5-VVT (GW4G15, rated at 77kw/6000rpm and 138N.m/4200rpm), the same engine found on the C30.
As the turbo engine will significantly raise the cost, Great Wall is likely to first release a (non-turbo) 1.5-VVT model which will be priced modestly in the 70,000-90,000 Yuan range. The 1.5T may join later.
For gearbox, both a CVT and a 5-speed manual transmission will be available.