Chinese automaker Geely on Wednesday launched the Zeekr X, a compact luxury SUV under the electric vehicle brand Zeekr. The model is Zeekr’s third model and highlights the brand’s ambition to compete in the luxury car segment.
Why it matters: The sales of the new model could influence Zeekr’s goal to go public in the US and establish itself in Europe.
- The Zhejiang-based automaker will begin entering the European market with the new model and 001 hatchback sedan, Andy An, Geely’s president, and Zeekr’s chief executive told reporters during a press event on Wednesday.
Details: With a starting price of RMB 189,800 ($27,590), the Zeekr X is positioned as a compact luxury crossover touting high-performance features such as fast acceleration and flexible interior space that can offer customized configuration.
- The high-end Zeekr X features twin electric motors with a power output of up to 315 kW, allowing the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds.
- That is quicker than German offerings such as the Audi Q4 e-tron (6.8 seconds) and BMW’s M240i (5.3 seconds) and comparable to the dual-motor version of Tesla’s Model X (3.8 seconds).
- The automaker also introduced a novel, flexible interior design, such as allowing users to change the car’s central armrest into a slideable console box, helping the driver to move across the front passenger seat to get off in tight parking spaces.
- Users can also fold up the back seat to transform the rear seating area into a new storage space. The car offers multiple seat adjustments and other luxury amenities, including a 14.6-inch infotainment screen.
- The exterior design of the new car is also a stand-out, using designs usually seen in concept cars, such as integrated door handles, borderless rear-view mirrors, and a hidden charging cover.
- The Zeekr X crossover will have a driving range of up to 560 kilometers (348 miles), similar to that of the Smart #1, a small electric car jointly made by Geely and Mercedes-Benz. Delivery is scheduled to begin in June.
Context: The compact SUV could be a key test of Geely’s ambition to evolve from a budget-friendly mainstream carmaker to a global luxury EV maker.
- Geely’s internal plans call for sales of 40,000 Zeekr X SUVs this year, as part of its 140,000 annual delivery target for the premium EV brand, which was launched in early 2021. The Volvo’s parent also operates several other luxury brands such as Lotus and Polestar.
- However, Zeekr is still far from reaching its goal, delivering a total of 15,234 units during the first three months of this year, including its 001 sedans and the 009, a multi-purpose vehicle with an average selling price of RMB 527,000 amid growing pressure from rivals from Tesla to peer BYD.