VOYAH, Dongfeng Motor's premium new energy vehicle brand, yesterday unveiled its first model, VOYAH FREE, with one version using the same extended-range technology as the Li Auto, and is seen as a direct competitor to the Li ONE. But in an interview with the media, the company downplayed this interpretation.
"We are not a competitor to Li Auto. We are comrades in arms with all the new energy companies, we are in the same trench," VOYAH CEO Luo Fang said in an interview.
He added, "Our common goal is to keep converting traditional gasoline vehicles to new energy vehicles and to make the electric vehicle market bigger, which is what we want."
VOYAH's first model, the VOYAH FREE, includes two versions, pure electric and one with extended-range technology. It is also the first model using extended-range technology launched by a traditional Chinese car company after entering the new energy vehicle market, making Li Auto, which adheres to the extended-range technology solution, no longer alone.
As a latecomer, the VOYAH FREE extended-range version is intentionally enhanced in comparison to the Li ONE.
The Li ONE is equipped with a 1.2T three-cylinder engine with 60kW range extender power, while the VOYAH FREE is equipped with a 1.5T four-cylinder engine with 80kW range extender power.
In terms of NEDC range, the VOYAH FREE extended-range version reaches 860 km, surpassing Li Auto's 800 km.
The Li Auto is equipped with MacPherson independent suspension, while the VOYAH FREE extended-range version is equipped with a double-wishbone independent front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension, and is made of all aluminum.
In terms of ADAS configuration, the VOYAH FREE is equipped with 24 sensors and can achieve 20 intelligent driver assistance functions.
When talking about why the extended-range technology electric vehicle was launched, Lu said that under the existing policy conditions, the traditional gasoline car engine becomes smaller and smaller, which leads to lower performance. However, the user's demand for car performance and quality is increasing, and VOYAH hopes to solve this contradiction with a high-power electric power drive.
"However, problems such as inconvenient charging and inconvenient energy replenishment followed, so we solved them with extended-range electric solutions," he claims.
Lei Xin, head of branding for VOYAH, also says, "You can't succeed by copying in the market, you can only be recognized by creating your own unique advantages, your own unique personality label."
Delivery of the VOYAH FREE will not be until the third quarter of next year, and the launch did not disclose more product and technical details, including the battery supplier, range in pure electric mode, and energy consumption performance with the 1.5T engine.
Its price will also have to wait until next year before the Shanghai Auto Show to be disclosed, and the current known price range is no more than 400,000 RMB. Therefore, it is difficult to make a more precise comparison with the Li ONE, which is priced at RMB 328,000.
(Cover photo source: VOYAH website)