China’s Xiaomi is probably best known as one of the world’s top smartphone makers, but the company has a diverse product catalog that includes such things as a robodog and an ebike. Now it’s rolling into the automotive space with the SU7 electric sedan.
Xiaomi first announced its intention to enter the automotive space back in 2021 – and isn’t the only consumer technology company aiming the get you from A to B in electric style, joining others like Sony and Apple. At the official pre-launch of the “full-size high-performance eco-technology sedan,” CEO of the Xiaomi Group Lei Jun revealed that the company intends to “become one of the top five global automakers.”
We already knew that the SU7 was coming, following a number of reports from CarNewsChina – the most recent stating that it’s already arrived in Xiaomi’s Beijing store and is scheduled to begin mass production in the first half this year, while an earlier article noted that it will be contract-manufactured by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd and that it will come in a version with LiDAR installed behind the windshield and another without.
More than 10 billion CNY (~US$1.4 billion) has been invested in the initial R&D phase, with Xiaomi EV already producing electric motors designed to rival the performance of V6 combustion powertrains, and a V8 version that’s reported to be already in mass production and will be “on the road” from 2025. A third motor is also in the pre-research stage.
The company says that the SU7 is capable of a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 2.78 seconds, and has a top speed of 265 km/h (164.6 mph). The HyperEngine V6 is rated at 220 kW (299 PS/294 hp) and produces 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) of torque, while the V6s comes in at 275 kW (374 PS/368 hp) and 500 Nm (368 lb.ft), respectively. The HyperEngine V8 puts out 425 kW (~570 hp) and boasts a peak torque of 635 Nm (468 lb.ft).
Xiaomi has developed its own battery pack, which is said to benefit from a height reduction of 17 mm, a multilayer protection system and water cooling. The company also reports a 24.4% overall performance improvement for a “theoretical CLTC recharge range exceeding 1,200 km [745.6 miles]” with the 150-kWh pack installed. The company has also developed a chassis control algorithm for the promise of stable handling and an almost “bump-free driving experience.”
Autonomous driving is also on the roadmap, with Xiaomi cooking in two Nvidia Orin chips, LiDAR, high-def cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors. Adaptive perception algorithms have been developed for a sensing range running from 5 cm to 250 m (1.9 in – 820 ft), along with a real-time mapping model capable of navigating “complex intersections without relying on high-definition maps” courtesy of machine learning.
Meanwhile, an in-house vector algorithm is claimed to offer object recognition to 10-cm (3.9-in) accuracy, and built-in noise reduction takes rain and snow out of the picture. The company also claims to have developed an automated parking model that “allows for real-time observation and dynamic adjustment when parking in challenging scenarios.”
Tech in the SU7’s cabin includes Snapdragon processing power, a 16.1-inch center console, 7.1-inch rotating dash and a 56-inch Head-Up Display. A tablet can be mounted to each seat-back. The operating system can auto recognize a smartphone brought into the cabin, and apps can be pinned to the console for in-car convenience. And the vehicle plays nice with more than a thousand Xiaomi smart home devices, allowing for such things as password-free access and automation.
“Xiaomi’s entry into the automotive industry signifies a new beginning for Xiaomi, I believe that one day, Xiaomi EVs will be a familiar sight on roads around the world,” said Lei Jun.
The company hasn’t indicated potential pricing, though reports indicate that it will likely land as a luxury electric car to rival Tesla and Porsche.
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