Xiaomi, a Chinese company that produces consumer electronics and is often inspired by Apple, wants to enter the automotive industry. This morning in Beijing, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun introduced the Speed Ultra 7, a luxury sedan that competes with the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S.
While it is not new that the company is expanding its activities into electric cars – they announced this more than 3 years ago – Lei’s big ambition is to be in the top five of the automotive industry within 20 years. According to Lei, building a car is not that challenging. You put together a team of 300 to 400 people, invest over a billion dollars and take a model you like and completely disassemble it and then reverse engineer your own variant. They are certainly very adept at this in China.
Attracting experienced designers such as Tianyuan Li and James Qui, who have respectively contributed to the development of cars such as the BMW iX and the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX, also contributes to Xiaomi’s endeavor. Chris Bangle, who is considered by many as the person who made BMW’s design less attractive, also works as a design consultant. Xiaomi will not build the cars itself; this is done by the Chinese BAIC. Time will tell how far Xiaomi will go in the automotive industry.
The SU7 comes in two configurations: a rear-wheel drive model and another with two motors and all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drive model has a 400-volt, 73.7 kWh battery and a range of 668 km according to the Chinese government testing program. With 296 hp and 400 nm of torque, this model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds.
The AWD model comes with a heavier 101 kWh battery pack that runs on 800 volts, allowing the car to charge much faster. This package gives the car a range of 800 km, again according to the same test; It remains to be seen what this will yield in practice. The twin-engine model of the SU7 has 663 hp and 838 nm of torque, which is not modest. The batteries come from CATL, but the motors are developed in-house. These, called V6s, outperform what Porsche or Tesla offers on a power-to-weight ratio or speed basis, reaching a maximum speed of 21,000 rpm and generating 6.76 kW/kg (compared to 6.22 for Tesla and 5. 29 kW/kg for Porsche).
Xiaomi also supplies the software for the car. Like the Sony Afeela EV, the SU7 syncs with all your other Xiaomi gear, plus mobile apps and streaming media. Of course, this car can also drive independently; it is equipped with lidar on the roof. During the presentation, a video was shown of the car driving and parking independently. At this time, there are no details available on pricing or when this car will be available in the US or Europe.
Xiaomi EV Technology launch keynote – source: Xiaomi