STOCKHOLM -- Chinese electric-car maker Xpeng is repositioning itself as a premium brand as it rolls out larger, more expensive models in its initial European markets while dropping some smaller cars.
The Tesla rival launched in Norway in 2020 with the G3 compact SUV, which was renamed the G3i after a face-lift. The automaker had planned to follow the G3 with the P5 midsize sedan and the larger P7 sedan as it expanded in Europe last year to the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.
Xpeng has now slimmed its range for European markets outside Norway, dropping the P5 and launching the new G9 large SUV, along with a revised version of the P7.
Both models straddle the midsize and large segments in terms of size.
“We started with an easy-to-approach strategy but now we are trying to really upgrade,” Jiaxi You, Director for product and marketing overseas, told Automotive News Europe at an event here to introduce the G9 and revised P7. “We have brought two flagships and that is intentional.”
Sales of the G9 started in China in October. It is the brand’s most advanced full-electric car, adding an 800-volt architecture that increases charging speed to a maximum 300 kilowatts, faster than Porsche Taycan.
The car is priced from 59,990 euros in the Netherlands for a version with 78 kilowatt hour LFP battery with a 460 km (286 miles) driving range as measured on the WLTP cycle.
A version with a claimed 570 km range and a more energy dense 98 kWh nickel-based NCM battery chemistry costs from 61,990 euros.
The P5 sedan has been retired after a short-lived stint on sale in the Netherlands and other markets.
“We decided it would make more sense to use our resources to focus on cars that would be impactful for the European market,” said Martin Stegelmeier, Xpeng's head of product planning for Europe. “A smaller sedan is not the body type of the future in Europe in terms of perceived value.”
SUVs, hatchbacks and wagons are more appreciated by European customers, Stegelmeier said.
“Wagons are still needed in Europe. That is something for Xpeng to explore,” he said.
The P5 and the G3 use the same platform, which is due to be replaced this year with an 800-volt architecture first seen on the new G3. The brand is considering bringing the car to Europe, Stegelmeier said.
Xpeng is positioning itself as a technology leader with features such as a triple screen on the G9, including one facing the passenger.
The company also touts the abilities of the Xpilot suite of driver assistance features, helped by 29 sensors.
The G9 uses the Nvidia Orin X chip to power its Xpilot, while the digital cockpit is driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8155 chip, the same as that used by Volvo’s new EX90 electric SUV.
The new P7 has an electric tailgate and soft-closing doors. Both are available in all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive variants.