Chinese Smartphone Company Previews First EV

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
3 of 43 comments
  • 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.

  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.