Update: Introduction and ‘Exterior’ section updated with render.
Is Geely Auto Group’s new premium EV brand Zeekr banking on China’s new three-child policy in planning new products? Geely confirmed during its latest investor presentation (Geely Auto Group results) that its Zeekr EV brand would launch a “New luxury intelligent pure electric MPV” as part of its new tech/new cars strategy. It could be called the Zeekr 002 and it may be as spacious as the Maxus MIFA 9, Voyah/Lantu Dreamer and the VW ID.Buzz.
Zeekr intelligent technology continues to optimize high-end intelligent EV market layout, launch of luxury intelligent pure electric MPV.Geely 2021 Final Results presentation on 23 March 2022 (under the ‘2022 outlook’ section)
Spy shots of a mysterious van appeared on the web in China in early March, and a story from Autohome says that it could be the Zeekr 002. The local report says that the new Zeekr EV could debut this year, as the company had previously said that it plans to launch an MPV in 2022.
Spy shots show the Zeekr MPV (codename: Zeekr EF1E) featuring a rounded bonnet, sliding rear doors, rounded door mirrors, and a straight roofline. The large windows will let passengers enjoy a flood of natural light and an expansive view of the environment. A wide lower grille with vertical struts, typical EV-like largely covered alloy wheels, a kick in the beltline, and MPV-typical tall front vent glasses (see on Autohome) are the other visible design features. Lastly, one of the pictures has suggested an edgy look for the headlamps.
Spy pictures have almost entirely revealed the interior of the upcoming Zeekr electric MPV. The vehicle features a curvy dashboard with a dark color on the top and beige below. There’s a decent amount of chrome trim, just the way Chinese customers like it, which divides the two layers of the dashboard and continues onto the door panels. The surround on the floor console, the slim and wide, single central air vent, the steering wheel’s spokes, and the center pad are also finished with chrome.
The steering wheel is compact and features a flattish bottom. On the other hand, the center touchscreen is a large display with a landscape orientation and curved corners. The instrument cluster is a fully digital display, so no surprises there. Geely has mentioned the Zeekr offering will be a ‘luxury intelligent pure electric MPV,’ meaning it could feature connected car features and autonomous driving capability with ADAS.
The second row has two individual seats with electric adjustment and an extra-wide headrest featuring side bolsters. The armrests, at least the inner ones, could include a storage compartment. There’s a third row of seats, and while it’s not clear, it seems the width is just enough to accommodate two passengers.
Built on the open-source Geely SEA platform, the Zeekr 002 could be more than 5.1 meters long, with the wheelbase taking up 3.1-3.3 meters of the length. It could offer seats for up to seven passengers. Details about the drivetrain layout, motor(s), and battery pack aren’t available yet, but Chinese media is expecting a (CLTC) range of 700 km (435 miles).
The Zeekr 001 provides a picture of the SEA’s capabilities. The electric SUV boasts a high-speed 800-volt charging system that enables it to accept direct current at 360 kW. A 100 kWh battery pack provides a range of 712 km (442 miles). Geely says that using the cell-to-pack (CTP) battery system in SEA platform EVs is possible. Two electric motors generate 400 kW (536 hp) of power and 768 Nm (566 lb.-ft.) of torque, allowing a quick 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 3.8 seconds. Geely says that SEA has the bandwidth to employ motors with power outputs of up to 475 kW (637 hp).
Zeekr plans 1 new launch every year
When Geely Auto Group announced the brand in March 2021, Zeekr said it aims to launch a new EV every year in the next five years. Sales began with the Zeekr 001 electric SUV in October 2021, with a small number of customers invited to the plant to take delivery of the car. Since then, more than 10,000 cars have been delivered.
Next year, the brand’s first model will start shipping to overseas markets. In the announcement on March 23, 2021, Geely said that the market strategy in the initial stage for Zeekr is focused on the Chinese customer, but it will certainly explore export opportunities to fulfill market demand globally for premium EVs.
The Zeekr 002 could roll out of the same ‘Zeekr Intelligent Factory’ in Ningbo, China. This plant, covering around 330 acres and featuring 5G connectivity across premises, has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
Geely Auto Group aims to increase annual sales to 3.65 million vehicles by 2025, and some 18% of that volume would come from Zeekr models. The company wants Zeekr models to contribute 650,000 units to the annual sales by then.
Featured Image Source: ZGH