XPeng Motors introduced its third model, the XPeng P5, at the Shanghai Motor show earlier this week. Pre-orders for the P5, the world’s first production electric vehicle equipped with LiDAR technology, have also begun.
XPeng is quick to point out that the P5 is targeted for city driving. It won't have the high performance or long-range of the P7, but those sacrifices have allowed XPeng to add XPILOT 3.5 into the vehicle, giving it the most advanced ADAS available in China today, while keeping the price less than that of the P7.
“The P5 realizes our vision of navigation-assisted autonomous driving, aiming to liberate the driver’s concentration and effort from the drudgery of manual driving,” - XPeng Chairman and CEO, He Xiaopeng - “We seek to enable autonomous driving in all weathers and in the most challenging driving conditions.”
The P5's XPILOT 3.5 incorporates two LIDAR units into what was already an extremely advanced driver's assist system. In addition to the LIDAR technology, XPILOT 3.5 has 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 Monocular vision cameras, 4 surround-view cameras, 1 trinocular front-view camera, and 1 driver-monitoring camera.
The P5's double-prism LiDAR units can distinguish pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters, which are encountered more often in China than in North America and Europe. It can also identify static obstacles and road construction, but perhaps the biggest improvement over XPILOT 3.0 is its ability to extend the navigation guided pilot (NGP) function from highways to now include city driving.
City driving in China is particularly challenging because of the high volume of electric bikes, scooters, and small city vehicles that aggressively cut in without leaving much room for error. XPILOT 3.5 is designed to handle these conditions on streets that have high-precision mapping.
Gallery: Xpeng P5
The P5’s Xmart OS 3.0 is XPeng’s latest in-car operation system and comes standard. The Xmart OS 3.0 platform supports full-scenario all-voice interaction, answering a wide array of driver and passenger commands with what XPeng calls "Voice for Everything".
The P5 is the first vehicle in its class to deploy Qualcomm’s Snapdragon flagship SA8155P auto-grade computing platform, which is 3 times more powerful than the previous generation. XPeng explains that the system "enables seamless user control and interaction to assist, inform, and entertain the driver and passengers."
The P5's instrument console includes a 15.6-inch vertically-oriented large-size screen with all the essential information and controls right where the driver needs them. A fully-stocked ecosystem of in-house and third-party apps and software packages allows for rich user-created content and many configurable options.
The P5 is expected to begin customer delivery in the fourth quarter of 2021 and early reservation holders will be entitled to lifetime free charging with their vehicle.
While we'd love the opportunity to test drive the P5 to get a better feel for the vehicle, on the surface we think XPeng hit the nail on the head with this car. It fits perfectly into XPeng's lineup and shouldn't cannibalize many sales from XPeng's G3 or P7, as most of its buyers will likely be conquest sales from other brands.
While we don't yet have all of the technical specifications or price, the G5 is expected to cost less than the P7 which starts at 229,900 yuan ($35,420) after subsidies. In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 in China starts at 249,900 yuan ($38,500). So the XPeng P5 will cost at least 10% less than a Model 3. It won't have the long-range or performance of a Model 3, but it will probably be a better family car with more advanced driver-assist features in Chinese city driving environments.
We'd like to know your thoughts on XPeng's latest offering. Would this be an EV you'd be interested in if it were available where you live? XPeng has already begun selling the G3 in select markets in Europe, so they clearly have sights on multinational expansion. There's still no word on any plans to beginning selling cars in North America, but XPeng has already secured permits to begin road testing of the P7 in the US, so they must be looking ahead at that option also.
Let us know your thoughts on the P5 in the comment section below.