Xiaomi SU7.

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The Xiaomi SU7 is yet another Chinese electric car competing against Tesla in its home market.

But it is also more than just “another one”. Xiaomi is mainly a phone manufacturer and a big one. It is second in the world after Samsung (Although I have also seen it rated 3rd behind Apple). This is a huge consumer electronic company that is starting in the car business, with partner Chinese car manufacturer BAIC. This sounds familiar and reminds me of Afeela, which is a partnership between Sony, a consumer electronic company, and Honda, a car manufacturer.

Unlike Afeela, Xiaomi isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and has come out with a car that isn’t afraid of being one. This is one of the most compelling Tesla Model 3 competitions I have seen so far.

First, it looks really nice. Of course, it is reminiscent of other cars like the Model 3 and Porsche Taycan EV. But the end result seems very nice and attractive. And more modern than the “almost aging” Model 3. The design teams include past designers from BMW and Mercedes.

The Xiaomi SU7 is a bit longer and roomier than the Model 3 as well. And of course, it is cheaper than the Tesla, by about $4000 in its local market.

The base model comes with a 76.3kWh blade battery good for over 435 miles in the local test cycle. (Which would probably be closer to 350 miles EPA). 94.3 kWH and 101 kWh are also available on higher-end models. The price range in China goes from $ 30,000 to over $ 41,000.

Something the new Xiaomi SU7 doesn’t have is a proper hatchback. Which is really too bad. The rear trunk opening looks as small as in the Hyundai Ioniq 6. However, it seems to have a really large front trunk.

One thing it has Tesla doesn’t offer: colors! Which is great! Color choices inside and outside. Something sorely missing in many cars these days, especially Teslas.

At least in these photos, the interior seems more upscale than the Tesla Model 3 With a nice and very well-integrated small screen behind the steering wheel. The rest of the interior is, as in many new EVs, still inspired by Tesla with a large floating center screen. While not really original, it seems like a step up from the Model 3. With nice touches like a phone charger in the door, and even a small fridge included in the center console!

To me, the most amazing thing about this new Xiaomi car is its early success. It received 50,000 orders in less than 30 minutes of the official launch. To put it in perspective, Genesis sold about 69,000 cars in the US last year. Alfa Romeo and Mini were about 10 000 units each, for the whole year. I know China is a larger market, but still. 50,000 orders in under 30 minutes will get you noticed.

I have no idea if the new Xiaomi car is a good car or not. But we have to be aware of what is going on, everywhere. This will probably make it to the European market sooner rather than later. Should Xiaomi try to sell these in the US?

I am not sure what Tesla’s plans are for the future except for a smaller “$ 25,000 car” coming. Sometimes… But the refreshed 6-year-old Model 3 could be in serious trouble anywhere cars like the Xiaomi are sold. Chinese manufacturers are improving faster than anyone else ever had. The Model X and S are over 12 years old! And we’ve been told a Model Y refresh isn’t coming before next year.

Will they even be able to keep up?

Conversation 1 comment

  1. The exterior is fine, if a bit generic. But they obviously put a lot of thought into the interior, which is good to see.

    I wouldn’t swap my Model 3 for one, but it’s great to see even more EV options out there.

    Eg the BYD Seal went on sale here in Australia a few months ago, and they seem to be selling quite well.

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