Chery’s new electric SUV looks like a baby G-Wagen

The latest model from Chery’s fledgling iCar brand has been revealed, with rugged looks and electric power.

Like the larger iCar 03 – as well as a raft of SUVs from Chinese brands such as BYD’s Fang Cheng Bao, GM’s Baojun, GWM’s Tank, and Chery’s own Jetour – the iCar V23 features a boxy, upright body.

While there are hints of Land Rover Defender and Mercedes-Benz G-Class in its design, the iCar V23 is quite a bit smaller.

Car News China reports the SUV, set to go on sale in China in the second half of 2024, measures 4220mm long, 1915mm wide and 1845mm tall on a 2730mm wheelbase.

For context, a Suzuki Jimny XL is 3820mm long, 1645mm wide and 1720mm tall while riding on a 2590mm wheelbase.

It has an approach angle of 43 degrees, a departure angle of 41 degrees and, in all-wheel drive guise, ground clearance of 212mm.

It’ll be offered with both single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations with battery packs sourced from CATL, offering range of up to 500km and 400km respectively.

Inside, there’s a chunky, minimalist design with a large touchscreen, rectangular air vents, and a collection of knobs and toggle switches.

The front floor appears flat, with the centre console being little more than a wireless charging pad jutting out from an armrest and bin.

The V23 has been developed by Chery in conjunction with Zhimi Technology, owned by smartphone designer and manufacturer Xiaomi.

Zhimi’s team has reportedly been responsible for planning and engineering, with Chery handling manufacturing, supply chain, sales, delivery and after-sales.

Car News China reports both parties plan to launch six to eight vehicles over the next three years using this collaboration model.

The iCar brand’s first vehicle was the 03, which entered pilot production in June 2023. It went on sale in China in February 2024.

The 03 measures 4406mm long, 1910mm wide and 1715mm tall on a 2715mm wheelbase, making it around the same length as a Mazda CX-30. Minimum ground clearance is 170mm.

Thus far, Chery hasn’t announced any plans to export iCar models.

While the iCar V23 was co-developed by a company owned by Xiaomi, there’s another electric vehicle that the smartphone giant has put its name on.

It debuted its Xiaomi SU7 electric sedan late last year, which it has contracted Chinese carmaker BAIC to build.

Designed under a team led by Li Tianyuan, formerly of BMW, the luxury sedan was benchmarked against the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S but was priced to undercut the Tesla Model 3.

Available in single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations, it offers range of up to 800km and a 0-100km/h time as low as 2.78 seconds.

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