While some Chinese manufacturers are now well known in Europe, such as MG and BYD, which is beginning to make a name for itself, this is not the case for all of them. Have you heard of Luxeed, for example? Chances are you haven’t. And yet, the manufacturer, which is in fact Chery’s high-end division, is set to make a name for itself over the next few years.
The Tesla cruncher
The firm is in fact the fruit of a collaboration between Chery, the Chinese automotive giant, and Huawei, better known for its smartphones. Unlike its rival, Xiaomi, which wants to create its own electric car, the tech firm preferred to partner with specialists in the field. Indeed, the latter has also partnered with Changan Automobile and CATL to create Avatr.
Last August, Luxeed officially lifted the veil on its new S7, a large electric sedan that should rival the Tesla Model S in particular. At the time, we saw a few photos of the newcomer, without any further details. But now we know more about it, unveiled on the brand’s Weibo account.
According to the Car News China website, it is 4.97 meters long, 1.96 meters wide and 1.47 meters high. Enough to rival the new BMW i5, which we were able to get close to at the Munich Motor Show. There’s also a striking resemblance to the Porsche Taycan, notably in the front lights, while the Cx (coefficient of drag) is announced at 0.203, a very good value. For the first time, the electric sedan lets us discover its cockpit, reminiscent of Tesla’s own.
There’s a huge touchscreen in horizontal format, incorporating the HarmonyOS 4 infotainment system, and just below it are two 50-watt induction charging compartments. The driver can also take advantage of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a large panoramic roof measuring 2.6 square meters. Finally, the trunk boasts a capacity of 420 liters and is associated with 25 storage spaces in the passenger compartment, while the wheelbase stands at 2.95 meters.
This newcomer to the range is based on the E0X platform, common to the Exeed brand of electric cars due to arrive in Europe. The electric sedan will be available in several versions, with a single motor on the entry-level model and two on the higher-performance versions. Power output ranges from 215 to 496 hp, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of just 3.3 seconds.
While battery capacity has not yet been revealed, we do know that the entry-level model will have a conventional LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) pack. The long-range version will be fitted with a hybrid battery designed by CATL, combining LFP and NMC (nickel – manganese – cobalt) chemistry. The Luxeed S7 will be able to cover up to 800 kilometers on a single charge according to the CLTC cycle, or around 680 kilometers WLTP.
Thanks to its 800-volt architecture, this newcomer can be recharged in just 15 minutes (from 10 to 80%) according to It Home, while its consumption is announced at just 12.4 kWh/100 kilometers. Its lifespan is claimed to be 400,000 km.
By comparison, the Tesla Model S consumes an average of 17.5 kWh/100 km on the Chinese CLTC cycle, and the Model 3 does better with 13.2 kWh / 100 kilometers. This is still more than the Chinese newcomer, even though the Tesla Model 3 is renowned for its low fuel consumption. This would make the Luxeed S7 one of, if not the most energy-efficient electric car in the world.
While we’ll have to wait and see what all the technology has in store, the car is equipped with a LiDAR sensor, suggesting Level 3 autonomous driving.
A total of four versions will be offered for this new Luxeed S7, priced from 258,000 yuan, or just 38,700 dollars. However, this price is likely to rise sharply should it arrive in Europe in the coming months. Not to mention the fact that it would not be eligible for the ecological bonus.