Posted Mar 5th 2012 12:15AM
The Voleex C10 is a small supermini-class five-door hatchback manufactured by the Chinese company Great Wall Motors since 2010. Known also as the Great Wall Phenom, the Voleex C10 features a distinctive front grille design but shares many visual similarities with the Toyota Vitz. A more restrained grille is available in some markets. It’s difficult to ignore the similarities between the Great Wall Phenom (also known as the Voleex C10, but set to pick up an alpha-numeric name for Australia) and Toyota’s popular Yaris hatchback. This year, the plant will roll out only 2,000 cars. But Terziev said that he hopes the plant will be able to produce 50,000 cars annually when it’s running at full capacity in the next three or four years.
The Great Wall Voleex C10 is produced in 1.3L (1298cc) and 1.5L (1497cc) 4-cylinder petrol engined versions. The 1.3L produces 68 kW (92 PS; 91 bhp) and torque of 118 N·m (87 lb·ft) and the 1.5L produced 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) and 138 N·m (102 lb·ft). The five-speed manual – a CVT auto is expected as an option – isn’t the most precise in the business, but it shifts cleanly enough.
Other Chinese companies in the past have failed to meet stringent European safety standards. Great Wall Motors is the first Chinese auto manufacturer to have passed the European NCAP safety test of Voleex C10, according to Bill Russo, a China auto-industry expert and former executive for Chrysler’s North East Asia division. The way it drives, too, is very different to a Yaris, something obvious during our very short drive around the closed testing track at Great Wall’s Voleex C10 head office, south of Beijing.
Great Wall Motors in cooperation with Litex will assemble three models in Bulgaria, beginning with a Voleex C10, a small, Voleex C10 a five-door hatchback that will sell for about $11,000. The following year, Great Wall Voleex C10 will also begin distributing two other models: a pickup truck called Steed and the Hover SUV at $20,000 — about $6,500 cheaper than popular SUVs like the Japanese Suburu Forester.