Update – Reports on the Chinese web point to a mid-year launch for the Chery eQ5 (May or June) electric crossover in the local market. Chery is likely to export the eQ5 (and the vehicles coming off this specialized EV platform) to take on rivals from Asia and Europe in the global marketplace. The company has not given details of the range, but given the car’s lighter weight and purpose-built frame, it is expected to be very competitive.
Tata Motors’ Chinese joint venture partner Chery Auto (that manufactures Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles for the local market since 2014) unveiled its first dedicated pure electric SUV code-named Chery S61, which will be called the Chery eQ5 as per information published on the Chinese government website. The Chery eQ5 is based on the brand’s new aluminium-intensive electric platform, adopts a new exterior design language and is scheduled to be launched in the Chinese market later this year. The first units of the Chery S61 came down the production lines in December at the Wuhu plant.
The Chery eQ5’s new design language is drastically different from the brand’s other models and is expected to be adopted by all pure EV models in the future. At the front, the eQ5 EV sports a split headlamp design with LED strips above and projector lamps below. Then there’s the fake grille element not requisite of an electric vehicle. A horizontal chrome strip runs the width of the car. At the rear, a LED strip runs across the width with stylish split design tail lamps adorning the corners. The wheelbase of the eQ5 stands at 2805 mm, making for a spacious cabin.
The interior of the Chery eQ5 gets a radical design with a combination of tech and finesse. With an all-digital instrument cluster and central infotainment, faux wood and leather trims are used all through the cabin. Some of the features here include AI voice recognition system, multi-screen interaction, and air purification. The new car will also have face recognition, Zhiyun Butler 2.0, smart bracelet, OTA, ADAS+ (assisted driving) and 5G-V2X. The Chery eQ5 is expected to be priced starting at around RMB 200,000 (INR 20.48 lakh) competing with the Weltmeister EX6 Plus and the NIO ES6. Recall that Tata Technologies assisted Nio in its product development through collaborative engineering, another Indian connection.
Chery has already revealed that it has big plans with its LFS high-strength aluminum-magnesium alloy smart vehicle platform that underpins the eQ5. 93% of the body frame uses aluminum-magnesium alloy, and the frame weighs only 94.4 kg or 40% less than the weight of the structure of conventional vehicles. The EV platform will reportedly spawn three electric models beginning with “S” by 2020 that will include S81 EV, S61 EV and S57 EV.
Chery eQ5 electric SUV for India?
The Indian media last year reported that Tata Motors was in talks with two Chinese car manufacturers for sharing its resources in India and facilitating their entry into the market, with Chery speculated as a party. Reports have also spoken about Tata Motors utilizing one of Chery’s Tiggo SUVs to quickly plug the white space between the Nexon and the Harrier, as an alternative to developing its own. The entry of Chery in India is undefined, but when they make the move, the LFS platform would leave them with plenty of choices for fielding electric cars to fight Tata Motors and Mahindra.
Back home Tata Motors has launched the pure electric Tata Nexon for a starting price of INR 13.99 lakh. The Nexon EV gets a 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery paired to a 129 PS permanent-magnet AC motor. It produces 245 Nm of instant torque and can accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100 kmph in just 9.9 seconds. The Nexon EV has a range of 312 km (ARAI) and with a fast DC charger, the battery can be charged to 80% in just 60 minutes.
The first production version of Chery’s electric-powered S61 has rolled off the production line in China. The new SUV is the first model to be based on Chery’s new LFS aluminium electric car platform. Further technical details are yet to be revealed. pic.twitter.com/0uGmegPINC— Greg Kable (@GregKable) December 30, 2019
[Source – Autohome.com.cn]