Imperium ET5 is America’s first Chinese electric SUV [Update]

America’s first Chinese EV is on the way, and it’s not a Nio or an Xpeng car. It’s an electric SUV from Jiangsu Kaiwo Automobile’s Skyworth brand, called ET5.

Skyworth is a consumer electronics brand, but since 2019, it’s making EVs as well. DSG Global is importing the Skyworth ET5 to the U.S. with a plan to sell it under its EV division – Imperium. The American units are called Imperium ET5 and carry the Sykwell branding at the rear.

Imperium ET5 rear three quarters
The Imperium ET5 will compete with the VW ID.4 in the U.S. market. Image Source: Imperium Motors

Specifications

The ET5 measures 4,698 mm (185.0 in.) in length, 1,908 mm (75.1 in.) in width, and 1,696 mm (66.8 in.) in height, and it has a 2,800 mm (110.2 in.) wheelbase.

The ET5 is available with a 55.33 kWh battery pack that can deliver a range (NEDC) of 410 km (255 miles) and a 71.98 kWh battery pack that allows a range (NEDC) of 520 km (323 miles). Common to the configurations is a single electric motor that generates 150 kW and 320 Nm of torque. Imperium plans to offer the U.S.-spec ET5 with both the battery pack options. It calls the standard-range variant ‘LV0’ and the extended-range variant ‘LV2’. In China, there’s an 88 kWh battery pack option arriving in the future, which provides a range (NEDC) of 600 km (373 miles).

Features & Price

Earlier this year, Imperium announced USD 29,990* as the price of the Imperium ET5 LV0 and USD 39,990* as the price of the Imperium ET5 LV2. However, it has taken down those prices now which implies that there would be revisions. Interested customers can reserve their ET5 with a deposit of USD 100.

*MSRP excluding destination charge

Virtual instrument cluster (most likely a 12.3-inch unit), 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 4G LTE, panoramic sunroof, and N95 filtration system are features of the U.S.-spec ET5 Imperium has disclosed so far. Starry Sky Gray, Polar Star Blue, Moon White, and Polar Night Black are the color options.

Skyworth equips the ET5 with 10-way electrically adjustable seats, HEPA air filtration system, V2H functions, 360-degree camera system, and many more features internationally. Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Autonomous Emergency Braking are some of the main driver assistance features of the ET5.

Skyworth makes the ET5 in two-row and three-row versions, with the latter featuring a 2+2+2 seating layout. The U.S.-spec ET5 may not come in the three-row version, at least not initially, going by the photographs.

On July 8, Imperium Motors announced (via ir.dsgtglobal.com) that the ET5 SUV’s homologation has received approval for Europe and is “approaching approval” in North America. The company is planning to showcase products at the Los Angeles Auto Show that opens on November 17 for the media.

ET5 hits the Chinese market

The Skywell ET5 is now on sale in China and prices start at CNY 152,800, which converts to USD 23,491. The top-end ET5 costs CNY 249,800 or USD 38,404.

For an idea of how competitively Skyworth has priced the ET5, Volkswagen’s ID.4, which is smaller, costs CNY 199,888 or USD 30,731 (incl. subsidies) onwards. Only time will tell if the ultra-low prices convince customers to put down a deposit for this relatively unknown brand.

Featured Image Source: Imperium