If a fully-electric premium SUV like the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron or Mercedes EQC is outside your price range, then you might just be in luck because China’s Aiways has been pitching its U5 SUV as a more affordable alternative to such cars.
After bringing the U5 to Beijing in concept form, the Chinese startup now has a production-ready version, which aims to become one of the safest and most advanced models in Europe’s mid-size SUV segment.
While we leave it up to you to judge the U5 with regards to styling, the SUV does come with a lot of modern exterior elements, such as the full-LED headlights, a sharp beltline design, hidden door handles, dual-channel rear spoiler and a continuous light strip at the rear.
It measures 4,680 mm (184.2 inches) in length, 1,880 mm (74.0 inches) in width, stands 1,680 mm (66.1 inches) tall and has a wheelbase that spans 2,800 mm (110.2 inches). To put it plainly, it’s considerably smaller than a Model X or even the e-tron SUV, but is more or less comparable in size to the Mercedes EQC.
Loads of tech
The interior of the U5 certainly looks premium, especially with features such as the one-piece sports seats, ambient lighting, floating center console and available AI ID face recognition. There’s also a “tri-fold display” in front of the driver acting as the gauge cluster, joined by a 12.3-inch LCD infotainment display in the middle of the dashboard.
On the move, the U5 offers active safety systems such as Automatic Queuing for Traffic Jams, Automated Highway Driving Assistance or the All-Situation Autonomous Parking function, while over-the-air software updates will ensure that you’re always up to date with the latest advancements.
Of course, it all comes down to its main selling point, which is the fact that you never have to fill it up with diesel or petrol. The Aiways U5 utilizes a 63 kWh liquid cooled master battery back that works in conjunction with the world’s first “AI battery pack” – acting like a range extender. Normally, the driving range is 460 km (285 miles), although once you combine the two, you can cover more than 560 km (348 miles) of open road.
As for performance, maximum power output is a modest 140 kW (188 HP), while peak torque stands at 315 Nm (232 lb-ft). Add the fact that the U5 is front-wheel drive only and you can begin to understand how it will definitely undercut its premium European rivals when it comes to pricing.
More details regarding a release date as well as pricing should surface in due course.