Passing through Norway, landing land for Chinese manufacturers in Europe, Maxime Fontanier pushes the door of the showrooms that have recently opened in Oslo. After Nio and Voyah, he is interested in Xpeng, testing the high-end P7 Performance electric sedan.
Between Model 3 and Model S
Readers criticize us for making regular comparisons to Tesla when we feature an electric car from another brand. The American manufacturer is an essential historical reference in the electricity market, whether we like its productions or not. With the Xpeng P7 we will make an even closer connection, so much so that this Chinese electric sedan plays with Tesla codes.
Measuring 4.88 x 1.90 m for a height of 1.45 m, it fits between Model 3 (4.69 x 1.85 x 1.44 m) and Model S (4.97 x 1 .96 x 1.45m). Clad in red, the Xpeng P7 Wing Edition we tested receives X-wing doors on the elytron.
” In terms of style, this electric car is very original. It has a very clean line with a drag coefficient close to that of a Tesla Model 3 “, compares Maxime Fontanier. The front of the machine is studded with an all-LED optical line and its roof is topped with panoramic glass.
comprehensive motor skills
As standard, the Xpeng P7 Performance is based on 19-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires in 245/45. In this version, this great electric sedan from the Chinese brand founded in 2014 has all-wheel drive. And this, thanks to 2 permanent magnet synchronous motors that offer a cumulative power of 316 kW (430 horsepower), for a maximum torque of 655 Nm, enough to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. Against 3.3 s for the Tesla Model 3 Performance.
Powering the motorization: a NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) lithium-ion pack with an energy capacity of 80 kWh. To supply you with energy at home or at a public AC terminal, the Xpeng P7 Performance has an 11 kW charger.
In DC stations, you will have to settle for a power of less than 100 kW through the Combo CCS connector. We imagine that this value, low compared to the competition, is a desire to preserve the longevity of the battery. The latter, however, benefits from an internal temperature management system, with possible preheating before starting charging.
Trunk a bit sparse
Like the Tesla Model 3, the Xpeng P7 is a 4-door sedan. Therefore, it does not have a tailgate. This plays against the practicality and volume of the trunk. It actually offers only 440 liters that are hidden behind a fairly narrow access. For assistance in case of breakdown, the backrest of the bench can be folded into 2 parts. However, due to the lack of height, this slight modularity will not allow small furniture or certain appliances to be loaded as easily.
No double bottom due to the presence of the lithium ion pack there. Are charging cables doomed to wander around this trunk? No, not necessarily, due to the presence of a 66l frunk under the front hood. This space is wide without being too deep. It will also occasionally isolate, for example, some delicate foods or objects.
Passengers seated in the rear
The 3m wheelbase will especially benefit passengers who will sit in the rear of the Xpeng P7. If they will already benefit from unrestricted knee room, the presence of the panoramic glass fairing frees up generous headroom. The buttocks are a bit low, though. With only 2 people, the elbow width is also very good.
A third can be inserted in the middle, despite a service tunnel that, without being too bulky, is still quite tall. The armrest with cup holder that retracts to this location on the backrest is padded enough to provide this guest with satisfactory comfort.
Note that the upholstery is covered in genuine leather. The huge front seat backs make visibility on the road a bit difficult. Well-finished door panels are covered in soft materials and lined with LED lighting. For the on-board environment, 14 speakers are distributed throughout the cabin, including at the height of the driver’s headrest.
The driver’s point of view
The Xpeng P7’s electric scissor doors are certainly pretty, but not very practical for getting behind the wheel. Please note that they are equipped with shock avoidance sensors. We also imagine that many motorists may be annoyed by the camera positioned just behind the steering wheel, facing the driver. Less intrusive in appearance, the one installed in the Tesla at the height of the interior mirror is more discreet.
In the P7 two digital screens are installed in a row: 15 inches for the infotainment system + 10 inches for the instrumentation. Even if the latter is absent on the Model 3, the whitish background of the 2 tablets still recalls the universe of the American manufacturer. More comprehensive, this set makes a lot of information more readable, including instant speed and GPS directions.
Finishing at the front is also decent, with the use of upholstered materials. The hard parts are not in contact with the occupants, particularly at the knees. Only the plastics below the big screen look a bit cheap. This does not prevent our tester from finding the driving position “very good”.
“Widely in line with European standards”
Induction charger, cup holders, power outlets (USB and 12V) and numerous storage spaces, including a deep hatch under the center armrest, are available for passengers sitting in the front of the Xpeng P7. With a well done cartography, the GPS benefits from a correct fluidity of use. However, the multimedia system is not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The screen allows you to select a driving mode among the options Standard, Sport, Eco and Stable. In any case, and without a paddle on the steering wheel to play with its power, the regeneration seemed too light for us. He is absent in Sport. Even in Eco, where it is more present, it is too limited and will not immobilize the vehicle without pressing the brake pedal.
The modes also affect steering feel and controlled suspensions. ” In the end we find the universe of a Tesla, but with improved ergonomics, a very careful finish and that is largely in European standards. », evaluates Maxime Fontanier.
first wheel turns
New reference to Tesla with the small lever to the right of the steering wheel that serves as a gear selector. Maneuvering is made easy by a 360-degree view. Xpeng develops autopilot capabilities, the P7 is surrounded by 14 cameras, 12 sensors and 5 radars. At 11.7m, the turning radius is not exceptional. Still, it’s within the standards for a car the size of this electric sedan. The direction appears rather soft and light.
Note the reflections of the dashboard on the windshield. Visibility to the front and rear is a bit narrow. Fortunately, to compensate, the exterior mirrors and feedback sensing systems are effective. Even driving, it is possible to get images from the cameras on the central screen. Our tester, on the other hand, points to the lack of a rear window wiper.
Test Tesla Model 3 Performance 2021: the best electric car?
The Xpeng P7 knows how to muscularly accelerate to take its place on expressways and highways. Cruise control is managed in the same way as in a Tesla. The Chinese electric sedan handles line maintenance well. During our test, it reminded after 5 seconds, through a visual and silent alert, that the driver should keep their hands on the wheel.
With correct soundproofing, noise from the road and from the air appear from 120 km/h. Controlled suspensions provide good comfort on board. ” It is less firm than a Tesla. “, opposes the man in the cap.
On the other hand, the P7 is a little sweeter than a Model 3, with a consumption of around 18.5 kWh/100 km while driving at 110 km/h. Which is still reasonable for a car of this length and weighing 2.13 tonnes empty. The American in the Performance version is favored by its 1,836 kg. Thus, it will be possible to reach a little over 400 km with a full recharge. Consumption figures can rise to 24 kWh/100 km tickling the slightly sportier machine.
In Sport mode to tackle a succession of turns, the Xpeng P7 reinforces its suspension. The chassis has a double wishbone at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. ” It doesn’t roll too much, that’s not bad. On the other hand, the steering is still quite light. “says the automotive journalist.
With Brembo calipers up front, braking efficiency is reassuring. In general, the machine is well balanced. Which is not surprising with a fairly low body. Nice surprise for fans of the genre, the P7 knows how to be playful and slide a bit from behind on a screech of tires when interrupted. ” It is nice “, admits Maxime Fontanier who acknowledges being impressed by this Chinese electric car.
” It is undoubtedly the best current competitor of the Tesla Model 3, perhaps with the Polestar “, translates.
In the Norwegian market, the Xpeng P7 Performance is shown at a price similar to that of the Tesla Model 3 Performance: 53,200 euros, compared to 53,500 for the American. However, the model we tested benefits from superior equipment including, in particular, the famous elytron front doors. Which means that with an equivalent finish and a close equipment list, the Chinese sedan will be cheaper.
There is also a Long Range Propulsion version, which is offered at 46,000 euros, when the long-range Model 3 costs 49,500 euros. The entry-level 60 kWh small battery Xpeng will be even more competitive against its rival.
As a reminder, electric cars are not taxable in Norway, while French motorists will also have to pay 20% VAT and possibly deduct a government bonus depending on the price level.
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