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Tesla Could Must Fear About Xiaomi’s New 400-Mile EV

Tesla Could Must Fear About Xiaomi’s New 400-Mile EV

Tesla has another EV maker on its tail.

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi unveiled its eagerly anticipated debut battery-powered vehicle, the Speed Ultra 7 (SU7), in Hong Kong on Thursday. The sleek sedan may be the company’s first car, but it also represents one of the bigger threats yet to Tesla’s hold on the global EV market.

Because it’s Xiaomi’s first try, it should come as little surprise that the SU7’s design leaves something to be desired. It’s not unattractive by any means, but it’s also not distinctive in the slightest. Its shape, stance, and aerodynamics all call to mind a softer and less defined Porsche Taycan, with smatterings of other EVs, including the Tesla Model 3, scattered throughout the design. That said, it looks aerodynamic, which is a must for an EV, and its appearance certainly won’t turn anyone off.

Xiaomi SU7

VCG

The familiarity of the styling cues would seem to be intentional, according to CNN. Xiaomi’s co-founder and CEO, Lei Jun, told the press at Thursday’s launch event that his company hopes to follow in the footsteps of his forebears.

“Xiaomi wants to build a ‘dream car’ comparable to Porsche and Tesla,” he said on Weibo Wednesday,” the executive said. Later, Lu said: “If we want to build good cars, we must seriously learn from these two best car manufacturers in the world.”

Xiaomi SU7

Xiaomi SU7

VCG

Its design may not be noteworthy, but its powertrain looks like it could be. Xiaomi intends to sell three versions of the SU7—the rear-wheel-drive standard, rear-wheel-drive Pro, and all-wheel-drive Max. Each variant comes with a single-motor powertrain that will produce 299 hp and 295 ft lbs of torque in the standard and Pro and 673 hp and 618 ft lbs of torque in the Max. As far as performance goes, the standard can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 5.28 and 5.70 seconds respectively and reach a top speed of 131 mph, while the Max can hit 62 mph in 2.78 seconds and tops out at 165 mph.

Those numbers are solid, and impressive in the case of the Max, but the range figures the company is touting could be the vehicle’s real calling card. Xiaomi says the standard will run 435 miles, the Pro 516 miles, and the Max 497 miles. Those estimates are based on China’s CLTC testing cycle but those are extremely strong numbers. Additionally, the standard can be charged from 10- to 80-percent battery capacity in 25 minutes, the Pro in 30 minutes, and the Max just 19 minutes.

The SU7 has the shape of a real Model 3 competitor in China, but the most noteworthy info to come out of the unveiling, and the thing that might unnerve Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is Xiaomi’x planned pricing for the EV.  Lu announced that EV will start at 215,900 yuan (around $30,000), which is roughly $4,000 less than the Model 3, and top out at 299,900 yuan ($41,500). That immediately makes the EV one of the most attractive options on the market.

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Will it come to the U.S.? Unlikely any time soon, but Xiaomi plans to focus on the Chinese market for the first two to three years, before moving on to other markets, according to CNBC. It’s unclear if this includes the U.S., but if it does, Elon Musk will surely be paying more attention.

Source: Robb Report

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