Test drive of Lantu FREE for Ideal ONE car owners.

Ideal ONE Owner Test-Drive of the ORA R1 EV

During the process of coming up with a title for this article, I considered many options such as “In the Future, the Ideal Friend is the LanTu”, which plays on a homophone, and “Hello, LanTu”, which capitalizes on hot topics. However, when it came time to finalize the title, I decided on the simple and straightforward option of “Ideal ONE Owner Test-Drive of the ORA R1 EV”, as I am not a media outlet focused on clickbait and traffic. Let’s chat with everyone about my experience driving the ORA R1 EV.

The article is divided into four main parts:

  • Exterior and interior space
  • Chassis suspension
  • Feel of the extended range system
  • Car infotainment system and driving assists

Regarding the ORA R1 EV, I attended their product launch event in Shenzhen and wrote an article from the perspective of an Ideal ONE owner with four advantages and three shortcomings.

Before the new year, a friend from the ORA brand operations team invited me to participate in an endurance test drive event for the ORA R1 EV in Xiangyang, Hubei. They told me that there was an opportunity for a long test drive of the ORA R1 EV. Since I hadn’t started working yet, I took advantage of the opportunity.

After arriving in Xiangyang, a colleague introduced me to a national-level automotive test track. Our morning agenda took place on this track.

Originally, I was assigned to a pure electric version of the ORA R1 EV, but I strongly recommended switching to an extended range version ORA R1 EV for the test drive. (I’m sorry, @乐图乱弹 teacher)

First, a professional test driver took us to the testing area and had us test drive over a variety of road conditions that included daily scenarios, such as Belgian roads, gravel roads, twisting roads, and long-wave roads with noise, as well as a circular turn at a speed of 140km/h.

Afterward, we divided into groups for the outdoor test, and conducted three basic driving tests: slalom, elk avoidance, and fixed circle.

Because there were two special guests, an NIO car owner @武汉华哥 and a XPeng car owner @安公子行寝夜色, we received special treatment in the afternoon with an extended range version of the ORA R1 EV. We were given the chance to explore the ancient city of Xiangyang with a group of three.

This gave me about five hours of in-depth experience with the ORA R1 EV.

All my judgments are based on my personal level of understanding and experience driving the ORA R1 EV extended range version during the test drive.

Exterior and Interior Space

At first glance, the ORA R1 EV’s exterior gives off an elegant vibe with its long front compartment, streamlined body, and dazzling retractable central control screen, giving the impression of future styling. When you lower the air suspension, it truly gives off an elegant European travel car feel.This sleek and stylish design is completely different from traditional SUV style. The main feature is reflected in the height of the car body – the Lynk & Co 02 FREE (height: 1690 mm) is 44 mm lower than the NIO ES6, which is positioned as a medium-sized SUV (height: 1734 mm) and is 70 mm lower than the IDEAL ONE, which is positioned as a large-sized SUV (height: 1760 mm). The traditional fuel SUV Volkswagen Touareg L is slightly lower than the Lynk & Co 02 FREE with a height of 1673 mm.

The medium SUV height, combined with the large SUV length and width, creates the dynamic and elegant flair of the Lynk & Co 02 FREE, and also gives it a super low drag coefficient of 0.28 Cd.

The height also affects the interior space – the width of the car interior is without any problem, but due to the limitation of vertical height, the seat height is slightly lower, and the rear seat posture is between a large sedan and a large SUV.

However, due to the presence of the electrically-controlled sunroof, the layout of the sunshade is eliminated, making the headroom still sufficient. (It is recommended to have a starry sky ceiling on the sunroof. Under different light transmission rates, the addition of the starry sky ceiling will make the sunroof more dreamy.)

Chassis Suspension

I am not a professional car reviewer, so I can only talk about my feelings.

Thanks to the styling of the entire vehicle plus the support of the battery, the driver feels that the center of gravity is very low. Especially in sport mode, the lateral sway is much smaller than that of traditional SUVs.

On a high-speed test road with poor road conditions, I passed through at a speed of 110 kilometers per hour, and the entire vehicle also adhered stably to the road surface. It gives people confidence to want to drive faster.

During the morning on-site test drive, the brake feel of my car was very strange, and it felt non-linear, and the feedback was also rigid. The engineer also mentioned that the brake and kinetic energy recovery systems will be further optimized.

In the afternoon when we were wandering around Xiangyang, I deliberately tried various speeds to pass the speed bump and manhole cover. The bounce absorption effect was also very comfortable.

(The sound of the air pump for the air suspension in this version is relatively loud, and the engineer said it will be optimized later. By the way, the low-speed warning sound is very unpleasant and must be changed.)

Possibly due to the long front of the car and the relatively short rear, merging and overtaking on urban roads is more confident than that of the IDEAL ONE. It is also more agile when cruising through small alleys. If it is city driving, I would prefer the driving style of the Lynk & Co 02’s.

Range Extension System Feeling

When I got the car in the afternoon, I specifically checked and the vehicle’s electric power was at 18% and the range extender had started automatically.

After an afternoon, with an outdoor temperature of 5℃, four people in the city for the whole journey with air conditioning on, including stopping and resting, drove about sixty kilometers in a total of five hours.When we returned to the hotel, the battery was at 17% and the displayed fuel consumption was at 7.1 liters per 100 kilometers. This is truly excellent for a four-wheel drive SUV with 500 kW power and 1000 N.m torque, which can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just 4.6 seconds.

Thanks to the reserve power of the 1.5T four-cylinder range extender, the battery was able to maintain a good charge during city driving with low battery levels. The range extender shuts off automatically at red lights and starts up again when the car reaches a certain speed.

The experimental model currently only has a pure electric priority mode, which is similar to the ideal ONE model. The logic is that the range extender starts up at around 50% battery level in sport mode and at around 18% battery level in economy and comfort modes. This is probably due to the ample reserve power of the range extender (personal observation and unconfirmed).

According to the Voyah engineer, the current range extender test car can travel 100-120 kilometers in pure electric mode, which is basically the same as the actual pure electric range of the ideal ONE. With a 55-liter fuel tank, the total range will exceed 800 kilometers. Other range extender control modes will be introduced later.

In the current version of the experimental prototype, the sudden start of the range extender causes a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel, but as the engine speed and vehicle speed increase, the vibration gradually disappears. There is still no substantial difference between the four-cylinder and three-cylinder range extenders in this regard.

The sound of the range extender in the Voyah FREE is similar to that of a traditional gasoline-powered car. Compared to the ideal ONE, there is not a significant reduction in noise in the cabin, but the operation feels more calm.

All of these factors demonstrate that an excellent range extender can greatly improve the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) performance of a range-extended electric vehicle.

Infotainment and ADAS

The infotainment system of the Voyah FREE engineering test vehicle is not yet complete, and many functions have not yet been implemented.

At first glance, the infotainment system currently seems to lean towards the preference settings of traditional automakers.

The logic for switching information display on the driver’s instrument panel via steering wheel buttons is very confusing.

Interaction on the central control screen is not strong, and in the era of voice control, there is even a handwriting pad installed to the right of the gearshift lever.

However, I later heard that Voyah places great emphasis on its voice control system, and it should become a competitive advantage in the future.

On the entertainment screen for the passenger, I saw the popular KTV function that is hot with ideal in-car systems, and it is even possible to install other software.

(Due to limited processor capacity, the smooth operation of the Voyah infotainment system will be extremely challenging for engineers to optimize.)

As for ADAS, we were unable to experience it during the test drive due to the experimental build. We can only look forward to experiencing it in long-distance driving after production. We understand that it uses the BOSCH family solution, which is considered middle-of-the-road, and it will also support a visual fusion parking solution.

ConclusionThe Chinese text written in Markdown is translated to English in Markdown format preserving HTML tags:

The above comparison is purely personal and subjective, and only represents the current state of the durability test vehicle.

(Voyah’s official latest reply: The on-board machine tested on the durability test vehicle is v1 version, and the cars that are currently being produced online are tuned to v2. Before delivery, they will be tuned to v3; With the efforts of R&D team, intelligent driving, cabin and vehicle control will achieve overall OTA.)

It is reported that Voyah Automobile’s MPV and sedan projects are also progressing smoothly. The first Voyah FREE model will be officially launched in the second half of this year, and will introduce both pure electric and extended-range versions, with the latter possibly being the main selling model.

I saw the version with non-air suspension and two-wheel drive today at the test site, and its price should give you even more surprises. (Personally, I guess it might even start at 25,000 USD. What do you think?)

We are looking forward to Voyah FREE, which is empowered by Dongfeng Group, to break through the dual pressure from traditional automakers and new power automakers, and create a unique product matrix for Voyah.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.