Deliveries of the Li L8 will begin in November, and the Li L7 will be officially unveiled in November and deliveries will begin in February 2023.

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Li Auto)

Li Auto today made its new SUV, the Li L8, official and began taking reservations for the next model, the Li L7, in an intensive move that signals that a premium SUV war is on the horizon in China.

In an online launch event today, Li Auto made the six-seat mid to large-size SUV Li L8 available with prices starting at RMB 359,800 ($50,730) and deliveries set to begin in late November.

In addition to the Li L8, Li Auto also briefly introduced the five-seat mid to large-size SUV Li L7 and began accepting reservations with prices starting at RMB 339,800. Deliveries of the model will begin at the end of February 2023.

It is worth noting that until last week, Li Auto had been marketing the Li L8 as the next new model.

On August 31, Li Auto founder, chairman and CEO Li Xiang said on Weibo that the Li L8 SUV will be available in 5-seat as well as 6-seat models, and they both offer Pro versions as well as Max versions.

Li L8 will be offered in four configurations with four SKUs, and they will go for the mid to large-size SUV market with four times the intensity of Li ONE, Li said at the time.

However, on September 22, Li Auto said it was building a more complete and clear product sequence, with the L standing for the extended-range platform SUV lineup and the number size representing the model size class.

The company said at the time that the Li L8 would be a mid to large-size six-seat SUV priced within RMB 400,000, while the Li L7 would be a mid to large-size five-seat SUV priced within RMB 400,000.

This means that in a product sequence change earlier this month, Li Auto split the Li L8's planned product array, making the six-seat version the Li L8 and the five-seat version the Li L7.

To Deutsche Bank analyst Edison Yu's team, Li Auto's series of moves signal a sharp increase in SUV competition in China's premium segment next year, with NIO, XPeng, and Li Auto all aggressively going after German luxury brands' market share.

"As of late, we think there have been worries around the L9 ramping somewhat slowly and competition/cannabilization. Broadly speaking, we share similar concerns but were impressed by management’s ability to accelerate new vehicle launches," Yu's team said in a September 23 research note sent to investors.

Li L8 -- Successor to Li ONE

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

Li Auto is positioning the Li L8 as the successor to its first model, the Li ONE, rather than a scaled-down version of the Li L9, thus avoiding the "discontinuation" language that has led it to face criticism from existing owners. Cumulative deliveries of the Li ONE have exceeded 200,000 units since its launch in 2019.

The Li L8 includes two versions, Pro and Max, with starting prices of RMB 359,800 and RMB 399,800 respectively. Customers who order the six-seat SUV now will receive delivery as early as late November.

The Li L8 measures 5,080 mm in length, 1,995 mm in width, 1,800 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 3,005 mm.

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

The model is equipped with all-wheel drive, a 1.5T range extender, and a 42.8 kWh battery pack.

It has a combined CLTC range of 1,315 km on full fuel and full charge, and an electric-only range of up to 210 km.

The Li L8 has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 5.5 seconds, one second faster than the Li ONE.

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

In terms of assisted driving system, the L8 Pro will be equipped with the Li Auto AD Pro.

AD Pro is the world's first intelligent driving system equipped with local chip maker Horizon Robotics Journey 5 chip, with 128 TOPS of computing power for a single chip.

AD Pro is equipped with one 8MP front view camera, five 2MP peripheral view cameras, and four 2MP surround view cameras.

The Li L8 Max comes standard with the Li Auto AD Max intelligent driving system, which uses two NVIDIA Orin X chips with a total computing power of 508 TOPS.

AD Max is equipped with high-performance sensing sensors, including one AT128 LiDAR supplied by Hesai Technology, six 8-megapixel cameras, and five 2-megapixel cameras, as well as an independent high-precision positioning module.

The Li L8 Pro's smart cockpit is powered by a Qualcomm 8155 chip with 12 Gb of memory and 128 Gb of storage.

The Li L8 Max, on the other hand, features two Qualcomm 8155 chips with 24 Gb of memory and 256 Gb of storage.

Li L7 deliveries will begin in late February 2023

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

While making the Li L8 official, Li Auto announced that the Li L7 is available for pre-order starting today, and its official debut will be at the Guangzhou auto show in November.

The Li L7 will begin touring Li Auto stores across China in December, and consumers will be allowed to lock in their orders and begin deliveries in February of next year.

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

As a five-seat SUV, the Li L7 is slightly smaller than the Li L8, measuring 5,050 mm in length, 1,995 mm in width, 1,750 mm in height and 3,005 mm in wheelbase.

Although it is essentially a five-seat version of the Li L8, Li Auto emphasizes that the Li L7 is in no way a simple conversion of the Li L8 to a five-seat version, but rather a completely separate design for the characteristics of the five-seat model.

Li Auto officially launches Li L8, starts taking pre-orders for Li L7-CnEVPost

The acceleration, range and intelligent driving system of Li L7 are exactly the same as those of Li L8.

The Li L7 also includes two versions, Pro as well as Max, with starting prices of RMB 339,800 and 379,800 respectively.

The Li Auto is currently delivering the Li L9, which exceeded 10,000 units in September, meeting the goal previously mentioned by the company's CEO, Mr. Li.

Deutsche Bank on Li Auto product plans: Premium SUV wars coming in China

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