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Chinese company AIWAYS to debut two cars at Geneva

Chinese company AIWAYS to debut two cars at Geneva
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Luke Wilkinson

2019-01-25 17:35

Shanghai-based car manufacturer AIWAYS will break into the European market with an all-electric SUV and a supercar co-developed with Gumpert

Gumpert Nathalie - front 3/4

Chinese startup car manufacturer, AIWAYS, will debut two cars at this year’s Geneva Motor Show: an all-electric SUV and a methanol-electric supercar built in tandem with the engineer behind the Gumpert Apollo.

The all-electric SUV, called the U5, will act as a budget alternative to the Mercedes EQC or the Audi e-Tron. AIWAYS claims it will have a range of 460km (around 285 miles), with respective power and torque figure of 185bhp and 315Nm. Supposedly, the U5 will also come with the world’s first “artificially intelligent” battery pack, capable of extending the car’s range by up to 62 miles.

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The U5’s body is constructed from a combination of aluminium and steel, which AIWAYS says offers both rigidity and safety. The U5 has achieved a five-star safety rating in Chinese crash tests and the firm claims that, once it arrives in Europe, the U5 will be one of the safest mid-size SUVs once on the market.

Driver convenience features include lane-keeping assistance, a driver fatigue monitoring system, automated parking and traffic jam assist. Inside, the U5 will receive a 12.3-inch infotainment system, a set of quirky leather seats and a “tri-fold” digital instrument binnacle.

AIWAYS will also debut the world’s first methanol-electric supercar at Geneva, designed and built collaboratively with Roland Gumpert. Called the Nathalie, the supercar uses methanol to generate electricity, in the same way as a hydrogen fuel cell. The electricity is then used to drive four electric motors, via twin, two-speed gearboxes.

Supposedly, the Nathalie will generate a combined maximum power output of 793bhp, will cover a maximum of 745 miles between refueling, is capable of 0-60mph in less than 2.5 seconds and has a top speed in excess of 190mph.

Just 500 models of the Nathalie will be built, with deliveries starting later this year. Pricing is yet to be announced, but Gumpert confirmed last year that the Nathalie “will be expensive.”

Are you excited about the AIWAYS U5 and Nathalie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…


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