After smartphones and home ecosystem products, Xiaomi is now set to take on the world of electric cars with the Xiaomi SU7. The ‘Apple of China’ had long expressed its intentions of building a smart car equipped with the latest technology that can take on the automotive giants of the world. Its primary goal? To beat Apple to the game.
While the Apple car continues to be a mythical creature in 2023, Xiaomi is now almost ready to roll out its first car. Obviously, it’s an EV and like most electric car manufacturers in China, it is solely aimed at taking on the ‘Apple of the electric car market’, which most of us better know as Tesla.
Don’t let its name fool you, for the Xiaomi SU7 is anything but…well…an SUV! It’s a low-drag sedan that’s seemingly designed to take on the Tesla Model 3, which recently got an impressive makeover. The SU7 also takes on Huawei’s Aito auto brand and the Luxeed luxury brand, both of which are based on Huawei’s HarmonyOS software platform.
Since the Model 3 seems to be the primary target for Xiaomi’s SU7, we thought it would be interesting to do a quick comparison piece of the Xiaomi SU7 vs Tesla Model 3 in a bid to figure out which of these cars makes for the superior option.
Xiaomi SU7: Is it a hardcore Tesla Model 3 rival?
The Xiaomi SU7 is primarily competing with the Tesla Model 3 sedan and this is evident just from the way it looks. As is the case with Xiaomi products that love imitating the West, you will find references to some of the most iconic cars the world has seen in the recent past.
The front of the Xiaomi SU7 has a striking resemblance to the McLaren 765LT supercar, especially with its teardrop-shaped headlamps and slim aerodynamic nose. The side profile seems to be directly copied from the Tesla Model 3 whereas the rear end of the vehicle looks a lot similar to the Aston Martin Vantage. The car is being manufactured by BAIC Off-road Vehicles for Xiaomi.
Despite being a hotch-potch of several design concepts, the Xiaomi SU7 looks smart and a tad more appealing than the Tesla Model 3, which looks more utilitarian in comparison. Xiaomi’s car also gets a panoramic sunroof, just like the Tesla.
Sadly, the interiors of the car are hidden from sight.
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Xiaomi SU7’s specifications
Although Xiaomi is yet to unveil the car officially, the leaks do reveal some of the mechanical and technical specifications of the SU7 sedan. At first glance, it looks like the Xiaomi SU7 is going to be a blisteringly quick sedan.
As is the case with EVs, there will be a single-motor and a dual-motor variant of the Xiaomi SU7. The single-motor SU7 will weigh 1,980kg and feature a 295hp electric motor. This model will be paired with a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery supplied by BYD affiliate FinDreams. Not to mention, this model is rumoured to feature an 800V electric architecture system.
On the other hand, the dual-motor SU7 will come in two additional variants. Weighing 2,205 kg, the Xiaomi SU7 Pro and SUV Max feature dual-motor systems with outputs rated at 295hp and 368hp, respectively. These higher-end models use Li-ion ternary batteries which are manufactured by CATL.
From what the leaks are hinting at, it seems like the Xiaomi SU7 sedan will be fast enough to match the entry-level variants of the Tesla Model 3.
Is the Xiaomi SU7 as smart as the Tesla Model 3 though?
There is a lot that Xiaomi hasn’t revealed about the SU7 sedan, including most of the in-car smart features.
We expect to see the recently announced HyperOS platform, which debuted on the Xiaomi 14 series of flagship smartphones, at the core of the SU7 sedan. You can also expect better integration with Xiaomi’s devices and other digital services. Unlike HarmonyOS, HyperOS is based on Android and there’s a high chance that Xiaomi could employ Google’s Android Automotive platform for all the digital aspects of the car.
The leaked documents from China’s MIIT further reveal that the SU7 sedan will feature autonomous driving assists, for which it will have a dedicated roof-mounted LiDAR sensor system. This is old-gen technology when compared to the software-based Tesla Vision system on the Model 3 that solely relies on a front-mounted camera to ‘see’ the ambient world.
Xiaomi SU7’s expected price
Based on the early rumours, the Xiaomi SU7 is expected to be priced at the same ballpark figure as the Tesla Model 3. The single-motor variant is expected to start under CNY 300,000 (approximately SGD 57,301), which could make it a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 in terms of pricing.
Xiaomi SU7’s launch date
The Xiaomi SU7 is rumoured to go into mass production in December 2023, with the car potentially going on sale in February 2024.
Xiaomi SU7 vs Tesla Model 3: Our take
The Tesla Model 3 has already established itself as a feature-rich, mid-range electric sedan in most developed and developing nations. With equally capable equipment and modern technology paired with a powerful electric drivetrain, the Xiaomi SU7 could present itself as an attractive alternative to the established supremacy of the Model 3 and other EV sedans from Chinese brands.
However, what remains to be seen is whether Xiaomi can convince EV buyers to leave behind Tesla’s vastly superior and widely available Supercharger network.
(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy MIIT, China and Tesla)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– When will the Xiaomi SU7 be launched?
The Xiaomi SU7 is expected to be launched in February 2024.
– What are the specifications of the Xiaomi SU7?
The Xiaomi SU7 will feature both single-motor and dual-motor drivetrains with up to 368hp of power output. The car will also feature active aerodynamics and an advanced LiDAR-based autonomous driving system.