By Nihar Potluri
The Chinese EV start-up Xiaopeng Motors, also widely known as XPeng, has unveiled a new compact sedan – the P5. Slotting in below the larger P7, the P5 is the first production electric car to have built-in LiDAR for semi-autonomous driving. The LiDAR components themselves are neatly integrated into the front fenders on either side of the P5.
The XPILOT 3.5 autonomous driving system is said to have taken autonomy to the next level. It is an industry first given the majority of autonomous vehicles use cameras, radar and other standard sensors. XPeng will use a wide array of these components as well as LiDAR to take the P5’s autonomous dynamic to levels previously unseen in mass produced cars.
A look inside
The interior of the P5 is quite minimalistic and integrates a 15.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen into the dashboard with a 12.3-inch driver’s display behind the elegant 3-spoke steering wheel. The interior is outfitted with leather and various black accents and wood trim. The air vents are also neatly incorporated in the front fascia completing the minimalist look of the interior.
Range, performance and availability
XPeng has yet to reveal details of the P5’s range, battery capacity and power output. However based off the P7’s impressive specifications we can estimate the stats of the P5 to be comparable if not better than those of Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, for example.
The P5’s target market is clearly the small sedan segment. Currently there are few EVs sold in the western world in this segment, with the only main competitor being the Tesla Model 3. Some may argue the Polestar 2 also fits in this category, but given its high riding height and fastback style we would have to disagree. Interestingly, despite being smaller than the P7 the XPeng P5 is actually longer than the Tesla Model 3. It does however, have a a shorter wheelbase than the world’s best-selling EV.
XPeng has now started taking pre-orders for the P5 at 99 Yuan (around $15) per production slot. They have managed to secure over 10,000 orders within the first 53 hours of reservations being opened. Final pricing of the P5 is currently unknown, but should be less than the larger P7 which starts at 229,900 yuan ($35,460).
Will the XPeng P5 ever make it to the US? Who knows, but we wouldn’t count on it. Outside of Asia Europe looks like a more realistic short-term possibility. XPeng has already commenced sales in Norway, and expansion throughout the rest of the continent is highly probable.
What are your thoughts on the P5? Would you ever consider a more affordable Chinese EV over one from a legacy automaker, or from a Western based startup that’s emerged in the last 20 years or so such asTesla? Let us know your thoughts in the replies section below!