More EV makers are betting that the shooting brake style will become a new trend in China.

(Design images of the L7 Cross GT, the shooting brake variant of the L7 sedan, shared by IM Motors design director Xu Dengtao on Weibo.)

As sees success in the otherwise niche market for shooting brake models and doubles down with the updated Zeekr 001, more local electric vehicle (EV) makers are betting that the style will become a new trend in China.

Xu Dengtao, design director of SAIC Motor Corp's EV unit IM Motors, shared several design images on Weibo at 8:03 pm Beijing Time yesterday, showing an IM Motors model with a shooting brake style.

"Is shooting brake going to be the new fad? Would you be excited if IM Motors launches a shooting brake coupe based on the L7?" Xu wrote on Weibo.

The IM L7 is IM Motors' flagship sedan and its first model, with deliveries starting in June 2022. The company launched an updated version of the L7 on February 24, starting at RMB 299,900 ($41,660).

IM Motors' other two models, IM LS6 and IM LS7, are SUVs.

IM Motors' co-CEO Liu Tao retweeted Xu's Weibo post last night with the following comment:

I heard that users nowadays are into shooting brake style, if the shooting brake version of L7 comes, how many people want it?

IM Motors' official Weibo account also retweeted Xu's Weibo post last night and hinted that the IM L7's shooting brake variant will be named the L7 Cross GT.

The timing of Xu's Weibo post is interesting, coming three minutes after the start of Zeekr's launch event for the 2024 Zeekr 001.

Shooting brake models used to be a niche market in China. However, the unexpected success of Zeekr's first model, the Zeekr 001, has made this type of vehicle increasingly popular.

Launched on April 17, 2021, and with deliveries starting in October 2021, Zeekr 001 is the first shooting brake-style premium model built by a local carmaker.

The Zeekr 001 has been Zeekr's main seller, delivering 76,246 units in 2023, contributing 64 percent of the 118,685 units delivered by Zeekr in the year, according to data compiled by CnEVPost.

Yesterday, Zeekr launched an updated version of the Zeekr 001, hoping that the upgraded specifications and lower price will allow the model to remain competitive amid the intense price competition.

On June 15, 2023, (NYSE: NIO) launched the ET5 Touring, with deliveries commencing on June 16. The ET5 Touring is the second shooting brake-style premium model built by the local carmaker after the Zeekr 001.

Last month, Hozon Auto's brand Auto said it would launch its first shooting brake-style model in the middle of this year.

The model, codenamed EP41, will be unveiled near the Beijing auto show which will take place at the end of April, and deliveries will begin in the middle of the year, Hozon CEO Zhang Yong said in a January 24 Weibo post.

($1 = RMB 7.1989)

Zeekr launches refreshed Zeekr 001 with upgraded specs and reduced prices