Revolutionizing the Chinese Electric SUV: Haval's Highly Anticipated Owl Dragon Max Unleashed!

Haval brand urgently needs a blockbuster product for the new energy era.

After all, blockbusters have long been the core survival strategy of the Haval brand, particularly the Haval H6, a fuel vehicle era blockbuster that has supported the entire brand for quite some time and can be said to be the sales pillar of the whole Great Wall Motors system.

However, facing the incoming wave of new energy vehicles, although the Haval brand has already made strides towards new energy transformation, it has not yet yielded effective results, and the perception among users is still not clear enough.

Under these circumstances, the mission Haval Cyborg Max takes on is of great significance.

A highly anticipated product

Haval Cyborg Max is a highly anticipated product.

After all, according to the official definition, Haval Cyborg Max is the culmination of Haval’s new energy technology – to be specific, it features a new-generation Coffee OS smart cockpit system, Coffee intelligent driving system, and new smart hybrid four-wheel drive technology Hi4 as three core weapons, aiming to “break the ceiling of China’s new energy SUV value with its strength.”

From the perspective of the smart cockpit, Haval Cyborg Max is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip and a new-generation Coffee OS smart cockpit system, featuring three 12.3-inch integrated floating screens and a W-HUD high-definition display inside the vehicle. At the same time, the “visible and speakable” function not only responds quickly, creating a smooth conversation experience, but can also understand multiple instructions in a single sentence, achieving the so-called “gentlemen move mouths instead of hands.”

In terms of intelligent driving, Haval Cyborg Max is equipped with Coffee intelligent driving system, featuring 22 smart sensors throughout the vehicle (1 smart front-view camera, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 4 surround-view cameras, and 12 ultrasonic radars), giving the vehicle 540° panoramic view (360° panoramic image + transparent chassis) and ultra-strong capabilities. According to the official statement, it can achieve L2+ level intelligent driving assistance in all road conditions, all times, and all weathers.

Notably, leveraging the technology advantages of its in-house developed full-industry chain, Haval has successfully equipped the HWA non-single high-speed scenario gearshift lane change, intelligent cornering, and intelligent dodging functions, which are available only in 300,000-level luxury cars, on the Haval Cyborg Max, aiming to achieve “technology equity” for family cars and turning added options into standard features.

More importantly, Haval Cyborg Max is the first to be equipped with Great Wall’s new electric four-wheel drive Hi4 technology. Based on intelligent energy management and intelligent torque vector control systems, the new Hi4 can intelligently call upon dual electric motors on the front and rear axles, a hybrid-dedicated engine, and achieve switching between 9 modes, including pure electric two-wheel drive, pure electric four-wheel drive, series mode, 1-speed direct drive, 2-speed direct drive, parallel two-wheel drive, parallel four-wheel drive, single-axle energy recovery, and dual-axle energy recovery.

According to the official statement, the new electric four-wheel Hi4 technology comprehensively enhances handling performance, driving safety, and energy-saving attributes in various scenarios and driving conditions, achieving “optimal energy efficiency in all situations and worry-free driving in all conditions,” and creating the ultimate enjoyable driving experience.”Hi4 electric four-wheel-drive technology has no rival within a decade,” emphasized Li Ruifeng, Chief Growth Officer of Great Wall Motor, in an interview. The Hi4 electric four-wheel-drive achieves Haval’s “four-wheel-drive experience, two-wheel-drive price, four-wheel-drive performance, two-wheel-drive energy consumption,” passing the premium to consumers, making the car more affordable, enjoyable to drive, energy efficient, and capable of longer range – a truly equalizing technology.

“Haval also hopes to make the Hi4 four-wheel-drive accessible and widely available in new energy SUVs, changing the way consumers experience and use vehicles.”

Of course, what catches the eye most in such configurations is the official guide price of the Haval First Love Max: CNY 159,800-179,800.

Clearly, whether in terms of product definition, configuration, or price, Haval First Love MAX is aimed directly at the BYD Song PLUS. In particular, compared to the over CNY 200,000 price tag for the two four-wheel-drive versions of the BYD Song PLUS, the Haval First Love Max, priced at just under CNY 180,000, directly conveys benefits to consumers. With this offering, an electric four-wheel-drive can be purchased at a two-wheel-drive price, reflecting Haval’s commitment.

This also shows the confidence and ambition of the Haval First Love MAX.

Multi-faceted approach to new energy transformation

Notably, with the launch of the all-new Haval First Love MAX, the transformation of Haval’s new energy enters a new phase.

In an interview, Li Ruifeng said that Haval had completed the preparatory work for the essential basics of its new energy transformation. Haval has prepared the essential groundwork for its new energy transformation, including a new energy network, new product lineup, new four-wheel-drive technology, new organizational structure, and new pricing system.

As for product layout, Haval will cover urban SUVs and hardcore SUVs as well as PHEV and EV models. Besides the Haval First Love and Haval First Love MAX shown here, there will be six new and updated PHEV models this year. In the short term, Haval adopts a “fuel vehicle + new energy” dual-track strategy, while firmly sticking to the new energy courses of Haval First Love and Haval First Love MAX, which are Haval’s new energy star products and heavyweights.

In addition to the products themselves, Li Ruifeng revealed that the focus on new energy distribution channels is mainly on new outlets development, with over 150 new energy outlets expected to serve as experience centers by mid-to-late May this year. Apart from this, Haval has also laid out other network formats such as supermarkets and flash shops. It is expected that 800 4S stores and other network formats will be completed by the end of this year.

“We have defined a unique image for Haval’s new energy network, including all aspects of hardware, software, and information service processes, as well as a new organization structure.”

In facing Haval’s new energy transformation, Li Ruifeng pointed out that the internal management of Great Wall Motors, dealers, and investors have conducted thorough discussions on the direction and reached a strategic consensus on the new energy transformation and consistency in thinking. Just as he mentioned in a previous interview, manufacturers and dealers now share a high degree of alignment in their goals and strategic directions, working together to build the entire system, including finding channels, constructing and transforming storefronts, recruiting and training dedicated personnel, and operating new stores.”Great Wall Haval has achieved consultation, mutual commitment, and joint creation of the future,” said Li Ruifeng.

It is because dealers and investors have confidence in Haval’s new energy transformation that Haval was able to launch its new online presence for new energy vehicles in a short period of time.

On one hand, Haval prioritizes allocating resources to its group dealers; on the other hand, long-standing dealers who have worked with Great Wall for a decade or more account for 60-70% of all partners, demonstrating not only Haval’s advantage in channel development but also the rapid completion of its new energy vehicle network. The first batch of Haval outlets is now in operation.

As for direct-sale stores, Great Wall Motors began experimenting with this model in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen last year, with brands such as Ora and Tank. But it is still in a trial stage, waiting for feedback and verification. “I believe that professionals should handle professional matters. Dealers are more professional than us when it comes to customer interaction, vehicle sales, delivery, and after-sales service. Our 4S stores still play a critical role in this aspect.”

A key step for Haval in the new energy era

Both Great Wall Motors and the Haval brand need a “Haval H6” for the new energy era.

In fact, since the birth of the Haval H6, it has been the sales leader in the SUV segment for Great Wall Motors. Initially relying on a starting price of 98,900 and a multi-configuration strategy, and benefitting from China’s booming SUV market, the Haval H6 quickly achieved monthly sales of over 10,000 units in its first year. It became the domestic SUV sales champion in 2013 and continued to dominate the market until 2016, when its highest monthly sales reached 80,495 units.

The turning point came in 2017 when the Haval H6 began to show signs of decline due to competition from various rivals. Its sales slipped, but its position as the leading seller remained unshakable. However, even the legendary success of the first-generation model couldn’t withstand the new energy trend. In the 2022 new energy vehicle wave, its sales of 33,318 units in January seemed to be the Haval H6’s last hurrah in the traditional fuel vehicle market, never again taking the top spot in sales.

It wasn’t until August 2022, with the launch of the Haval H6 DHT-PHEV in the new energy market, that Haval’s new energy transformation journey began. However, throughout the past year, Haval’s moves in the new energy segment have not been fully recognized by the market in terms of sales. Haval indeed needs to introduce a more sincere new energy product to convince the market.

That’s where the Haval Xiaolong Max arrives, bringing sincerity along with it.

In fact, Great Wall Motors is currently facing internal transformation issues while also dealing with increasing external competitive pressure. The rapid development of China’s automotive market has entered a stage of quality competition. As competition intensifies, the survival of the fittest accelerates, and only enterprises with sufficient sales scale and comprehensive strength can ensure survival.

Of course, Li Ruifeng remains confident in the future development of Great Wall Motors.In the interview, he stated: “In the second half, we are not only competing on products but also on the vehicle ecosystem.” As the industry intensifies, companies must face the challenges brought by large-scale production systems (R&D, manufacturing, supply chain), and only brands with core technologies and strong foundational capabilities can go further. “This is a marathon battle, and only brands with core technologies and strong foundational capabilities can go further,” emphasized Li Ruifeng.

In other words, this requires companies to compete on overall competitiveness.

Nevertheless, considering the importance of the Haval brand within the Great Wall system, the success or failure of Haval’s new energy transformation largely affects the future of Great Wall Motor’s transition to new energy — in this context, the sales responsibility of Owl Max is even more significant.

In 42HOW’s opinion, the Owl Max can be seen as the Haval brand’s true opening work towards new energy transformation. At present, it has the potential to become a blockbuster. However, to truly prove itself, it needs the market to verify through sales.

The curtain opens, and the battle drums sound – let the bullets fly for a while.

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