Spy photos of what is suspected to be 's first model have been circulating on Weibo recently, showing the exterior and some of the interior design of the model.

(Screenshot shows Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun speaking at a meeting during China's two sessions.)

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi's car project is progressing beyond expectations, having recently completed winter testing and expecting mass production in the first half of next year, according to its founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun.

Lei mentioned this on March 5 at a meeting during China's two sessions -- annual meetings of China's top legislature and top political advisory body -- the first time he has mentioned in the past six months Xiaomi's car-making progress.

Xiaomi is a Beijing-based company that is native to the city and will definitely be rooted in Beijing for growth, Lei said.

He previously said he spends half of his time on the car business, which now has an R&D team of more than 2,300 people.

Lei has prepared three proposals for this year's two sessions, two of which are related to the automotive industry.

He suggested that China encourage the development of car culture and provide richer application scenarios for advanced automotive products and technologies.

China should moderately liberalize restrictions on car tuning and establish national standards for tuning parts and accessories and the auto after-market to provide the soil for the development of a diverse and innovative car culture, according to his proposals.

Spy photos of what is suspected to be Xiaomi's first model have recently circulated on Weibo, showing the model's exterior and part of its interior design.

The car has a streamlined design and a distinct bulge can be seen at the roof position, which could a LiDAR.

Xiaomi officially announced its entry into the car-making business on March 30, 2021. Lei said at his annual personal presentation on August 11, 2022, that the company's self-driving technology was in the testing phase and aims to be in the top tier of the industry by 2024.

Xiaomi's first model will be a LiDAR-equipped sedan that will have a price ceiling of more than 300,000 yuan ($43,240), local media outlet LatePost reported last September 2.

Xiaomi has identified Hesai Technology as the LiDAR supplier for the first model, which will use one of the latter's hybrid solid-state radars, the AT128, as the primary radar, and several all-solid-state radars as fill-in radars, LatePost reported at the time.

($1 = RMB 6.9378)

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