Chinese brand GAC Aion is the latest to introduce an electric vehicle with a claimed range of over 1000km.

    The 2022 GAC Aion LX Plus SUV, first revealed in November 2021, is now on sale in China and offers a claimed 1008km of range in its top-spec variant, albeit on the extremely generous CLTC standard.

    The LX Plus is an updated version of the LX that debuted in China in 2019, and takes design cues from the smaller V Plus revealed in September 2021.

    Both the entry-level 80 and top-of-the-range models come with a single electric motor producing 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

    The two middle 80D trim levels have two electric motors producing total system outputs of 360kW and 700Nm.

    Hooked up to the 80 and 80D models is a 93.3kWh ‘Magazine’ lithium-ion battery pack, which GAC Aion claims can provide a range of up to 650km and 600km, respectively, under the lenient CLTC test cycle.

    Reserved for the top-of-the range is a humongous 144.4kWh battery pack featuring GAC’s proprietary silicon sponge anode cell technology and the headline 1008km range claim.

    This cell technology is made up of more than 50 patents according to GAC Aion and helps reduce the weight by 14 per cent over regular lithium-ion batteries, while being more energy dense.

    The LX Plus measures in at 4835mm long, 1935mm wide and 1685mm tall, with a 2920mm wheelbase.

    To put this into context, the LX Plus is 200mm longer, 45mm wider, 80mm taller, but has a 80mm shorter wheelbase than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 mid-sized electric SUV.

    Inside the LX Plus is a 15.6-inch touchscreen infotainment screen that dominates the dash and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver.

    There’s a 10-speaker Alpine-branded sound system across the LX Plus range, as well as augmented-reality satellite navigation, a wireless charging pad, dual-zone climate control, interior ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, and a power tailgate, among other features.

    5G connectivity and a suite of active safety and driver assist features are also available in the LX Plus range.

    Pricing for the 2022 GAC Aion LX Plus starts at ¥286,600 (A$62,613) for the entry-level 80 Zhizun Edition and rises to ¥459,600 (A$100,408) for the range-topping variant.

    Currently, the LX Plus is only produced in left-hand drive so a local launch is off the table.

    GAC Aion is the all-electric marque of Guangzhou Automobile Corporation (GAC) Group that was founded in 1954 as a bus manufacturer.

    GAC Group also manufacturers cars under the Trumpchi brand and has joint ventures to manufacture particular Honda, Acura, Toyota, Jeep, BYD and Mitsubishi vehicles, among others, in China.

    The GAC Aion brand was established in 2017 and currently offers five different EV models, including the LX Plus.

    GAC Aion isn’t the first Chinese EV automaker to reveal a vehicle claiming to do 1000km on a single charge, with Nio revealing its ET5 mid-sized sedan in December 2021. This claimed range was also calculated using the CLTC standards.

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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