All the stretched Cherys.

In today’s article we discuss all of the weird and wonderful limousines and parade cars to have been produced by Chery, including one off prototypes and a few that actually made it into production.

First off we have the most common one and really the only that made it into full scale production, the Fengyun SQR7160EL. Its English name is Windcloud. This black car was made in 2003.

The regular Fengyun sedan was produced between 1999 and 2006, the limousine between 2001 and 1999. For just 1 year between 1999 and 2000 the Fengyun was known as the CAC6340, changing to SQR7160EL in 2000. The main difference between the early cars are the headlights.

This is a Fengyun with the original front end. As you can see compared to the black car the headlights do not protrude into the bottom of the grill and indeed are a 100% match for the SEAT Toledo. This is hardly a coincedence because the Fengyun was indeed a SEAT Toledo underneath. Chery obtained the blueprints for the Toledo through a shady deal between the city of Wuhu and SEAT, which was also a VW subsidiary at the time. VW was not happy about the whole thing. To make matters worse for VW the Toledo was a relative of the second generation Jetta which was also being made in China at the time in a joint venture with FAW. That meant Chery had to make more shady deals with FAW-VW suppliers to get what they needed to make the Fengyun. Fengyuns with the original Toledo front end are very rare indeed, although in this case the lights were Chinese made units. Chery clearly got their local supply chain up and running a lot faster than FAW with their Maestro based cars and vans.

The rear end had updated lights compared with the Toledo.

The interior of this car was in very good shape for a 14 year old car, the dash looked intact and the seats appeared to have little wear. I caught a glimpse of the owner, a fashionably dressed young man, no older than 30 years old. Sadly I was too late to catch him and talk to him about his wonderful car. He clearly likes it too!

Of course being a stretch the best place to be is in back. Here we can see that rear passengers have a very good amount of legroom. Seats again in great condition.

The Fengyun died in 2006 but in 2003 Chery had already launched a facelifted version called the Qiyun, meaning Flagcloud. It was usually called Cowin. We don’t believe Chery ever put a stretched Qiyun on sale but there was atleast one prototype made. Happily we do have this one photo:

The Fengyun may be the only stretched Chery to make it to mass production, but it was by no means the longest. Way back in 2009 at the Shanghai Auto Show, Chery revealed this:

This is the Chery Eastar Limousine. At least two of these magnificent machines was made, the other one that we know of being a black one that was spied driving on the road at different times.

The Eastar limousine was based on the regular Eastar sedan but stretched by around 2.2 meters at the B-Pillar. Power apparently came from a 3.0 liter V6 engine that at the time was still under development and sadly never went into production.

The interior of the Eastar Limousine looks to have been very nice indeed, with a full length bar and entertainement system. white carpeting (wouldn’t that be fun to keep clean) and big comfy sofas for chairs.

Chery also made at least 1 bulletproof Eastar in 2006, although exactly what they meant by bulletproof is a mystery, it could have just been some special glass for the windscreen and windows.

Chery really had high hopes for their Eastar because they also made prototypes with a stretch of 20cm.

At least three of these cars were completed since we do know that at least 3 had their roofs removed to make these:

These 3 cars were used in 2008 after the Shenzhou VII returned from space. The Cherys must have caused quite a stir as these parades always featured Hongqis. For the 2008 parade the 3 Cherys carried the Astronauts through parades in several of Chinas major cities.

A view from the side, note the stretched portion in the middle. There are no pictures of these with any sort of roof so it’s safe to assume they simply didn’t have one.

A snazzy looking interior with lovely leather seats, TV screens in the headrests of the front seats and a nice handle for people to hold onto whilst riding around in what may be the coolest Chery ever. This and the previous picture were taken in 2008 at an auto show in Guanghzhou.

The Eastar limousine was followed by the Reich G6 Paramount in 2011. Reich was a sub brand of Chery with a focus on the premium end of the locally-made-car market. Price for the base car maxed out at around 200,000 RMB and the limousine was said to go for between 400,000 and 500,000 RMB, pocket change compared to the price of imported cars like the Lincoln Town Car. Sadly the Reich G6 was never very popular, in fact we’ve never seen one in the wild, although it seems a few were made and sold.

Compared to the regular G6 the Paramount was stretched by more than 2 meters but retained the standard cars 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbo making 158hp. The dream of a V6 Chery was well and truly dead by this time, although a prototype V6 G6 was spied a few years ago.

The interior of the Paramount was kitted out with a lovely red sofa, bar and entertainment system. Actually it looks pretty much identical to the Eastar limousine’s interior! Even down to the shape of the glass and speaker grills behind the driver and front passenger seats!

In keeping with tradition we have saved the best til last. Chery had some wacky ideas for limousines but their craziest idea of all will have to be this:

Yes, Chery’s obsession with stretched cars peaked with this prototype of a stretched V5 MPV. Now, long wheelbase MPVs are nothing new, cars like the GM Minivans and Mercedes Viano have been offered in short and long wheelbase versions for years. But have you ever seen an MPV stretched at the B pillar? Sadly the V5 stretch never got past the prototype stage, nor does it appear to have done the rounds at motorshows. Sad. Chery’s ambition to make all these weird and wonderful stretched versions of their cars is an important part of China’s automotive history as it shows the wild imagination and ideas Chinese car manufacturers had. Nowadays the cars are better built and safer, but not all that special. Nowadays everyone is putting huge touch screens in cars and it seems all the new SUVs have the exact same floating C pillar design. Progress is good, but the Chinese car companies have lost some of the flair and imagination they once had.

Links:

http://auto.sohu.com/20090418/n263464502.shtml

http://auto.sohu.com/20070405/n249217922.shtml

http://www.zyue.com/n/hx19/nr46999.html

http://www.qi-che.com/guoneicheshi/20110405231774.html

http://www.pcauto.com.cn/shanghai/2009/showroom/W5/qrqc/0904/823156.html

http://p.freep.cn/shownews1342292.html