Zeekr X electric debuts as new VW ID 3 rival


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Zeekr’s new electric crossover will be one of the first export 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 its public debut at the Shanghai motor show. The brand is yet to announce any plans for Australia.

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. It will go on sale in Europe alongside the Zeekr 001 shooting brake, and the brand says it will follow up with a new model for the market every six months.

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Zeekr’s first European markets are Sweden and the Netherlands – where it will launch late this year – but other countries will “quickly follow”. While Australia is yet to be confirmed in its plans, right-hand drive production has been announced for the UK.

The X crossover 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 001 and 009 MPV.

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

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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.

It is likely to share single-motor RWD and dual-motor 4WD systems with the Smart #1, an offering also due to be carried over to the Volvo EX30 arriving later this year.

Zeekr has confirmed a headlining performance version of the X will have a 0-100km/h time of under 4.0sec, indicating it is likely to receive the same 310kW 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 through its stock exchange debut on a valuation put at more than $10bn.

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