The automotive industry is about to see a groundbreaking entry from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi. Their upcoming EV, the SU7, has just been unveiled through images published by a Chinese government regulatory agency. While the images provide a glimpse into the car’s design, they also raise questions about Xiaomi’s role in manufacturing the vehicle.
Contrary to initial expectations, Xiaomi will not be responsible for building the SU7. Instead, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC), a government-owned Chinese car manufacturer, will handle production on a contractual basis. This collaboration between a tech company and an established automaker is a fascinating development, reflecting the changing landscape of the automotive industry.
From the available specifications, it seems that the SU7 will occupy a similar space as the Tesla Model S in terms of design and proportions. With a wheelbase of 118 inches and a fastback roofline, the SU7 aims to cater to the mid-size luxury sedan market in China, where long-wheelbase versions are particularly popular. Despite its similarities to the Model S, the SU7 falls just shy of it in terms of overall length, making it an intriguing contender.
While the specifications reveal details about power output and weight, crucial information like range and battery capacity remains undisclosed. However, it’s worth noting that the SU7 will offer different levels of performance, with a single-motor rear-wheel-drive variant producing approximately 295 horsepower, and a premium all-wheel-drive dual-motor version boasting 663 horsepower. Interestingly, the premium trim will feature a larger battery and a different battery chemistry, utilizing nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) instead of the cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) pack found in the base model.
In terms of autonomous capabilities, trims of the SU7 will include a lidar array on the roof, potentially enabling advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous features. However, the extent of autonomy available in the SU7 remains uncertain. Upon launch, customers can expect to choose from various trims, including the SU7, SU7 Pro, and SU7 Max, with a Founders Edition subvariant also in the works.
Questions remain regarding the SU7’s availability outside of China. Xiaomi mainly targets its products and services at Chinese customers, and it’s unclear whether the company intends to expand distribution globally. However, the involvement of BAIC in manufacturing the car suggests that the SU7 could hit the market sooner rather than later, with production expected to begin before the end of 2023 and availability slated for early 2024.
Q: Who will manufacture the Xiaomi SU7 EV?
A: The Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC), a government-owned Chinese car manufacturer, will produce the Xiaomi SU7 EV on a contractual basis.
Q: What are the notable specifications of the SU7?
A: The SU7 offers a range of power options, with a single-motor rear-wheel-drive variant producing around 295 horsepower and a premium all-wheel-drive dual-motor version boasting 663 horsepower.
Q: Will the SU7 have autonomous capabilities?
A: Certain trims of the SU7 will feature a lidar array on the roof, suggesting the inclusion of driver-assistance and autonomy features. However, the specific level of autonomy has not been confirmed.
Q: Where will the Xiaomi SU7 be available?
A: While Xiaomi primarily focuses on the Chinese market, it remains uncertain whether the SU7 will be offered outside of China. The involvement of BAIC in manufacturing indicates a potential for wider distribution.