The Chinese brand IM Motors, born from the alliance between SAIC and Alibaba, gives new information about its electric car, the SUV LS7. It was unveiled last November and will be available to order in China from February 10th. It could very well land in Europe shortly.
IM LS7 // Source: SAIC and Alibaba
Today, Chinese manufacturers are taking revenge and developing at breakneck speed, so much so that they are now worrying specialists who fear a real invasion of Europe. This seems to have already started, as the last edition of the Mondial de Paris in October shows. In addition to the now well-established MG, other manufacturers are launching on the Old Continent, such as Nio, BYD and Xpeng. But maybe another rival wants a piece of the pie.
Order opening is imminent
This is still unknown to us and bears the name IM Motors. This manufacturer, which was founded in December 2020, was actually born in China the result of a joint venture formed by SAIC (MG’s parent company) and Alibaba. Two years after its launch, the brand is now ready to launch its second model, formalized last November and named LS7. Foreshadowed by a concept unveiled in 2021, this large electric SUV joins the lineup a few months after the L7 sedan, the Tesla Model S’ rival.
Heading straight for Tesla Model X lands, this newcomer to the catalog is now closer to launch than ever. In fact, the Chinese website It Home states that orders are opened in China from next February 10th for the newest addition to the brand. The first deliveries are scheduled for March in China, at a price of between 350,000 and 500,000 yuan. which is the same a price between 47,250 and 67,500 euros.
IM LS7 // Source: SAIC and Alibaba
Compare, the Model X starts at 121,990 euros, while the Model Y has a tighter price tag that starts at €46,990 in its Propulsion version. If nothing has been clarified yet, it is very likely The SUV will arrive in Europe one day, with a likely higher entrance ticket. In fact, Chinese cars are generally more expensive in the old continent than in their home country.
5.05 meters long and 2 meters wide and 1.73 meters high, the electric SUV shines with a drag coefficient of just 0.268. If we’re still a long way from the 0.23 of the Nio EC7, which has been heralded as the most aerodynamic lifted model on the market, it still performs less well than the Tesla Model X’s 0.25.
With a wheelbase of 3.06 meters, the IM LS7 places a high priority on comfort and also features a panoramic windscreen and 120-degree adjustable rear seats. The trunk volume is shown as 733 liters, versus 935 for the Model X in five-seat configuration. The driver benefits from a yoke steering wheel similar to the Model S and X and a huge digital panel. This is also reminiscent of the SUV presented by Aehra, but a little less spectacular.
Two versions on the program
Equipped with batteries developed by SAIC in collaboration with CATL Displaying a capacity of 90 and 100 kWh, this new LS7 can then cover between 615 and 660 kilometers according to the Chinese CLTC cycle. A figure to be taken with caution, much more optimistic than the European WLTP. Approx. 10% then has to be removed, which tends to give way between 550 and 600 kilometers. In addition, two performance levels are offered, namely 250 kW (approx. 340 hp) with rear-wheel drive and 425 kW (approx. 577 hp) with two or four-wheel drive.
If we know that the 0 to 100 km / h is reached in 4.5 seconds, no indication has been given by the brand on the charging time or the maximum power. We should know more when we open orders. SAIC Motor nevertheless states in its press release that its SUV is equipped with a semi-autonomous driving system that is technically likely to reach level 3. The latter is equipped with a LiDAR sensor on the roof, as well as an Nvidia Orin chip. An option that still costs a whopping 36,800 yuan, or about 5,019 euros.
For the record, Tesla’s Autopilot costs €3,800, while the fully autonomous driving system (FSD) is available for €7,500 in Europe and $15,000 in the US. Like its American rival, the LS7 is also equipped with an automatic parking system, but it does not give any further details for the time being.
It only remains to know when it will hit the European market and then compete with Asian manufacturers who have already made the leap, such as VinFast and others Nio and BYD. Our territory seems particularly attractive for the latter, so by 2025 Europe could become a simple importer of cars.
A situation that could prompt our government to take measures such as the abolition of the eco-bonus for cars not assembled on the old continent.
The joint venture IM established by SAIC and Alibaba introduces its second vehicle, a large high-end SUV called LS7. The latter competes with the Tesla Model X and emphasizes its large space at…
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