Chinese Smartphone Company Previews First EV

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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chinese smartphone company previews first ev

Despite years of talk that Apple would eventually start building all-electric vehicles, China’s Xiaomi looks to have beaten the American brand to the punch by previewing the first production EV designed by an established consumer technology company. Though designed might be the wrong word to use as the front of the SU7 sedan appears to have been lifted off the McLaren 750 S while the back is pure Porsche Panamera.

Chinese automotive designs have been impressively derivative for ages, so pointing that out probably won’t change anything. But we haven’t seen anything so obviously influenced by another car design since the second-generation Ford Fusion (fourth-gen Mondeo) came out wearing a face that clearly possessed some Aston Martin DNA.

Copycating aside, the Xiaomi SU7 will be the company’s first all-electric vehicle and provides the brand with an opportunity to dunk on its peers. While Foxconn technically became the first phone manufacturer to pivot toward EVs after getting involved with Lordstown Motor, its relationship with the brand came to an abrupt end when it declared bankruptcy. Foxconn has been left with a factory based in Ohio and a lot of bad memories.

Meanwhile, it’s supposed to be full speed ahead over at Xiaomi. According to a release from the company shared by CarNewsChina, the brand has already applied for the government license required to sell the vehicle in China. That, along with details published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has resulted in loads of leaked information.

We know that the car is supposed to be contract-manufactured by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd (BAIC), which has more than enough experience to pull it off. Government data has also shown us that the vehicle will be dimensionally similar to the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan, and Lucid Air. The Xiaomi SU7 is said to be 197 inches long, 77 inches wide, and 57 inches tall.

However, the powertrain seems to be a step down from the model’s it will be targeting. The SU7 will reportedly be sold as a rear-wheel-drive model offering 295 horsepower or as an all-wheel-drive vehicle boasting approximately 660 horsepower. The top speed is estimated to be 164 miles per hour. Battery packs are supposed to be supplied by BYD and CATL. Smaller units will result in a 4,365-pound curb weight and the larger packs will end up at 4,861 pounds.

The sedan is supposed to utilize Xiaomi’s proprietary HyperOS as its user interface and that’s assumed to be a big draw for customers already familiar with the brand’s mobile devices. The car will have an integrated toll paying feature (think EZ Pass) and allegedly feature advanced smartphone integration.

It also looks to have exterior cameras attached to the b-pillars, side-quarter panels, and a large frontal sensor array mounted on the roof (LiDAR is said to be optional). Odds are good that the SU7 will offer advanced driving features and all kinds of camera-based safety systems. Several Chinese automakers have revealed plans to leverage facial recognition technology in lieu of car keys or paired devices. But we’ve also seen these companies working with government agencies to advance state surveillance efforts.

Production of the Xiaomi SU7 is supposed to commence next month at BAIC’s Beijing assembly plant with the limited “Founders Edition” likely coming first. It’s to be followed by the SU7, SU7 Pro, and SU7 Max — with the higher-trimmed options boasting an adaptive rear wing and fancier interiors.

[Images: MIIT]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • Fie on Fiasler Fie on Fiasler on Nov 17, 2023

    ChinKom garbage.

  • Craiger Craiger on Nov 19, 2023

    Trying not be pedantic but if you're going to write for a living (and I do hope that you're making a living from this) then you should know that apostrophe's do not denote plural's.

    • Fie on Fiasler Fie on Fiasler on Nov 19, 2023

      I've little doubt that VerticalScope (or whatever fourth-tier outlet now ruefully claims this emaciated husk of a website among its properties) pays them all exactly what they're worth. Probably with gift cards.

  • 285exp If the conversion to EVs was really so vital to solve an existential climate change crisis, it wouldn’t matter whether they were built by US union workers or where the batteries and battery materials came from.
  • El scotto Another EBPosky, "EVs are Stoopid, prove to me water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius" article.It was never explained if the rural schools own the buses or if the school bus routes are contracted out. If the bus routes are contracted out, will Carpenter or Bluebird offer an electric school bus? Flexmatt never stated the range of brand-unspecified school bus. Will the min-mart be open at the end of the 179-mile drive? No cell coverage? Why doesn't the bus driver have an emergency sat phone?Two more problems Mr. Musk could solve.
  • RICK Long time Cadillac admirer with 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance and 93 Brougham, always liked Eldorado until downsized after 76. Those were the days. Sad to see what now wears Cadillac name.
  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.