The end of the heat engine leads to a complete redistribution of cards in the automotive industry, and opens the market to new entrants hitherto unknown.
And among these new entrants is Chinese manufacturer Aiways, which last year launched the U5, its first electric SUV in the family, and will soon complete its range with the U6, an SUV-coupé.
Officially speaking, the U6 Ion that interests us today is just a concept car. But a concept car extremely close to the series. Imagine this vehicle stripped of some bodywork appendages, such as the rear spoiler, and you really have before your eyes the vehicle that will launch with us in the fall.
The U6 will fit into the SUV-coupé category, a vast bag ranging from the Renault Arkana to the Porsche Cayenne coupé, and is a huge hit across Europe.
If most of these vehicles lack anything really sporty, they have in common a very sloping tailgate that energizes the profile, which is completed here by an ultra-short front overhang. The set is also quite successful from an aesthetic point of view.
Aiways, remember, is a manufacturer of 100% electric cars. We still don’t know the precise nature of the powertrain that will power the U6, but the whole will closely derive from what’s offered in the U5.
It has a 150 kW development engine, powered by a battery with a capacity of 63 kWh that gives it 410 km of autonomy, an adequate value for a family vehicle. We expect better from U6.
It is still too early to know the prices of the U6, but they should remain very close to the U5, which are situated at €39,990 and €44,990 excluding the green bonus.
One of the strengths of these cars is the wealth of their standard equipment, and that should again be the case for the U6.
Like the U5, it will benefit from an 8-year warranty for the engine and battery and 5 years for the rest of the vehicle. See you in September for breakout details and a few weeks later for dynamic testing.
Always on the business side
The presentation organized this Tuesday morning in Paris was an opportunity to meet representatives of Airways Europe, based in Munich. Present in 14 countries on the Old Continent, the company will soon expand to Norway and the Baltic States.
France was one of the first countries where the brand was launched and it intends to grow there as much through internet and through more traditional channels, through partnerships with large distribution networks that will result in the establishment of corners in concessions.
Even though volumes are still low in absolute terms, with a target of around 10,000 annual sales in Europe and 1,000 in France, prospects are favorable with the announced end of thermal energy. In addition, the end of confinement in the Shanghai region allows for a resumption of productive activity, which gives hope for a quick return to reasonable delivery times, in the order of two months.
The challenge now is to make the brand known, especially among the company’s fleet managers (about 30% of sales today). And the arrival of the U6, a model with a sharper style than the U5, allows for a more dynamic and more sophisticated image of Aiways products.