Unless you’re familiar with China’s rapidly growing electric vehicle market, chances are you’ve never heard of Voyah. Yet despite being established less than two years ago, the luxury electrified subsidiary of Dongfeng Motors has already announced its entry into Europe later this year, starting with Norway.
The brand’s first model, a mid-size SUV called FREE, will spearhead their entry and aims to set the tone for a range that will expand to include a full-size MPV and sedan in the years to come. to come. Aimed directly at electrified domestic rivals, the Li Auto ONE and Europe-bound NIO ES6, Voyah is also confidently aiming for Germany’s best, such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3.
Design-wise, the FREE is fairly conventional due to the requirement for a grille in the range-extender model, but it has an immediate presence, riding high on 20-inch turbine-style alloys and featuring an inverted angled C-pillar said to be reminiscent of yachts.
If it looks big for this class, that’s because it is, measuring 24cm longer than a GLC with an 8.5cm longer wheelbase. This manifests itself in the interior space which is very spacious, especially for the passengers in the back.
While the exterior is conventional, the interior is anything but conventional. Specified in cream and blue trim, another nod to that nautical theme, the FREE looks like a luxurious spot. The dashboard in particular is something to do with three 12.3-inch screens spanning the width of the cabin in a unit that raises the dash dramatically a few inches on entry. It can be lowered again at the touch of a button or automatically in Sport mode.
The central and right screens are where you’ll find your usual connectivity as well as, in the Chinese version at least, music and video streaming. Even karaoke and “party mode” function, as well as Huawei HiCar compatibility for screen mirroring.
Heated, ventilated and massage front seats are standard on all but the most basic power option, which loses the massage option, but there’s no such option for rear passengers. Additionally, a full-length electronically dimmable sunroof, premium 10-speaker DYNAudio audio system, night vision mode and 110mm air suspension are all standard on the top-of-the-line Exclusive Deluxe trim. . No wonder 97% of Chinese customers opted for the higher of the two trim levels.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find acres of OEKO-TEX certified leatherette, the same used in Volvos, which can also be specified in black and blue or cream and brown. It’s soft, as are the seats which are clearly designed for comfort and enhance the feeling of luxury.
The aluminum around the center console adds a bit of shine, and a wireless charging slot and a touchpad for the multimedia system are also present. Thankfully, Voyah has opted to retain physical switches for the climate control, although this can also be operated via digital means.
Key to the brand’s success in Europe will be Voyah’s focus on electrified drivetrains. The FREE is available as a full battery electric vehicle or as a range extender electric vehicle. In the REV we drove, a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine charges a 33kW battery. Total range here is 534 miles on the NEDC cycle, 87 of which is purely electric. By comparison, the full EV can go around 300 miles, depending on whether you specify single or dual motors.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-19 23:01:23