Vidéo – Voyah Free : un SUV électrique premium pour les amateurs de yachting

Vidéo - Voyah Free : un SUV électrique premium pour les amateurs de yachting

Like the manufacturer Nio, Voyah arrives from China approaching Europe via Norway. Its first showroom opened in Oslo last June to market the Free electric SUV. Maxime Fontanier went there to show them this attractive machine.

Dongfeng premium brand

Voyah is to Dongfeng what Lexus is to Toyota: a high-end brand reserved for a demanding and economically well-off clientele. Its launch was made official at the Beijing Motor Show in September 2020. The dedicated stand presented 2 concepts based on the Chinese group’s Essa (Electric, Smart and Secure Architecture) platform designed for fashion models: the sports sedan i-Land and the i-Libre SUV.

It is the latter who welcomes visitors, prospects and customers to the Voyah store in Oslo. It is noted that the Free marketed model has maintained the main lines drawn by the Italian office Italdesign to which we owe the styles of cars as disparate as the Fiat Panda, Renault 19, Lancia Delta, DeLorean DMC 12, BMW Nasca C2, Bugatti EB218, and Lamborghini Cala.

Voyah Free suggests escaping with a machine that borrows some codes from the shipping world. We will quickly realize that it is in the stern and inboard layout that the comparison can be made most obviously.

Free, fruit of i-Free
(to repeat very quickly 20 times)

Ditching cameras in lieu of exterior mirrors, marketable and somewhat muted versions of the Voyah Free soon followed the lifting of the veil. As of December 2020, Chinese customers can sign an order form choosing between an electric model and a plug-in hybrid version.

The latter should not be offered in Europe. But the admittedly low service tunnel in the rear contributes to making the center of the rear seat just a spot to use only occasionally or for relatively short trips.

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During his visit to Voyah’s first European showroom, our specialist journalist was greeted by 2 copies of the SUV, one dressed in white and the other in metallic green. Both were topped with a fixed panoramic glass roof that brings additional light into the cabin. They were based on 20-inch turbine-style wheels, mounted with Pirelli P Zero tires. The chassis has a double wishbone at the front and a multi-link system at the rear.

A bit of originality against the competition.

Resting on a footprint that mobilizes a space of 4.90 x 1.95m, for a height of 1.65m, the Voyah Free plays on the same pitch as the Nio ES8, the Audi e-Tron and the Mercedes EQE. It can also be invited at the same time as the Tesla Model X or Model Y in purchase projects for an unusual electric SUV.

Perhaps you doubt the originality of this Chinese competitor. So take a good look at the air suspension game, which varies the ground clearance from 11.3 cm with the Sport driving mode, up to 21.3 cm. If not necessarily very common, such a device is not new. Many Citroën DS fans were having fun with it as early as 1955.

Then !? Take a look at the dashboard during this operation: follow the movement! Note in the center of the board the eye that will play the same role as a travel companion as the Nomi del Nio ES8. Monitoring your actions and gestures, it will also report information about the presence and movements of other users on the streets and on the roads.

530km range

The Voyah Free is powered by 2 compact permanent magnet synchronous motors, with a combined output that can be extended to 360 kW (490 horsepower), for a maximum torque of 750 Nm. From 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, before going to 200 km/h which limits its maximum speed.

The motor is powered by a 100 kWh NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) cathode lithium-ion battery, with a gross energy capacity of 106.4 kWh. The Chinese manufacturer communicates about an average consumption of 18 kWh/100 km and a WLTP combined cycle autonomy of around 530 km.

Through a Combo CCS connector, the pack can be recharged with direct current up to a power of 125 kW. We are far from what the Korean Hyundai group now offers. A good curve could relativize the difference. The vehicle has an 11 kW charger to connect to the 22 kW AC terminals available in the public space or personal wallbox.

Ready for the trip?

But how do you activate the power liftgate trunk release on the Voyah Free? You have the option of putting a foot under the rear bumper or using the remote control. The floor is covered with an original quilted leather and illuminated by 2 small LED light strips on the sides. The volume of 560 liters is increased to 1,320 liters by folding down the seat back in 2 parts. Please note that it will be split into 3, with a ski hatch, on units delivered to Europe. Charging cables or small bags can be placed in the front of the 72L frunk.

Thanks in particular to a 2.95m wheelbase, 2 passengers seated in the rear will have ample legroom, elbowroom and headroom. The seat is not too low. Maxime Fontanier discovered a light synthetic leather interior, with a central armrest that can release 2 cup holders if necessary.

Frankly, it looks very good. It feels like real leather. it is very gratifying “, he thinks. Apart from a few-inch strip of plastic that wants to imitate wood, the materials lining the storm doors are nice and cushiony. There’s generous storage and a strip of ambient lighting. The windows here are tinted.

The driver’s point of view

At the front, the seats are ventilated, heated and massaged and, above all, very welcoming. ” They’re pretty well drawn, I think. It is comfortable. We have a lot of support without it being overwhelming “appreciated the man in the cap. He also noticed the presentation. sumptuous of the dashboard, from one end to the other, formed by a series of digital screens.

The passenger sitting next to the driver also has access to various applications. To do this, there is a dedicated shelf above the cooled glove box that keeps drinks cool. The system incorporates a 5G dongle. European versions of Voyah Free will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

To the right of the pebble-shaped drive selector, a touchpad lets you operate the center display without greasing your fingers. A variety of materials, including brushed aluminum, illuminate the highly ergonomic, suspended center console. So is the steering wheel, with the buttons on the left to manage driving aids, including cruise control, and on the other side those for intervention in the infotainment system.

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impressive finish

Behind the rim, the instrumentation display is very legible with beautifully refined graphics. It is a model of its kind. At the bottom left of the speedometer, the level of energy available in percentage and autonomy is indicated. An induction charger, various sockets (USB and 12 V) and numerous storage spaces are accessible to passengers traveling in the front.

The dashboard, the door panels and all the parts in contact with the knees are covered with padded materials. ” This is arguably the best driving position I’ve had in an SUV to date. “, compares Maxime Fontanier. If a Voyah Free test failed, one imagines that the machine runs very quietly, even at high speed. The presence of laminated glazing and thick door gaskets reinforce this idea.

For a long time I went to shows where I saw Chinese studying European vehicles to copy them. I can tell you that today it is rather the Europeans who will begin to copy Chinese vehicles. warns our collaborator, particularly impressed by what he discovers in this new electric car.


In Oslo, the Voyah Free is shown starting at 719,000 NOK, for availability later in the year. With a very precise exchange rate of 0.10 euros per unit, this sum represents just 71,900 euros.

However, electromobilists in this country do not have to pay VAT, which is 20% in France. Which would place this electric SUV in France at 86,280 euros, except for a differentiated price.

What do you think, dear readers, of this model? Can you imagine it capable of worrying European manufacturers? And would you be tempted enough to add it to your list of electric cars to try if you were planning on getting one on this budget?

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