If you are looking for a luxurious, spacious, and powerful electric SUV, you might be tempted by the Tesla Model X, which is widely regarded as the benchmark in this segment. However, a new challenger from China might make you think twice: the Hongqi E-HS9.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is the latest model from Hongqi, a brand that has a long history of producing cars for the Chinese elite and government officials. Hongqi, which means "red flag" in Chinese, is often called the Rolls-Royce of China, and its flagship L5 limousine is reserved for the most influential people in the country.
However, Hongqi is not just a maker of exclusive and expensive cars. It also has a more accessible range of models, called the H series, that compete with premium brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Last year, Hongqi sold nearly 200,000 cars in China, making it one of the most successful domestic brands.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is the first electric SUV from Hongqi, and it is also the first model designed by Giles Taylor, a former Rolls-Royce designer who joined Hongqi in 2018. Taylor was responsible for the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and you can see some similarities between the two SUVs in terms of size, proportions, and presence.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is a massive vehicle, measuring 5209 mm long and 2010 mm wide. It has a distinctive grille with vertical bars and a red flag emblem, flanked by LED headlights with a three-claw motif. The side profile is sleek and elegant, with flush door handles and chrome accents. The rear end features LED taillights that span across the tailgate and a chrome strip on the C-pillar that lights up when charging.
The interior of the Hongqi E-HS9 is equally impressive, with a futuristic and luxurious design. The dashboard is dominated by screens, including a digital instrument cluster for the driver, a large infotainment touchscreen in the center, and an entertainment screen for the front passenger. The seats are covered in leather and have heating, cooling, and massage functions. The climate control and other features are also controlled via touchscreens.
The Hongqi E-HS9 can accommodate up to seven passengers in three rows of seats. The second row can be configured as either two individual seats or a bench seat for three people. The third row can be folded down electronically to increase the boot space. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of legroom and headroom for all occupants.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is not just a showpiece of style and luxury. It is also a formidable performer on the road, thanks to its advanced electric powertrain. The Hongqi E-HS9 offers three different powertrain options: a single-motor rear-wheel-drive version with 218 hp and 350 Nm of torque, a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version with 435 hp and 700 Nm of torque, and a high-performance dual-motor all-wheel-drive version with 544 hp and 850 Nm of torque.
The battery pack of the Hongqi E-HS9 can store up to 104 kWh of energy, which gives it an impressive range of up to 435 miles on a single charge. This makes it one of the longest-range electric SUVs on the market, rivaling models like the Tesla Model X and the Volkswagen ID.5. Moreover, the Hongqi E-HS9 can charge rapidly at up to 150 kW, adding 20 miles of range per minute.
The Hongqi E-HS9 also has various driving modes and features that enhance its performance and safety. It has an adaptive air suspension that adjusts to different road conditions and driving styles. It has a four-wheel steering system that improves its agility and stability. It has an intelligent sensor steering wheel that detects the driver's grip and attention. It has six smart screens that provide functions such as AR real-scene navigation and remote vehicle control by mobile phone.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is not just a car for China. It is also a car for the world. Hongqi has already started selling the E-HS9 in Norway, where it costs between $80,000 and $110,000 depending on the trim level and powertrain option. More European countries are likely to follow soon, as Hongqi aims to expand its presence and reputation in the global market. Hongqi has announced that it will build more than 700 experience sites, over 1,000 service stores, and 600,000 charging terminals in Europe, as well as other regions. It also plans to increase its overseas sales to account for over 10 percent of its total sales by 2025 and 25 percent of the total sales by 2030.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is not only a flagship model for Hongqi but also a symbol of China's technological prowess and innovation. The Hongqi E-HS9 is based on a new platform called eVMP, which was developed by FAW Group, one of China's oldest and largest automotive manufacturers. The eVMP platform is modular and flexible, allowing for different sizes, shapes, and powertrains of electric vehicles.
The Hongqi E-HS9 is also equipped with various advanced features and functions that make it a smart and connected vehicle. The Hongqi E-HS9 has an intelligent sensor steering wheel that detects the driver's grip and attention. It has six smart screens that provide functions such as AR real-scene navigation and remote vehicle control by mobile phone. It has a four-wheel steering system that improves its agility and stability. It has an adaptive air suspension that adjusts to different road conditions and driving styles.
I am very impressed by the Hongqi E-HS9. I think it is a remarkable achievement for a Chinese brand to create such a luxurious, spacious, and powerful electric SUV that can compete with the best in the world. The Hongqi E-HS9 is a testament to the quality and innovation of Chinese cars, and I hope to see more of them on the roads soon.