Aiways U6 debuts – EV SUV with coupe-like styling; 63 kWh battery, up to 400 km range; tuned by Prodrive – paultan.org
Aiways is a relatively new automaker that was founded in 2017 by Samuel Qiang, who was previously China sales chief of Volvo Cars. In the years since its foundation, Aiways has released one electric vehicle (EV) called the U5 that was produced and sold in China in 2019 before exports to European markets commenced a year later.
The company has now introduced its second EV model dubbed the U6, which will be open for orders later this year. The U6 is an SUV with coupe-like styling that is positioned above the U5, measuring in at 4,805 mm long, 1,880 mm wide and 1,641 mm tall.
Both models share the same wheelbase of 2,800 mm, but the U5 is smaller overall with a length of 4,680 mm, a width of 1,865 mm and is taller at 1,700 mm due to its regular SUV body. In terms of competition, the U6 competes against the Volkswagen ID.5, while the U5 takes on the ID.4.
Styling-wise, the U6 does bear a hint of the Polestar 2 in its overall shape, although the front and rear ends are rather distinctive. The former features large side intakes that blend with the car’s vertical LED headlamps that are accompanied by LED daytime running lights strips, while the lower apron has another prominent intake and flics at the corners to help guide the air.
Down the sides, the haunches are heavily emphasised, as are the shark-themed C-pillars. Further instances of aero elements include the flush door handles, protruding crease on the doors and 20-inch aero wheels – Aiways claims a drag coefficient figure of 0.248.
As for the rear, it is very upright and sports a full-width light bar that continues vertically down the vehicle’s sides and integrates with the taillights that bear a squarish light signature. Side blades and a boot lid spoiler help with the airflow as well, and the car gets a two-tone colour palette to make it pop visually.
Inside, air vents run the width of the dashboard, interrupted only by a thin 8.2-inch display that shows vital driving information. The main access point to vehicle functions is the 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system stapled to the dash, which will support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay from 2023, can be updated over-the-air, and is paired with a Magnat 10-speaker sound system.
The larger screen is placed above a perched wireless charger that is trails down to a low-lying storage area, which then continues upwards to a raised centre console with a unique twist-grip gear lever inspired by luxury yachts.
Available equipment for the U6 includes an ambient lighting system, perforated leather upholstery, powered and heated front seats, seven airbags, the usual array of passive safety systems, a panoramic glass roof, keyless entry and start, a powered tailgate, and a suite of driver assistance systems (autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keeping assist with lane centring, blind spot detection, assisted parking and rear cross traffic alert, just to name a few).
As for the electric powertrain, the U6 packs a CATL-sourced battery with an energy capacity of 63 kWh, which is good for a range of up to 400 km following the WLTP cycle. A full charge using the 11-kW onboard AC charger (Type 2 connection) takes seven hours, while it’s 35 minutes to get from a 20-80% state of charge with DC fast charging (CCS2 connection) at 90 kW.
The battery juices a front-mounted electric motor rated at 218 PS (215 hp or 160 kW) and 315 Nm of torque, enabling a 0-100 km/h time of seven seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 160 km/h. The U6 is built on the company’s More Adaptable Structure (MAS) platform and uses MacPherson struts at the front, while the rear gets a multi-link setup – tuning is done by Prodrive, which is a company famous in the world of rallying.
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