Geneva 2013: Asian underdogs hoping to bark and bite next week in Switzerland

Ssangyong SVI-1 Concept

We don’t plan on spending much time covering each of the new Chinese (and some Korean) cars coming to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.  After all, you can’t even buy most of them here in the States, so there’s not much that you could do with these things anyway.  However, there are a few cars that have caught our attention, and on the off-chance that we do see these bad boys in the future, we want you to have a first look, too.

The first ride that really grabbed us was a concept from Ssangyong (seen above).  This South Korean automaker has made a play at many of the past European auto shows, but this year, it’s different, and it’s different in a way that looks pretty promising. With some similar design cues to the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the SIV-1 Concept is a stylish, aggressive looking crossover.  “SIV” is an acronym for “Smart Interface Vehicle,” and while we’re not exactly sure what that means just yet, we do know that the interior has four bucket seats and a “Mobile Auto System.” Your guess is as good as ours on that one.

Qoros 3 Sedan

The other big news that we’re looking forward in Geneva focuses on the launch of an entirely new Chinese brand, Qoros. It’s joint venture between Chery, China’s largest automaker and an investment company called Israel Corporation.  You can’t call yourself a car company without a car, though, and Qoros plans to reveal two concepts and its Qoros 3 Sedan.  We’re a little overwhelmed by all the 3’s already hanging out in the industry, so we’ll try to keep this one separate from the Mazda3, A3, 3 Series and the rest of them.  The Qoros 3 is production-ready and slotted to compete with cars like the Hyundai Elantra.

Suzuki C-Segment Crossover

And finally, it looks like Suzuki will bring a compact crossover along to Geneva, too. You may be asking yourself why Suzuki is on our list of Asian underdogs, when you’re convinced that you’ve seen a Grand Vitara in the wild before. We’ve included the company here because this Japanese brand has finalized its retreat from the American marketplace, leaving us to miss silent rockstars like the slow-selling Kizashi sedan. That doesn’t mean that Suzuki has slowed its roll in Europe, however, and this small crossover aims to fill a popular gap in the market. Based loosely on the S-Cross Concept shown in Paris, Suzuki promises to offer four-wheel drive capabilities and more cargo space than most cars in the segment. Little else has been released at this point.

If we hear rumblings that any of these brands may find a way into the American market, we’ll be sure to offer more updates from the Geneva Motor Show.


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