Maxime Fontanier crosses Norway, landing point for Chinese manufacturers in Europe, and pushes open the door of the showrooms that have recently opened in Oslo. After Nio and Voyah, he becomes interested in Xpeng and tries out the high-end P7 Performance electric sedan.
Between the Model 3 and the Model S
Readers criticize us for regularly making comparisons with Tesla when we present an electric car from another brand. The American manufacturer is an important historical reference in the electric market, whether we like its productions or not. With the Xpeng P7, we will create an even closer connection, so much does this Chinese electric sedan play with Tesla codes.
With a footprint of 4.88 x 1.90 m and a height of 1.45 m, it fits between the Model 3 (4.69 x 1.85 x 1.44 m) and the Model S (4.97 x 1 .96 x 1.45m). The Xpeng P7 Wing Edition we tested has a red coating in the Elytron X-Wing doors.
” Stylistically, this electric car is very original. It has a very clean line with an aerodynamic coefficient close to that of a Tesla Model 3 “, compares Maxime Fontanier. The face of the machine is crossed out with a full LED optical line, and the roof is covered with panoramic glass.
Integral Motor Skills
As standard, the Xpeng P7 Performance stands on 19-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires in 245/45. In this version, this large electric sedan from the Chinese brand founded in 2014 has all-wheel drive. And this thanks to 2 synchronous motors with permanent magnets that offer a total power of 316 kW (430 hp) for a maximum torque of 655 Nm – enough to complete the exercise from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. In contrast, 3.3 s for the Tesla Model 3 Performance.
Motorization drive: an NMC lithium-ion battery (nickel-manganese-cobalt) with an energy capacity of 80 kWh. To power it at home or from a public AC outlet, the Xpeng P7 Performance has an 11 kW charger.
In DC stations, you have to be content with less than 100 kW of power via the combo CCS connector. We imagine this low score compared to the competition is a desire to preserve battery longevity. However, the latter benefits from an internal temperature management system with possible preheating before charging begins.
Somewhat sparse stem
Like the Tesla Model 3, the Xpeng P7 is a four-door sedan. So it doesn’t have a tailgate. This negatively affects the practicality and volume of the trunk. It actually only offers 440 liters, which are hidden behind a rather narrow entrance. The seat backrest can be folded down in two parts for breakdown assistance. However, due to the lack of height, this light modularity does not allow small furniture or certain household appliances to be loaded so easily.
No false bottom due to the lithium-ion pack there. So are the charging cables doomed to roam around in that trunk? No, not necessarily as there is a 66L frunk under the front hood. This space is wide without being too deep. It will also occasionally isolate some food or delicate items for example.
Passengers sit in the back
The wheelbase of 3 m is particularly beneficial for passengers sitting in the rear of the Xpeng P7. If they already benefit from space to fully accommodate the knees, the presence of the panoramic glass paneling frees up ample headroom. The buttocks are a bit deep though. With only 2 people, elbow room is also very good.
A third can be inserted in the middle, despite a service tunnel that is quite high without appearing too bulky. The armrest with cup holders, which retracts into the backrest at this point, is sufficiently padded to provide a satisfactory level of comfort for this guest.
Note that the upholstery is covered with genuine leather. The massive backrests of the front seats somewhat obstruct the view of the road. The well-made door panels are covered with soft materials and an LED lighting line. For the atmosphere on board, 14 loudspeakers are distributed in the cabin, including at the height of the driver’s headrest.
The driver’s view
The Xpeng P7’s electric scissor doors are undoubtedly pretty, but not really practical for getting behind the wheel. Note that they are equipped with sensors to avoid shaking. We also imagine many motorists might be annoyed by the camera placed just behind the steering wheel, facing the driver. The one installed in the Tesla at the height of the interior mirror is less obtrusive.
Two digital screens are installed in a row on the P7: 15 inches for the infotainment system + 10 inches for the instrumentation. Even if the latter is absent from the Model 3, the whitish background of the 2 tablets still evokes the universe of the American manufacturer. This set is more complete and makes a lot of information easier to read, including instantaneous speed and GPS directions.
The processing on the front is also discreet due to the use of upholstery materials. The hard parts have no contact with the occupants, especially at knee level. Only the plastic under the large screen looks a bit cheap. That doesn’t stop our tester from finding the riding position “very good”.
“Corresponds largely to European standards”
Inductive charger, drink holder, sockets (USB and 12 V) and numerous storage spaces, including a deep flap under the center armrest, are available to the passengers in the front area of the Xpeng P7. With a well-done cartography, the GPS benefits from a correct fluidity of use. However, the multimedia system is not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The screen lets you select a driving mode from Standard, Sport, Eco, and Stable options. In any case, and without a paddle on the steering wheel to play to its power, the regeneration seemed too easy to us. She misses sports. Even in Eco, where it’s most present, it’s too limited and doesn’t go as far as locking the vehicle without using the brake pedal.
The modes also affect the feel of the steering and controlled suspensions. ” In the end we find the universe of a Tesla but with improved ergonomics, a very neat finish largely in line with European standards », says Maxime Fontanier.
The first wheel revolutions
New reference to Tesla with the small lever to the right of the steering wheel that serves as a gear selector. Maneuvers are facilitated by a 360-degree view. Xpeng develops autopilot capabilities, the P7 is surrounded by 14 cameras, 12 sensors and 5 radars. The turning circle is not outstanding at 11.7 m. However, it’s within the standards for a car the size of this electric sedan. The steering is rather soft and light.
Notice the reflections of the dashboard in the windshield. Front and rear visibility is somewhat limited. Fortunately, to compensate, the door mirrors and the feedback from the detection systems are effective. Even while driving, it is possible to get images from the cameras on the central screen. Our tester, on the other hand, points out the missing wiper on the rear window.
Test Tesla Model 3 Performance 2021: The best electric car?
The Xpeng P7 knows how to muscularly accelerate to hold its own on freeways and highways. Cruise control is managed like a Tesla. The Chinese electric sedan copes well with the lines. In our test, after 5 seconds it gives a visual and silent reminder that the driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel.
With proper soundproofing, road and air noise occur from 120 km/h. The regulated suspensions ensure good comfort on board. ” It’s less solid than a Tesla ‘ said the man in the hat.
On the other hand, with a consumption of around 18.5 kWh/100 km at a speed of 110 km/h, the P7 is slightly more greedy than a Model 3. This is acceptable for a car of this length and an unladen weight of 2.13 tons. The American in the performance version is favored by its 1,836 kg. So it will be possible to get a little over 400 km on a full charge. By tickling the machine a little more sportily, the consumption values can climb to 24 kWh/100 km.
In sport mode, to approach a series of corners, the Xpeng P7 strengthens its suspension. The chassis has a double wishbone system at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. ” It doesn’t roll too much, that’s not bad. On the other hand, the direction remains quite easy ‘ says the car journalist.
With Brembo calipers up front, braking efficiency is reassuring. Overall the machine is well balanced. Which is hardly surprising given the relatively low body. Good surprise for fans of the genre, the P7 knows how to be playful and slide a little from behind in a tire squeal when heckled. ” It is pleasant ‘ admits Maxime Fontanier, who admits to being impressed by this Chinese electric car.
” It’s undoubtedly the Tesla Model 3’s best current competitor, perhaps with the Polestar ‘ he translates.
In the Norwegian market, the Xpeng P7 Performance is offered at a similar price to the Tesla Model 3 Performance: 53,200 euros versus 53,500 for the American. However, the model we tested benefits from superior equipment, which includes in particular the famous front doors in Elytron. That means the Chinese sedan will be cheaper with an equivalent finish and a tight equipment list.
It also comes in a Long Range Propulsion version, which is priced at 46,000 euros, while the Long Range 3 model is priced at 49,500 euros. The entry-level 60kWh small battery Xpeng will be even more competitive against its competitor.
As a reminder, electric cars are not taxable in Norway, while French drivers also pay 20% VAT and may have to deduct a government bonus that depends on the price level.
We invite you to find our electric car reviews on YouTube. By signing up and agreeing to receive notifications, you will be quickly informed about our new releases.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter