Xpeng boss paints a very positive picture of the company he runs, making it even more intriguing than before.
Xpeng Motors is a new manufacturer, even by Chinese standards, having been founded in 2014. It already has one model on sale in China, the G3 SUV whose claimed NEDC range is 520 km (323 miles) from a 66.5 kWh battery pack, and now it just launched its second model, the P7 sedan, that offers even better specs.
According to Xpeng, the P7’s NEDC claimed range is 706 km (438 miles) with a 80.87 kWh battery pack (this is for the rear-wheel drive-only model). Adjusted for the more realistic WLTP rating system, its range should still be above 500 km.
And unlike other manufacturers from China, Xpeng is more open and transparent. The company’s president, Dr. Brian Gu, talked about the company with Robert Llewellyn on the Fully Charged Show. They discussed the context of how the company appeared, its first product, the G3 SUV and its important new Tesla Model 3-rivaling model, the X7 sedan.
In fact, in terms of size the X7 slots in between the Model 3 and Model S - it’s 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) longer than the former and 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) shorter than the latter. And it not only competes with Tesla in terms of range - its makers say it’s packed full of proprietary technology that enables it to be what is said to be one of the most advanced self-driving cars around.
It also has voice activation for most of the functions, so no need to prod the screen to activate various functions - Xpeng is presenting this as a safety feature, since drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.
The only area where Tesla’s offerings are superior on paper is performance - the long range (non-AWD) model has 262 horsepower and 390 Nm (288 pound-feet) of torque and therefore its claimed sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) is 6.7 seconds; the performance AWD model drops that down to 4.3 seconds, but that’s still a second off the fastest Model 3.
Now if you’re wondering whether or not the P7 will make it to the U.S., it would appear that it will. Xpeng already has all the permits necessary to test its car Stateside, clearly suggesting the future intention to also import them at some point. However, the manufacturer will first concentrate on the local Chinese market before it makes any decision to start selling its cars elsewhere.