China is the world's biggest EV market, so being able to claim ‘Number one' spot in any sector for the Far East, is quite come achievement. HiPhi says that it is China’s Best-Selling Premium EV Brand – which means a lot of units. It has now officially launched its latest model at an event in Shanghai. The HiPhi Y joins HiPhi’s dual flagship models (X ‘Super SUV’ and Z ‘Digital GT’) – with a combination of bold styling and smart application of the latest technologies. It will be interesting to see if this kind of dedication to quality and tech, will translate into significant sales in Western Europe and beyond.
The Y was unveiled by HiPhi Founder, David Ding, who gave a personal introduction to the Y. Intended as a luxury mainstream model, the Y follows the same LuxTech philosophy as the X and Z. It brings a number of first-in-class features, including the revolutionary second-generation no-touch automatic wing-opening doors, the robotic arm-mounted infotainment screen and the active all-wheel-steering.
Almost 5 metres long and 2 metres wide, it won't be the largest car in this particular class, but it should be able to offer ample storage. If it hits under the £50,000 mark in the UK, then it will clearly draw direct comparisons with Tesla's Model Y.
All of HiPhi's designs have been created to fit in with the company's philosophy of an ‘holistic 3-Smart Strategy'. The idea is that Smart Vehicles lead to Smart Transportation and help to create tomorrow's Smart Cities.
HiPhi looks to offer multiple versions of each product that it creates: Flagship, Long Range, Elite and Pioneer versions. The Long Range model comes equipped with a 115kWh battery and could travel close to 400 miles (WLTP) on a single charge – and should be enough to get you from London to Leeds in one go. The standard battery is 76.6kWh, which is expected to give a very usable WLTP range of just over 260 miles.
Four-wheel, dual motor versions have peak power of up to 371kW, allowing for acceleration from 0 to 60 in less than 4.6 seconds. Rear-wheel-drive single motor versions have peak power of 247kW. At the same time, HiPhi Y is equipped with advanced front double wishbone suspension and rear five-link suspension. A chassis integrated control system uniformly deploys various actuators to achieve the best body control at all times, while the active all-wheel-steering provides stability at high speeds and additional agility at low speeds. It will be interesting to see how this kind of suspension handles the speed-bump-loaded roads of cities like London.
HiPhi Y claims that the Y is the ultimate hi-tech mid-size SUV, featuring an interior equipped with three advanced screens, including a 17-inch OLED centre display, 15-inch HD front passenger touch screen and 12.3-inch full LCD instrument screen. All models also receive a 22.9-inch HD colour heads-up display and a 9.2-inch streaming media rearview mirror. While having lots of screens looks pretty in photos, it can be a distraction – and we have touched on the visual challenges of electronic rear view mirrors before. They are fine, unless you (a) get a drop of water on the rear-facing camera or (b) suffer from long-sightedness.
Behind the front passenger touch screen is a HiPhi Box high-performance computer equipped with a Qualcomm 8250 chip, able to support media casting and Bluetooth connectivity for a keyboard and mouse.
HiPhi Y is also equipped with a Meridian Audio System, featuring up to 25 speakers throughout the car, including two speakers only for the driver. The maximum power output of the amplifier platform is 2,820W and the system has 7.1.4 surround sound. Enough to rouse the neighbours at 3am with a selection of dub-step classics.
HiPhi's audio engineers were given the goal of creating authentic, lifelike and natural sound – which has influenced everything from speaker placement, size and mounting technologies – through to covering and surrounding materials. It was all then tuned for the unique characteristics of this particular SUV. At the heart of the HiPhi system is a suite of Meridian software technologies that optimise the sound for different conditions and allows the user to customise their experience. We're anticipating a graphic equaliser with more than ‘bass and treble' knobs.
The HiPhi Y is available to order now, with examples already delivered to HiPhi Hub showrooms all over China. Customers in Europe will also be able to order a HiPhi Y before the end of 2023, will get a delivery inside 12 months. With operations centres opening in Munich and Oslo, the company clearly has at least one eye on after-sales support.
HiPhi sees itself primarily as a technology company – that happens to be focused on ‘revolutionising the future mobility experience'. Its global team integrates the best of the traditional automotive industry with advanced computing, digital connectivity and artificial intelligence to create a new kind of car for the world.
They look to combine the best of the traditional automotive industry with advanced digital technologies. As the company's CEO is fond of saying, HiPhi vehicles have a “Design defined by scenarios, leading to a vehicle defined by software”.
We look forward to testing the HiPhi Y in 2024.