ZEEKR 009 Brilliance: 78.9K Price Tag, Ultimate Luxury Launches Tonight

Priced at 789,000 yuan, the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance was just launched tonight.

Just before the launch, I had a deep experience with this car in Xiamen. After the experience, I am willing to call this car the ultimate experience of iceboxes, color TVs, and large sofas at this stage.

Particularities of Design

In comparison to the previously launched ZEEKR 009, the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance doesn’t possess a large exterior difference, but all nuances have significantly increased the manufacturing costs and complexity.

What holds the most fascinating story is the front grille. Its black stainless steel material is incredibly charming, and ZEEKR names it as the BLACK BADGE. Indeed, Rolls-Royce also carries the same series, equally applying a black stainless steel front grille. At the test-driving site, ZEEKR also put forward Cullinan and Phantom for free experiences and contrasts.

The ZEEKR 009 Brilliance carries a larger front grille, the manufacturing process of which requires 6 rounds of 30 hours of skillful handwork, followed by electroplating procedures which approximately take a whole week. Thus, the production volume of the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance is likely to be minimal; or one might say, this vehicle is made precisely for an elite minority.

The second differentiation lies in the hub. The wheel hub cap remains stationary notwithstanding the wheel’s rotations, in resemblance to a feature equipped in Rolls-Royce. Concurrently, the 20-inch floating forged wheel hub also presents mirror effects. Unlike the hub of the Phantom on the side, the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance also incorporates a laser engraving pattern.

The third divergence is located on the roof–the lidar. The assisted driving hardware of the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance is identical to the all-new ZEEKR 001, meaning it’s equipped with dual Mobileye EyeQ5H chips. However, ZEEKR 009 Brilliance’s owners will probably be seated in the second row and be one step ahead in realizing L5 autonomous driving. Hence, the intelligent driving system is but the icing on the cake.

Aside from the three points mentioned, exterior differences are arguably minor, implying the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance is a rather subtle model. Thus, I believe the ZEEKR 009 Brilliance is more suitable for the high-end population with low-profile travel needs. If you are seeking extravagance, indeed, more luxury brands are available for choice.## The Experience of the Second Row?

The spotlight of the MPV is at the back row. Let’s first take a look at how one enters the ZEEKR 009 Glory. The car door is large enough, with a width of 709 mm and a height of 1,241 mm according to official data. There is only one step to get into the car, and the step is quite low, only 384 mm high. There is also a high-quality and sufficiently long handrail, which is convenient for passengers of different ages to get in and out of the car.

The only issue arises when entering or exiting the car if the vehicle is charging; the charging port cover will block the left side sliding door, making it impossible to open the door.

The ZEEKR 009 Glory uses a four-seat layout, and the two rear seats are placed further back compared to those in a regular MPV, ensuring unlimited legroom. The position is just at the level with C-pillar, which makes the overall structure quite robust and can be coined as C-ring. According to the official data, the deformation of the vehicle structure is 3 cm in a side collision at a speed of 50 km/h and a weight of 1.4 tons.

Once seated, there is a large television in front of the passengers, with a size of 43 inches. As a car infotainment screen, it leads the market in terms of its specs and size. However, if we consider it as a television, it is not top-notch.

This screen has a resolution of 3840*2160 and it contains 576 zones with Mini-LED material.

One of the advantages of a Mini-LED screen is that it can deliver higher brightness and contrast, making HDR 1000 high dynamic contrast and Dolby Vision possible.

When watching high-quality content, the advantages of this screen are prominent. The sun, fire and other bright objects will be very bright, and the night very dark. However, Mini-LED also has its limitations. It can hardly exhibit any superiority over regular LCD screens when displaying pictures like a starry sky. Even if there is only one star in the zone, the whole zone needs to be lighted up.

The system is fairly similar to a TV box, being operable through remote control or central armrest screen, thus easy to operate.

One of the highlights of the system is its video conferencing capability. Currently, only DingTalk is available. During a video conference, the retractable camera slowly lowers, providing a good view.

Another bright spot is screen casting. I tried to mirror my computer screen inside the car. When I opened the spreadsheet in the car, I was genuinely amazed. For bosses who wish to read documents and reports in the back row, it’s an ideal mobile office environment. With a 220 V AC power source in the car, one can even contemplate permanently installing a mini mainframe inside.

Arriving at the seats, the headrests, backrests, seat cushions, leg supports, and armrests of these two seats are made of semi-aniline leather, with a total area of 3 square meters.

In terms of comfort features, the adjustment, heating, ventilation, massage, and other functions of these two seats are quite plentiful. 24-way electric adjustment, 7-zone graphene heating, 20-point real finger massage… If you visit a ZEEKR store, you must try these two seats. After a tiring day of test driving and shooting, I got into the car, turned on the music, and fell asleep within just 5 minutes. It can be said that comfort is the top-notch attribute and key feature of these two seats.

After resting, I opened the little desk board; its stability is pretty impressive- it barely wobbles. Whether you’re working on your laptop or replying to a message on your phone, it works smoothly.

Naturally, there are a couple of small drawbacks with these two seats.

The first is that they cannot fully recline like seats in a first-class airplane cabin can. Of course, for safety reasons, they can fully recline when the car is parked, but should remain seated while in motion. The second gripe is that the armrest in between the two seats is a bit narrow. A wider armrest would enhance the overall experience.

ZEEKR 009’s front and rear rows are entirely separated, effectively creating an independent, private space.

At the top of the partition, there’s a small window that can be raised or lowered. When opened, it allows for conversation between the front and rear rows. When closed, communication can still be accomplished via an intercom system.

The four side windows in the second row are more like LCD screens, hence the name “LC Intelligent Dimming Glass”, with LC standing for “Liquid Crystal”. This gives them a wavy, screen-like appearance when lightly pinched.

When electricity is supplied to the glass, they become transparent, and when the power is cut, they darken. Compared to the EC curtains used in many cars, the LC Intelligent Dimming Glass changes color faster, transitioning from fully transparent to completely dark within 1.5 seconds. Furthermore, their heat insulation and UV protection are also excellent. At their darkest, the total solar transmittance is less than 30%, and they can block 99.9% of UV rays.

According to the engineers at the scene, these four pieces of side window glass aren’t cheap, with a single piece costing around 10,000 yuan.

The actual perception of the side window glass and one-way glass are quite different. In its darkest state, it’s only possible to see the inside of the car when closely peering through the window. At any greater distance, definitive details are elusive.

However, the privacy protection leaves something to be desired. The side and front windows provide substantial concealment, yet the rear window remains relatively transparent. As explained by the engineers, there are regulatory restrictions preventing rear windows from being completely opaque as the side windows. For those seeking increased privacy post-purchase, manual sun blinds can be attached and appropriate attachment points have been pre-allocated.

To Drive or to be Driven?

The ZEEKR 009 dazzles with its focus on passenger comfort, while also delivering powerful performance. First off, it’s equipped with an 800V high-voltage system. This includes a 108 kWh lithium battery pack, a front asynchronous motor, and a rear permanent magnet synchronous motor, offering a total maximum power of 580 kW, and peak torque 810 N·m. Both motors utilize SiC power semiconductor technology for improved electric driving performance.

Given this hardware configuration, the ZEEKR 009 can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 230 km/h, setting the mark for the fastest MPV. Under CLTC conditions, the ZEEKR 009 offers a range of 702 km. Additionally, it supports up to 5C charging, with a maximum charging power of 560 kW. It can go from 10% to 80% charge in as little as 11.5 minutes.

Although I still insist an MPV with such high performance isn’t particularly necessary, its implementation might cater to the demands of the target consumers.

In Conclusion

Four-seater MPVs are inevitably seen as luxurious, niche, and perhaps even somewhat wasteful. Its appeal is hindered by sacrificed practicality, likely deterring numerous prospective family car owners. Regardless, whether it’s a ZEEKR 009 or Lexus LM, four-seater MPVs hold their unique value within the market.

Among the car owners I know, there’s one who boasts an expansive collection of luxury sedans and high-performance sports cars, as well as four-seater MPVs. Yet, when deciding to travel, it’s the four-seater MPV he opts for, valuing its superior ride comfort. Now, with the launch of the ZEEKR 009, I believe it’s poised to win over the hearts of affluent clientele, marking another milestone for domestic brands in carving out higher-end markets.

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