Geely's Radar RD6 electric ute revealed

Geely's latest brand will specialise in "electric lifestyle vehicles", with a rollout of utes and SUVs to start with the RD6 ute.

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The owner of brands like Volvo, Polestar and Lotus has revealed a new electric vehicle brand, and its first product is a ute.

Geely has officially launched Radar Auto with the reveal of the RD6 electric ute, with Chinese deliveries to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Radar will also offer a “full portfolio” of “electric lifestyle vehicles”, including pickups, SUVs, and even ATVs.

The RD6 has been designed under design veteran Peter Horbury, who serves as executive vice president of design at Geely.

It’s underpinned by Geely’s new Sustainable Experience Architecture, which also underpins the Zeekr 001 and Smart #1, and will offer both single- and dual-motor powertrains.

The dedicated EV architecture has also allowed for a front boot under the bonnet, as well as a truck bed with “external charging facilities”.

Geely hasn’t released any technical specifications like dimensions, power and range for the Radar RD6 yet, nor has it previewed the vehicle’s interior.

CarNewsChina reports the RD6 will have up to 600km of range on the more lenient NEDC cycle, with power outputs ranging from 149kW to 298kW.

Geely has confirmed SEA will support over-the-air updates and autonomous driving technology, and promises a maximum range in excess of 700km – again, under NEDC measures.

The SEA architecture can accommodate everything from A-segment city cars to larger D- and E-segment vehicles and can be configured with front-, rear- or all-wheel drive and one, two or three electric motors.

Geely has also previously said it can support a range extender option.

The company says Radar is “China’s first pure electric outdoors lifestyle vehicle brand” and is “starting with trucks but is much more than just trucks”.

It says it’s an independent brand within the wider Geely Holding Group, and boasts its own R&D facility in Hangzhou.

Geely says it’ll have “considerable access” to electric vehicle technology from throughout the wider group.

Dr. Lin Shi Quan has been appointed as Radar Auto’s CEO. He’s a Geely veteran who also helped launch the Lynk & Co brand that’s going global, with an Australian launch slated by 2025.

Its launch will also coincide with that of a lifestyle sub-brand, Radar Weekends, which will work with camping brand NatureHike to develop accessories for Radar vehicles.

It’s unclear just how large the RD6 is, and therefore what it’ll go up against.

If it’s sized similarly to a circa-5.3m long Toyota HiLux, the only direct rivals it’ll have are vehicles like the Nissan Navara-based Dongfeng Rich 6 EV and LDV’s T60-based electric utes.

Those vehicles don’t ride on dedicated electric vehicle platforms, however, and the RD6’s styling and proportions bear a passing resemblance to those of the 5.5m-long Rivian R1T.

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William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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