Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng debuted its G6 coupe SUV, the fifth car in its lineup, at Auto Shanghai Tuesday.
The company is marketing the G6 vehicle as a premium EV but without the premium price tag. It’s got a futuristic, sleek body, a smart infotainment system and it can be equipped with XNGP, XPeng’s advanced driver assistance system that can automate driving tasks on highways and in cities.
While XPeng hasn’t yet shared pricing for the G6, the company has previously said it will be somewhere in the range of RMB 200,000 to 300,000 (USD ~$30,000 to $44,000). That’s not exactly a bargain, but it does put the G6 into affordable EV territory.
(It also really brings a whole new meaning to the song “Like a G6” by Far East Movement, which saw its lyrical debut 13 years ago, give or take a few days. Coincidence? Almost certainly. XPeng did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for more information.)
The G6 is XPeng’s first vehicle to be built on its new EV architecture platform, SEPA 2.0, which the automaker says allows it to bring down research, development and production costs significantly. Even investors are convinced by the potential savings — XPeng’s stock price jumped 13% Monday after the company unveiled SEPA.
XPeng isn’t the only automaker prioritizing affordability. In China specifically, automakers have been lowering EV prices in response to a war triggered by Tesla’s discounts in October. Since then, Tesla has further discounted its Shanghai-made EVs to the point of them being around 14% cheaper today than this time last year.
Globally, automakers like General Motors and Hyundai announced plans earlier this month at New York’s auto show to produce affordable EVs, as well.
The debut of the G6 comes seven months after XPeng launched its G9 SUV, which costs between RMB 309,900 to 469,900 (~$44,000 to $66,660), depending on the model.
Mid to upper tier versions of the G9 will be built with lidar and other necessary sensors 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 is looking to play by Tesla’s rules.
It’s not clear if the G6 will be built with lidar, and XPeng wouldn’t confirm.
Super fast charging, extended range
The G6’s official launch in China is scheduled for the middle of 2023.
Not all the specs have been released yet, but XPeng says the G6 will have a range of 470 miles, which is 44 miles more than previous models were capable of, 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 front and rear integrated aluminum die-casting and that the battery is fully integrated into that body. XPeng says this provides a better center of gravity and enhanced 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 roomy and comfortable, with a panoramic sunroof over 2 square meters. One neat new internal feature is the electronically controlled air vents, which drivers and passengers can access from a 15 inch IPS screen.