On November 19, 2021, at the Guangzhou Auto Show, XPeng’s fourth model, G9, was officially unveiled as the new flagship model of XPeng Auto after P7.
This is the car we have been looking forward to the most in 2021. The reason is not only to provide the market with another excellent choice, but also because in this era of universal intelligence, it seems that everyone is imitating Tesla and XPeng. Therefore, we “hope that XPeng can bring us some fresh blood.”
What’s even more exciting is that after attending the preview and sharing session of G9 and watching its debut press conference, we believe that G9 lives up to its name as a “flagship.”
Before introducing G9 in detail, let us first mention that G9 will be a “global model,” so the evaluation of its product power will not be limited to the Chinese market.
Origins in Appearance
The appearance of a car always has a veto power. I think XPeng should already have experienced this truth. Let us first take a look at what G9 looks like through a set of pictures.
If I had to describe G9’s appearance in two words, I think the first one would be “coordinated” and the second would be “exquisite.” This is also the highest level of maturity and beauty I’ve seen in XPeng’s exterior design so far.
The reason why I give such a high evaluation may also be due to my previous expectations being too low. On the one hand, the lack of a stunning P7 made me lower my expectations, and on the other hand, some spy photos of G9 were leaked after its release. At that time, I imagined countless ways of how P7 would look when raised higher. I felt that this design language would not look good on an SUV.
But when the actual car came out, it was indeed stunning. Even when compared to other medium and large SUVs in the global market, this appearance is completely on par with the first-tier level.
Judging from the comments on our Weibo page, ratings of 8 to 9 for G9’s appearance design can be seen everywhere, which shows that most users buy into this design.## Three highlights in exterior design
Continuation of family style
The appearance of G9 continues the family-style front face of P7 and P5. Even the earliest G3 has unified its design style through restyling.
Having the same design style can greatly increase a car’s recognition on the road, especially for a relatively young company like XPeng Motors. Once users recognize a car, they can associate it with XPeng’s brand identity at the first sight through the same style of front face.
In G9, there is a very smart point: the continuation of the family history style is shown vividly and incisively, and the X-style is perfectly coordinated with the appearance design.
Another detail is the light band on P7 and P5 that runs through the car. Although it looks very cool, it often causes screen flicker when taking photos with a mobile phone. However, this issue has been optimized in G9.
If I have to identify a crucial feature of G9 in the exhibition, I would say it is the wheels.
The wheel of a car can determine the overall appearance of a car. G9’s wheel design is highly mature and fits the overall posture of G9, which can be said to prop up the momentum of the car.
What’s more valuable is that XPeng has designed a low wind resistance wheel with highly ornamental and efficient. The apparent five thick spokes are, in fact, five decorative plates, which reduce wind resistance and weight of the wheel.
The size of this wheel is 255/45 R21, and the tire is Michelin’s Pilot Sport EV.
Smart integration of sensors
G9’s first impression is coordination. In addition to design reasons, all sensors of G9 have been smartly integrated into the vehicle’s lines.
At the beginning of 2021, NIO Day launched the lookout-style laser radar layout scheme and the horn-shaped perception camera layout scheme, which caused some discomfort to many people.
By the end of 2021, it can be seen that too many car models compromise their looks for advanced driver assistance systems, such as the ARCFOXhu Alpha S and Avita 11 which adopt Huawei’s solution, and even some models directly mount the LiDAR on the roof without any modification, resembling a sudden hat.
On this point, the G9 ingeniously integrates the LiDAR and headlights, and hides the cameras in various decorations on the body. The 5G signal antenna is also well integrated behind the roof luggage rack.
In terms of design and sensor layout, the G9 combines them perfectly.
The official body dimensions of the XPeng G9 have not yet been announced, but it is estimated that the length of this car will reach around 5,100 mm, and the wheelbase is also close to 3,000 mm.
With such a large body size, we hope that the G9 will have a 6/7-seater version. Based on the current market demand, the 6-seater version is in high demand.
When it comes to the market, XPeng G9’s main competitors are NIO ES8, Li Auto One, Cadillac LYRIQ, and so on.
Devotion to Technology
In terms of appearance, the G9 is already capable of being called a “flagship”, but to be a real flagship, “technology” is the most crucial point.
For XPeng, the most difficult part is that the P7 and P5 have already integrated the most advanced technology and form in the intelligent field. The G9 not only needs to achieve the current highest level in the industry, but also needs to surpass the highest level in the industry.
Not long ago, when I was chatting with XPeng’s friends, they lamented that the development of the industry is too fast. At that time, I teased him and said that the industry is so fast because of them. He laughed and told me, “I’m afraid that others won’t keep up, but once they do, the pressure is still immense.”
Even in the eyes of many industry insiders, XPeng’s innovation in intelligence is a guiding light.
Fortunately, the G9 is still this guiding light.
X-EEA 3.0 Electrical and Electronic Architecture
The biggest innovation of the G9 is the upgrade of the electrical and electronic architecture. Hardware determines the upper limit of a car’s capabilities.The changes in the electronic and electrical architecture are extremely difficult to understand and perceive for the general public, but for the engineers, it is both important and challenging. Here, we hope to explain the differences between X-EEA 3.0 and other car models in the simplest language possible.
G9 adopts a high-merger hardware architecture with central supercomputing and regional control.
There are two keywords here, the first being “central supercomputing.”
In traditional car models, multiple ECUs are responsible for multiple functions. In G9, all calculations are centralized into a single ECU with extremely powerful computing power.
If we compare a car to a company, different departments are like the different functions of a car, and in traditional car models, each department is equipped with computers with different configurations based on the type of work. However, in G9, a company only has one supercomputer, and all calculations are centralized in one place.
There are three benefits:
- Functions will no longer be limited by the computing power of individual units.
- The structure is simpler.
- Computing power is used more efficiently.
The second keyword is “regional control.”
Different functions have different controllers, like the different remote controls for the lights, air conditioning, and fans in a home.
However, traditional control is based on the function, such as one switch controlling all the lights in a home, and one switch controlling all the air conditioning in a home. With this type of control, it is necessary to run a wire from the switch controller to each room.
In this era of increasing numbers of devices, the wiring in cars has become more complex, increasing costs, design difficulties, vehicle weight, and post-maintenance difficulties. This is purely detrimental.
Regional control solves all these issues by dividing the vehicle into regions, with one controller responsible for one region, greatly reducing the complexity of the wiring.
The controllers in G9 are divided into four parts: central control, left side body, right side body, and intelligent driving, smart cockpit control. After the hardware and software are decoupled, the system can better mobilize the various hardware components of the vehicle. However, this also poses a new challenge for software.
Under this electronic and electrical architecture, the limitations of G9’s software innovation are greatly reduced, which provides the most basic guarantee for the subsequent functions.
This is also the guarantee for G9’s flagship status.
XPILOT, XPeng’s assisted driving technology, has entered the 4.0 era on G9, and its hardware information is as follows:
- 2 LIDARs (VLP-16)
- 12 cameras (dual front vision at 8MP, side vision at 2.9MP)
- 5 millimeter-wave radars.- 12 ultrasonic radar sensors
- 2 NVIDIA Orin X chips (total computing power of 508 TOPS)
From a hardware perspective, XPeng does not seem to be as strong as the current leading automakers, whether it is “only” 2 8-megapixel cameras, “only” 2 lidars, or “only” 508 TOPS computing power, none of which can be considered absolute “flagships”.
But in my opinion, this is the rationality behind XPeng’s absolute strength. The same example can be taken with Tesla. Compared with the auxiliary driving hardware of other automakers, Autopilot can be said to be very rudimentary, but who dares to say that it completely surpasses Autopilot in terms of ability?
Although XPeng’s hardware is not the top, its actual ability is the most displayed among all automakers, whether it is the strongest NGP navigation assistance function or the point-to-point global auxiliary driving capability displayed by 1024 points.
“In last night’s earnings conference call, He XPeng also revealed that XPILOT 4.0 is aimed at the global market and will break away from the constraints of high-precision maps.”
Such promises are often more convincing than a rich hardware configuration sheet.
800V SiC, 480 kW self-built charging pile
After taking a look at XPeng’s expertise in “intelligence”, let’s take a look at the foundation. After all, this is a global model, and we are confident that we can surpass all European companies in the field of intelligence. However, at the level of “cars”, G9 needs to face the mature and strong traditional European automakers.
In terms of endurance, G9 is equipped with a 100 kWh battery. XPeng did not disclose the actual endurance capacity, but based on the body size and battery capacity, we speculate that G9’s endurance will be about 600-650 km.
Compared with the European market, such endurance can be said to be hard to find an opponent. However, I am not satisfied with this data in the Chinese market. We still hope that the endurance of electric vehicles can be improved.
In the view of XPeng Motors, the current endurance capacity is no longer the bottleneck for electric vehicle travel. The next step is to improve the charging speed, so XPeng’s strategy is to strengthen the supercharging system.
“At this year’s 1024 Tech Day, XPeng Motors officially released the 480kW ultra-fast charging technology. Based on the 800V electrical platform and 600A high current, G9 can achieve 200 km of energy replenishment in 5 minutes.”
In addition, to improve the efficiency of electricity consumption, the G9 will also be equipped with silicon carbide power devices, instead of IGBT which is commonly used in most vehicles. The silicon carbide power devices can not only bear higher power, but also have higher efficiency. Therefore, it is expected that with the same 100 kWh battery, the G9 will have some surprises in terms of its range.
After analyzing all the known hardware of the G9, it is expected that XPeng has reached the industry’s highest level in almost all dimensions. What is even more surprising is that on the smart side, XPeng has continued to break through the ceiling and reached a new height.
In our community, the expected price of the G9 is expected to be above 350,000 yuan, and even more than 400,000 yuan if software customization is included. This means that XPeng, who started with a compact car priced at around 100,000 yuan, has successfully elevated its brand to the high-end market.
Upgrading the brand has always been the most difficult problem for all car companies.
Many carmakers confidently launch high-end models to improve their brand image, but the sales are usually disappointing, and the more affordable models with prices around 100,000 yuan are still the best-selling models. This is a common phenomenon in the industry. However, XPeng seems to have achieved this with relative ease.
Therefore, the core of brand upgrading still lies in product development. When a car company’s products become better and better and become the industry leader, naturally people will buy them.
The G9 does not need to roar to display its strength.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email email@example.com.