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Xiaomi's Third Model Will Feature a Range Extender for the First Time

Xiaomi's third model will feature a range extender for the first time 11 photos
Photo: sugardesign_1 via Instagram
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Xiaomi launched its first electric vehicle in March and is already on track to sell 100,000 units this year. However, it doesn't stand still, and it's already working on future projects, including a compact crossover rivaling the Tesla Model Y. However, the Chinese company is also chasing high-volume models, with a rumored range-extender plug-in hybrid model.
Xiaomi surprised everyone when it announced plans to build a car in 2021. At the time, all eyes were on Apple's iCar, known as Project Titan, which was expected to bear fruits soon. However, Apple killed the project after burning $10 billion without tangible results. This is why very few believed that Xiaomi would actually launch a car. After all, if Apple couldn't do it, who would? Well, it turned out that Xiaomi did better than Apple, and the SU7 sedan launched in March.

This still didn't turn skeptics into believers, considering how hard it is to go from a prototype to series production. EV startups left and right struggle to survive, with some going bankrupt after launching their first models. Few considered Xiaomi to have a different fate, but against all odds, the SU7 proved a resounding success. The technology juggernaut found resources to ramp up production faster than expected and is now on track to deliver its 100,000th car by the end of the year.

Xiaomi is not sleeping on its success and is working on new models. We've already seen a modified SU7 testing on Nürburgring, confirming that the Chinese carmaker is expanding the lineup with a performance variant. Previous reports indicated that a rival to the Tesla Model Y is also in development, with production planned for next year. However, a new report from China suggests that Xiaomi is not set to remain an EV maker like Tesla, with a plug-in hybrid also in the works.

This should be the third model in the lineup, with a launch planned in 2026. For the first time, Xiaomi is considering adding a range extender. This will allow it to shrink the battery pack and lower the price even further, making the new model more attractive. Although nearly half of all new vehicles sold in China are powered by a battery, interest in plug-in hybrids remains high.

The range-extender model is a family model, most probably a compact crossover. The report says that Xiaomi has undergone two development stages, each resulting in a prototype. This suggests that the project is already very advanced. Xiaomi targets young families, which is another way to say the future model will be as cheap as chips.

One way it will achieve this goal is by using lower-quality parts for non-critical components. Specifically, Xiaomi intends to replace automotive-grade components that aren't safety-related with consumer-grade hardware. Cheaper electronics will power cabin cameras and the infotainment system, for instance. Xiaomi also plans a modular approach with this model, allowing customers to add more features post-delivery, lowering the base price.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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