Chery currently sells about 20 different sedan/hatchback models. Yet, with the exception of the QQ mini, none of them makes the list of top 50 best-selling cars in the first eleven months of this year. The poor results from the domestic market must have created a panic for the Wuhu-based automaker, which, in desperation, seems willing to try anything. After ill-judged attempts to launch new brands, enter the commercial vehicle market, and radically expand its sedan line, now it considers modifying its logo or employing a new one.
The new logo, which is formed, some say, by just nearly closing the circle in the Infiniti sign, made a public appearance earlier this year on the Chery TX concept displayed at the Beijing motor show. Since then it has been spotted on several occasions. In the latest exposure, it is shown on an A4 in development, indicating Chery may be serious about revamping its visual identity. With no official word on how or when the new logo will be used, some speculate that it is to designate Chery’s future "high-end" models. To us, such a move would make no sense. The new design makes no improvement over the existing one. It is a reflection of bad taste. Even if it is aesthetically appealing, it would be highly unwise for Chery to use it as the company has already got too many nameplates and brands.
Left: new Chery logo (from Chery TX); right: existing Chery logo
Let us turn to the car. With the development code of M16, the A4 will be the new top model in Chery’s A series of sedans. In essence, though, it is not really new, being a long-wheelbase version of the A3. While the A3 has become a flop, Chery apparently wants to give it another chance by making it larger. The wheelbase is extended from 2550mm to 2700mm, allowing for a body length of 4652mm, exceeding that of the A3 by 300mm. The same 1.6L DVVT engine from the A3 is adopted, which can put out up to 93kW of power and 160Nm of torque. It will be mated to a 5MT or CVT. In about two years, an additional, more advanced engine will be provided: a turbo 1.4 liter.
Spy shots of the interior indicate such upscale features as a large touch screen, heated seats, and auto A.C..
Chery A4 is expected to make its debut at the 2013 Shanghai motor show, and hit the market a few months later.