X9 starts at RMB 388,000 for pre-sales, with deliveries to begin in January, while 's Li Mega will be priced between RMB 500,000 and 600,000.

(Image credit: Xpeng)

Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV) has officially unveiled its first MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) model, the X9, and is offering it for pre-sale at a much lower price than its local counterpart Li Auto's (NASDAQ: LI) Li Mega.

The Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) maker debuted the seven-seat X9 at the Guangzhou auto show, which begins today, with a starting price of 388,000 yuan ($53,540).

Customers can pay RMB 2,000 to pre-order the model, and that deposit can be used as RMB 5,000 when making the final payment. The official launch of the X9 is expected to be in December, with deliveries starting in January.

The pre-sale of the Xpeng X9 is set to put significant pressure on Li Auto, which officially unveiled its first BEV model, the Li Mega, but at a higher price point at an earlier launch event on the floor of the Guangzhou auto show.

The Li Mega will be priced at less than RMB 600,000, Li Auto said, and hinted that it will be priced above RMB 500,000.

The Li Mega will also be officially launched in December, with deliveries starting in late February.

Li Auto said on November 13 that the Li Mega will be officially unveiled and pre-sales will begin on November 17.

The move by Li Auto was surprising as the company had planned to start taking pre-orders for the Li Mega at a much later date, several auto bloggers said recently, adding that this could be in response to competition from the Xpeng X9.

The Xpeng X9 measures 5,293 mm in length, 1,988 mm in width and 1,785 mm in height with a wheelbase of 3,160 mm.

For comparison, the Li Mega is slightly larger, with a length, width and height of 5,350 mm, 1,965 mm and 1,850 mm respectively, and a wheelbase of 3,300 mm.

The Xpeng X9 will be available in both single-motor and dual-motor versions, with the single-motor version featuring a front motor with a peak power of 235 kW, and the dual-motor version having an additional rear motor with a peak power of 135 kW.

The entry-level version of the Xpeng X9 will be powered by a lower-cost lithium iron phosphate battery pack with a capacity of 84.5 kWh and a CLTC range of 610 kilometers.

Its longer-range versions will be powered by Li-ion ternary battery packs with a capacity of 101.5 kWh, which can provide a CLTC range of 702 kilometers for the single-motor model and 640 kilometers for the dual-motor version.

The X9 features active rear-wheel steering with a turning diameter of just 10.8 meters, the smallest in its class, Xpeng said. As a comparison, the Li Mega does not support rear-wheel steering.

The X9's turning radius is even smaller than that of Xpeng's P7 sedan, and with its HD map-independent XNGP assisted driving capability, drivers can easily navigate the large vehicle, said He Xiaopeng, Xpeng's chairman and CEO, in a November 15 analyst call following the announcement of its earnings.

"Deliveries of the X9 will begin in early January 2024, and I expect the X9 to be the No. 1 seller in the large pure electric MPV market," Mr. He said at the time.

The Xpeng delivered a record 20,002 vehicles in October, the first time it has exceeded the 20,000 mark.

($1 = RMB 7.2467)

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