Something about platforms. Boo.
The Beijing auto show wouldn’t have been complete without a showing from China’s biggest SUV manufacturer Haval, and they delivered. The F5 is Haval’s first departure from the core ‘H’ series of cars, with the F5 (and subsequent ‘F’ cars) aimed at a younger, more style-focused demographic.
Very few details were revealed of the F5, with the only concrete info we have being that it competes in the compact crossover segment with cars like the Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR. We also know that it’s left-hand drive, and will remain so, ruling out a possible introduction to Australia.
However, parent company Great Wall Motors’ CEO Wang Fengying confirmed to journalists at the motor show that the F5 would be developed in right-hand drive, along with other Haval models, with the arrival of a new-generation platform in 2020.
Further enforcing that statement was GWM Group’s Sam Chen:
“This model (F5) is still what we call ‘current generation.’ The new H6 utilises the same platform as we have right now, and the F5 – it’s a brand new series – but it’s still on an existing platform. We’ve made a lot of improvements in terms of technologies and some of the other capabilities, but what we’re really excited about is the next-generation models. [Australia’s offerings] are beyond these models here, so it will be the next generation.” — Sam Chen, Vice President (Product Planning), Great Wall Motors Group
While Haval’s ‘H’ models are aimed at families and more matured consumers that prefer equally-matured and time-tested technologies, the new ‘F’ series is more adventurous in both style and tech, aimed at millennials that are more explorative in terms of features and more adventurous with their cars. The F5 sports sleek headlights, a rather nice grille, and a sloping roofline, though that rather shallow glasshouse suggests a dark cabin.
Powering the F5 is a new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol 4-pot, that’s mated to a Haval-engineered and Haval-built 7-speed wet-clutch automatic. Power peaks at 124kW, but there’s also 285Nm on tap, meaning the F5 backs up the show with a decent amount of go. Shame we won’t be seeing it here anytime soon.