XPeng’s G6 SUV aims to be a premium electric vehicle for the masses

Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng unveiled its G6 coupe SUV, the fifth car in its lineup, at Auto Shanghai on Tuesday.

The company is marketing the G6 vehicle as a premium EV but without the premium price tag. It has a sleek and futuristic body, an intelligent infotainment system, and can be equipped with XNGP, XPeng’s advanced driver assistance system that can automate driving tasks on highways and cities.

While XPeng has yet to share a price for the G6, the company previously said that it will be somewhere in the RMB 200,000 to 300,000 (USD ~$30,000 to $44,000) range. That’s not exactly a bargain, but it puts the G6 in affordable EV territory.

(It also really gives a whole new meaning to the Far East Movement song “Like a G6,” which saw its lyrical debut 13 years ago, give or take a few days. Coincidence? Almost certainly. XPeng did not respond to a request for comment. TechCrunch for more information.)

The G6 is XPeng’s first vehicle built on its new EV architecture platform, SEPA 2.0, which the automaker says allows it to significantly reduce research, development and production costs. Even investors are convinced of the potential savings: XPeng’s share price rose 13% on Monday after the company filed for SEPA.

The G6 features a spacious interior and child-proof, stain-resistant, antibacterial, and stain-resistant organic silicone cloth and microfiber suede seats. Image Credits: XPeng

XPeng isn’t the only automaker that prioritizes affordability. In China specifically, automakers have been lowering the prices of electric vehicles in response to a war sparked by Tesla’s discounts in October. Since then, Tesla has further discounted its Shanghai-made EVs to the point that they’re around 14% cheaper today than they were this time last year.

Globally, automakers like General Motors and Hyundai announced plans earlier this month at the New York Auto Show to also produce affordable electric vehicles.

The G6’s debut comes seven months after XPeng launched its G9 SUV, which costs between RMB 309,900 and 469,900 (~$44,000 to $66,660), depending on the model.

Mid to higher tier versions of the G9 will be built with lidar and other sensors needed for XNGP. However, XPeng said Tuesday in Shanghai that the company is looking to “rely less on more expensive sensors” like lidar and instead focus more on cameras. In other words, XPeng seeks to play by Tesla’s rules.

It is not clear if the G6 will be built with lidar and XPeng did not confirm this.

Super fast charging, extended range

The interior of the G6 includes a 15-inch IPS screen where the driver and passengers can control the infotainment functions. Image Credits: XPeng

The official launch of the G6 in China is scheduled for mid-2023.

Full specs haven’t been released yet, but XPeng says the G6 will have a 470-mile range, which is 44 miles more than previous models, due to its 800V battery. In 10 minutes, the G6 can charge up to 186 miles of range, according to the company.

The SEPA architecture means that the body is built with integrated aluminum die-casting at the front and rear and the battery is fully integrated into that body. XPeng says this provides a better center of gravity and more driving control.

The body design, which includes a more expressive robot face, is “inspired by science fiction” and was developed in consultation with science fiction writer Cixin Liu. The sleek lines give it an ultra-low drag coefficient that helps give it such a long range, according to XPeng.

The interior is spacious and comfortable, with a panoramic sunroof of more than 2 square meters. An exciting new internal feature is the electronically controlled air vents, which drivers and passengers can access from a 15-inch IPS screen.

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