Peter Anderson | Jul 9, 2012

Chinese-Israeli automotive startup Qoros has been sprung testing its new sedan, known internally as the C11, on European roads.

The new car is a Focus-sized sedan believed to run a 1.6 litre petrol engine from parent company Chery, with the option of six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The C11 is also expected to spawn hatchback and crossover variants, although the car spied here isn't expected to debut until mid- to late next year.

Qoros is a joint venture between China's Chery Automobile and Isreali investment firm Israel Corp.

Among the firm's senior appointments is former Volkswagen executive Volker Steinwascher, positioned as Qoros Vice Chairman. Steinwascher rose to vice-Chairman of Volkswagen North America before jumping ship to the startup.

Steinwascher said last year that the company would soon announce the recruiting of designers and engineers with experience working at BMW and Volkswagen.

The highest profile hire is Gert Hildebrand, formerly General Manager of design at MINI.

Steinwascher also announced an ambitious goal of 150,000 to 160,000 cars a year by 2016. The cars will be manufactured in China, with about half of that volume to be exported to Europe.

We're going to keep a keen eye on Qoros as the company moves towards its mooted 2014 launch.