South Africa

Chery Tech Day opens with new models and commitment

Chery officially opened the 2023 edition of its annual Tech Day expo in Wuhu in China on Monday with the announcement of a massive investment of one billion yuan over the next few years into establishing its products as more of a living space than a car.

An event which, this year, consisted not only of new vehicle launches, but also a preview of tech ranging from AI to virtual reality, it also saw the debut of a new platform due for imminent usage.

Chery ambitious

Addressing a packed hall within the grounds of the Wuhu factory Chery Automobile Chairman Yin Tongyue said while the marque has come a long way since its founding as Chery in 1997, it will remain ambitious by offering technologically advanced products across its various brands of not only heightened quality, but also capable of rivaling opposition products closer than ever.

“Quality is the lifeline of the (Chery) product. But we are still not satisfied,” English interpreted extracts of Yin’s speech read.

“Chery has to have quality and competitive products. We want to serve customers with the best possible products. We will export our cars and mindset to other markets. Chery is not of China, but also the world.”

He went further by announcing a ramp-up in Research and Development investment. And opening up its various platforms to partners in “order to diversify (our) products”.

Chery Executive Vice-President, Gao Xinhua, said while the brand had made, and continues to make considerable strides globally and in China, it “wants (to use) tech as a guidance” for its future.

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New models

Launching the new platform called Yaoguang that will support electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) tech, Gao said the architecture will set new levels of space, power, tech and efficiency standards comprising ultra-low levels of consumption without losing power, while delivering a range of 905 km depending on the EV application.

Supporting the plug-in hybrid setup, the platform will also provide the foundation for what Chery calls an EV and super EV product range.

Central to the former is a charging time of 19 minutes from 30 to 80% and a range of more than 1 400 km.

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Electric cars

Among the first models under the new strategy unveiled at the event included the ES sedan under the Exeed brand, and the off-road 03 sold under the iCar marque.

Exceed ES
The Exceed ES sedan on display at the Chery Tech Day in Wuhu on Monday. Picture: Charl Bosch

Dripping with technology, which in the former’s case includes AI tech and adherences to Level 3 autonomous driving, the 03 offers 501 km of range. It tips the scales at 1 892 kg in its heaviest form.

In terms of power, two battery sizes are offered; 66-kWh and 70-kWh. The former producing 135 kW/220 Nm and the latter 205 kW/385 Nm.

Going even further is the ES, which sports a 400-volt and 800-volt architecture, two battery sizes and a maximum weight of 2 100.

Commencing the range, the ES Plus features the 400-volt platform with the 03’s smaller battery re-tuned to produce 185 kW/385 Nm, allowing for a range of 550 km.

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Chery charges into future

Next up, the Pro+ opens-up the 800-volt range by deriving motivation from an 82-kWh battery developing 230 kW/425 Nm. Its claimed range is 720 km.

Exceed ES cabin
The interior of the Exceed ES. Picture: Charl Bosch

With the same battery, the Max boasts more power at 353 kW/633 Nm. But due to its sheer weight, less range at 650 km.

Wearing the Plus+ moniker, the flagship ES comes resplendent with a 100-kWh battery. It is tuned to produce the same 230 kW/425 Nm as the Pro+.

Offsetting this though is the claimed range of 905 km and consumption of 11.9-kWh/100 km bettered only by the Pro+’s 11.7-kWh/100 km.

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1 200 km range

Finally, the plug-in hybrid setup made its introduction in a version of the boxy Jetour Travellor SUV.
Called the C-DM, the existing 1.5 T-GDi engine is paired-up with a 43.2-kWh battery pack driving an electric motor on the front axle.

Jetour Travellor
The Jetour Travellor. Picture: Charl Bosch

Combined, the system produces 165 kW. Chery says it can reach a top speed of 190 km/h and go from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. Fuel consumption of 6.4 L/100 km will result in a theoretical combined range of 1 200 km.

Electrification for SA

The trio are not being mentioned for South Africa. However, both EV and plug-in hybrid tech will become available from early 2024 starting with the all-electric Omoda E5. It will be followed by PHEV versions of the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro in 2025.