Model profile: China’s Aion to reach in 2024

Model profile: China’s Aion to reach in 2024
Model profile: China’s Aion to reach in 2024

The subsequent wave of formidable Chinese language automobile manufacturers are set to launch in Australia from 2023, becoming a member of now-established choices akin to MG, LDV, GWM, Haval and BYD.

We have already got an excellent gauge on plans this yr from Chery, JAC Motor, and GWM’s Tank and Ora manufacturers, however there’s one other OEM with proposed Aussie plans that we’ve devoted much less time to.

That model is Aion, a part of the sprawling Guangzhou Vehicle Co, shortened to GAC Group, which is headquartered in Zhujiang New City and listed on each Hong Kong and Shanghai inventory exchanges.

As with many Chinese language OEMs, it has centered on joint-ventures with established marques, on this case Japanese ones. Energetic JVs embrace GAC Toyota, GAC Honda and GAC Mitsubishi, all made below license.

However because the Chinese language authorities turns ever extra to home manufacturers and home consumption, GAC has branched out – not simply with its personal vary of GAC-badged automobiles developed with what it gleaned from its JV companions, however through one other sub-brand.

This sub-brand is Aion, and it’s right here that we are going to get caught in.

GAC Aion New Vitality Vehicle Co Ltd was based on July 28, 2017 with a give attention to ‘new power’ autos, with a extra premium skew. A bit has since been taken public to fund R&D expenditure.

The corporate has been bullish about its export plans, and like many others sees Australia as the perfect pilot market – it’s near China within the grand scheme, extremely aggressive and fragmented, and but has a sufficiently small scale that failure isn’t such a catastrophe.

Based mostly on our discussions with these working behind the scenes, we anticipate to see the primary Aion merchandise to enter sale in Australia from the second half of 2024, with the model to come back on stream in earnest from 2025.

Like Tesla and Polestar, it’s anticipated to make use of a direct-to-consumer gross sales mannequin fairly than participating with franchise supplier companions. That is an more and more frequent method from clean-slate EV manufacturers.

On the time of writing GAC Aion marketed eight fashions at dwelling in China, solely a few of which will likely be starters for Australia, in manufacturing unit right-hand drive (one thing GAC Aion remains to be scaling).

Anticipated to be first off the mark is the youth-focused Aion Y Plus, a 4.5-metre lengthy high-riding MPV that hit China in September 2022. This EV presents claimed vary (on lenient Chinese language testing) of between 430km and 610km relying on battery selection, with motor outputs of 150kW and 225Nm.

The opposite car Aion expects to supply at or close to launch is a new-generation SUV that’ll be a bit larger than the Y Plus. Aion at the moment sells the LX Plus and V Plus in China, and we perceive the Australian mannequin will likely be a next-gen successor to each.

Headline acts from a branding perspective would be the GAC Aion Hyper GT and Hyper SSR.

The Hyper GT is a wild-looking fastback that rivals the Tesla Mannequin 3, providing an extremely slippery 0.19Cd aerodynamic ranking, 250kW energy ranking, a 0-100km/h declare of 4 seconds, butterfly doorways, and a 900V structure. It even has LiDAR.

The corporate hopes that an up to date model of this automobile, doubtlessly together with a dual-motor efficiency mannequin, will are available RHD round 2025.

Lastly, each model wants a halo product – not one designed to promote in nice quantity however fairly to function nice advertising and marketing. For GAC Aion, that is the LHD-only Hyper SSR supercar.

The Aion Hyper SSR, which GAC dubs “China’s first supercar”, has been designed to set “a brand new benchmark for China’s auto trade” by way of each efficiency and manufacturing.

The corporate reckons the hi-po EV accelerates from 0-100km/h in an insane 1.9s in top-spec guise, or 2.3s in entry-level kind.

The e-motor with Porsche-style two-speed transmission pushes out a claimed 900kW (1225hp), which below full throttle “brings a powerful push again feeling similar to a rocket launch at 1.7G”.

The corporate additionally mentions the usage of aviation tyre tech with low warmth retention, and 900V silicon carbide chips that work 2.5-times quicker whereas drawing much less energy.

GAC Aion additionally produces the smooth Camry-sized S Plus sedan, however given native tastes this appears much less possible for us.

MORE: Chinese language EV supercar revealed with 900kW
MORE: China’s Aion eyeing Australia with scissor-door Mannequin 3 rival
MORE: 2022 GAC Aion LX Plus SUV presents as much as 1008km of vary


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