New 2023 Zeekr X is Volkswagen ID 3 rival with up to 422bhp

1 year, 3 months ago - 06. February 2023, autocar
New 2023 Zeekr X is Volkswagen ID 3 rival with up to 422bhp
Quirky electric crossover will be one of the first European-market models from Geely's premium marque

Geely-owned Zeekr has unveiled its third production model: the X, an electric crossover that will be introduced to European markets following a public debut at the Shanghai motor show in April.

The launch of the new EV kicks off what Zeekr officials say will be an aggressive global marketing push by the Chinese car maker, which is aiming to double its annual sales to more than 140,000 units in 2023.

Known under the internal codename BX1E, the new Zeekr X is based on parent company Geely’s Scalable Electric Architecture (SEA) platform – the same structure used by the brand for its first two production models, the Zeekr 001 shooting brake and 009 MPV.

Styled by an in-house team working under the guise of Geely design director Stefan Sielaf, the compact five-door crossover continues Zeekr’s reputation for delivering cars with highly contemporary styling and modern detailing.

Included are thin LED driving lights integrated within the shut lines of the bonnet and horizontally mounted headlights - a look reminiscent of the treatment used by Geely-owned brand Lynk&Co on various models.

Distinctive horizontal tail-lights with simple LED graphics housed at the base of the window dominate the styling at the rear, giving the car plenty of visual width. Vertical reflector units are also mounted at the outer edges of the rear bumper.  The tailgate boasts a high loading lip, and Zeekr has also given its latest model what is perhaps the shortest rear window wiper ever applied to a production car. 

The length, width and height are put at 4450mm, 1836mm and 1572mm respectively. The X rides on a wheelbase measuring 2750mm.

Zeekr is holding back on information relating to the X’s electric drivelines until closer to the new model’s introduction. However, it is likely to share single-motor RWD and  dual-motor 4WD systems with the Smart #1. The Volvo EX30 is also expected to run similar set-ups.

Zeekr has confirmed a headlining performance version of the X will have a 0-62mph time of under 4.0sec, indicating it is likely to receive the same 422bhp driveline at the Smart #1 Brabus.

Zeekr was founded in 2021. In its first full year of production, in 2022, the Geely-owned-and-operated car maker, based in the city of Huangzhou, sold 72,000 cars.

As part of its globalisation plans, Zeekr confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US in December. Details have not yet been revealed, although the Chinese car maker, which will be spun out from Geely to become its own entity, is claimed to be aiming to raise more than $1 billion (£819 million) through its stock exchange debut on a valuation put at more than $10bn  (£8.2bn).

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