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E28’s styling elements include long wheelbase, short front overhang, frameless doors.
E28’s styling elements include long wheelbase, short front overhang, frameless doors.

China’s Xpeng Motors Previews Tesla Model 3 Rival

The E28 electric 4-door sedan is set to make its public debut at next month’s Shanghai auto show.

Chinese electric-vehicle maker Xpeng Motors previews its second production model ahead of its planned public premiere at next month’s Shanghai auto show.

Known under the internal codename E28, the 4-door sedan is conceived to rival the Tesla Model 3 with contemporary coupe-like styling and a drivetrain that's claimed to provide it with a range of more than 311 miles (500 km) in China’s NEDC-based tests.

Although the E28 is heavily concealed in the official image, Xpeng Motors says its key styling elements include a long wheelbase, a short front overhang, frameless doors, concealed door handles and a panoramic windshield.

Speaking earlier this month at the 2019 Nvidia GPU Technology Conference in San Francisco, Xpeng Motors’ head of autonomous driving, Xinzhou Wu, said: “Our in-house operating system and proprietary autonomous driving software built on Nvidia’s powerful Xavier chip make E28 the most advanced production model in terms of user interface design and intelligent features in the Chinese auto market today.”

Xpeng Motors, formally known as Xiaopeng Motors, hasn’t yet announced technical specifications of the E28’s driveline, but it’s expected to draw heavily on that of the G3, an Audi Q3-sized SUV. That model currently is on sale with front-wheel drive but is to receive an all-wheel-drive option later this year.

In its most potent form, the G3 develops 195 hp and 221 lb.-ft. (300 Nm) of torque, providing it with a claimed 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 7.9 seconds. Its 47-kWh lithium-ion battery is expected to be carried over to the E28.

Unlike the G3, which is produced under contract by Haima, a subsidiary of First Automobile Works, at its plant in Zhengzhou, in China’s Hanan province, the E28 is to be manufactured at Xpeng Motors’ own production site in Zhaoqing in the province of Guangdong.

Founded in 2014, Xpeng Motors has raised over RMB10 billion ($1.48 billion) in funding to date. It is backed by a group of high-profile Chinese companies, including Alibaba, Foxconn, IDG Capital and Hillhouse Capital, among others.

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