Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xiaopeng Motors (XPeng) has revealed a flagship SUV called the G9 at the 2021 Guangzhou motor show.

    Aimed to rival the Nio ES6 and Li Xiang One Chinese SUVs, as well as the Tesla Model Y, XPeng additionally designed the G9 with international markets in mind.

    “XPeng G9 is the first model of Xiaopeng Motors that was launched for domestic and international markets at the beginning of its development,” said Xia Heng, co-founder and president of Xiaopeng Motors.

    XPeng didn’t mention a launch date for the G9 at its reveal but a person familiar with the matter told CNBC the company aims to launch the EV in China in the third quarter of 2022.

    It’s uncertain when the G9 will begin to be sold outside of China, but the company began exporting its flagship P7 electric sedan to Norway in August 2021. Norway is the world’s leader when it comes to EV penetration.

    XPeng was founded in 2014 by former senior executives of GAC Group, Xia Heng and He Tao, and had initial investors including Alibaba, Foxconn and IDG Capital.

    Its current line-up of EVs include the G3 small crossover SUV that starts at ¥149,800 (A$32,420) after local subsidies are subtracted, and the P7 sedan that starts from ¥229,900 (A$49,774) post local subsidies.

    XPeng didn’t go into the powertrain details for the G9 but expect both single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive options at launch.

    Both entry-level G3 and P7 models are powered by lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery packs produced by CATL that offer NEDC claimed ranges of up to 460km for the G3 460c and 480km for the P7 RWD Standard Range.

    It’s uncertain what battery type the G9 will use but don’t be surprised if it has a lithium-ion CATL-supplied battery pack like the higher-level G3 and P7 variants.

    The G9 is based on an 800V electrical architecture and XPeng claims the G9 can be DC fast-charged at speeds of up to 480kW.

    XPeng also claims that the electric drive system has an efficiency of more than 95 per cent.

    When the G9 is launched it’ll be the first XPeng vehicle to use its XPilot 4.0 advanced driving assistance system (ADAS).

    Although the company doesn’t go into what level of autonomy it’s targeting, XPeng says it’s “designed to deliver full-scenario driver assistance which can support point-to-point driving for customers”.

    This sounds like it could be a Level 3 self-driving system but it’s not certain.

    The XPilot 4.0 system uses two Orin-X autonomous driving chips, an 8 megapixel front-view binocular camera and 2.9 megapixel side-view cameras, LiDAR, as well as an integrated and expandable controller.

    XPeng claimed at its 1024 Tech Day that this XPilot 4.0 ADAS would roll out in the first half of 2023.

    On the front of the G9 is an evolved version of XPeng’s ‘X Robot Face’ design aesthetic, as well as a daytime running lights (DRL) that runs across the entire front of the vehicle.

    Underneath the DRLs are the headlights that integrate a dual-LiDAR system used in its ADAS.

    Around the side, the G9 has a typical large SUV silhouette with a high shoulder line and long bonnet, as well as low-wind resistant 21-inch wheels.

    On the back there’s a full-width rear light bar that houses the running lights and brake lights.

    From the rear-three quarters the G9 appears to have design elements of the Range Rover Velar and Haval H6.

    The G9 also boasts a 5G connection that XPeng claims to reduce the speed of over-the-air update times to less than 30 minutes.

    On an environmental theme, XPeng claims to have designed the G9 with a recyclable rate of more than 85 per cent. It’s uncertain what elements can and cannot be recycled though.

    At this stage the G9’s interior is yet to be seen, but will most likely be shown off to some extent before its official launch.

    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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