The upmarket hatchback brand from Chinese automaker Chery, the Omoda has made it into the semi-finals of the South African Car of the Year competition amid much jubilation from the local arm of the company as one of the country’s youngest car companies.

However, the parent is certainly not resting on any laurels - the Jaecoo sub-brand is destined to officially launch locally early next year and the Chery range has been expanded on home shores with the pre-launch information on the Fengyun A8.

Chery Omoda Fengyun A8While this luxury PHEV version of the Arrizo 8 may not actually be destined for South Africa, its importance lies in the fact the company claims an operating range of more than 1 400 kilometres from the combined system resources.

The powertrain comes from Chery’s Kunpeng Electric Hybrid C-DM system consisting of a fifth-generation ACTECO 1.5T GDI hybrid engine and a permanent magnet synchronous motor, mated to a DHT150. The engine outputs 115 kW and 220 Nm while the motor outputs 150 kW and 310 Nm.

 In addition, its 18,3 kWh lithium battery pack provides a pure electric cruising range of 106 km (WLTC) and  it takes 19 minutes to replenish the battery from 30% to 80%.

Moving local, Shannon Gahagan, National brand and marketing manager of Omoda South Africa, says: “When we decided to introduce the Omoda brand to South Africa, we specifically picked the Omoda C5 to be our first model.

“This model is both a showcase of our technological development with its 115 kW 1,5-litre turbo-petrol engine and a perfect example of our futuristic design language that sees nothing as sacred and that looks at any new technology or design element through the lens of functionality and customer benefit."

Omoda C5 GTGet your pre-owned Omoda here

The C5 offers a comprehensive range of features, including diamond-cut alloy wheels, a dual-screen 10,25-inch cockpit with touch-screen infotainment and vehicle information and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Omoda then introduced a sporty Omoda C5 GT. Aside from the styling upgrades, such as aerodynamic side skirts, a front splitter and a rear wing, the Omoda C5 GT is fitted with the brand’s Kunpeng 1,6-litre turbo-charged petrol engine. 

The SA Guild of Mobility Journalists  Car of the Year competition is one of the most highly regarded of its kind in the world. Unlike many other COTY competitions, the South African version includes rigorous testing, both at low speeds over uneven surfaces and at the highest possible speeds, with sharp course corrections and dynamic handling of obstacles.

“We are competing in one of the most hotly contested segments – the Compact Family vehicle segmen and, while there are many contenders in this segment, we are confident that the Omoda C5 will offer unmatched value, dynamic capabilities and performance to impress the judges and make it into the list of COTY finalists,” says Gahagan.

Colin Windell



Fengyun Image: DongCheDi, AutoHome