We have received a flock of new photos of the LeSee EV, China’s new Tesla killer. The LeSee EV is a concept for now but the company says the production version won’t differ much. They are already testing with the production car and say the test vehicles have reached a 211 km/h top speed. The LeSee EV will have its public debut on Monday on the Beijing Auto Show, where we will sure check it out.
It is a habit in China to have concept cars signed on their debut. The signers are usually the boss, his cronies, and the designer. LeSee logo on the ‘grille’, which is hiding all sorts of sensors. The headlights are build-in in between the top of the grille and the bonnet, also see this photo.
Very good looking from the side, love the lines going from the front fender to the roof and lower doors.
LeEco focuses on consumer electronics, connectivity, and electric cars. As for the latter the are currently working on three main passenger car projects: LeSee, Faraday Future in the United States, and the electric Aston Martin Rapide in the United Kingdom.
LeEco has been founded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, who also runs LeTV. LeEco is the largest shareholder in Faraday Future. Things seem to go well; work on the new one-billion dollar factory in Las Vegas has begun, and the first car, likely an SUV, is expected in 2017. The company is also expected to make a small-series supercar based on the crazy FaradayFFZERO1 that debuted in Las Vegas.
Back now to LeSee; The name can be hacked in two. Le comes from LeTV, and means ‘fun’ in Chinese. SEE is short for ‘Super Electric Ecosystem’. And that has all to do with the faraway-future plans of the company; they want to build an entirely new automotive ecosystem consisting of electric cars communicating full-time with each other and with the wider world, connected-cars and connected-mobility in one. The cars will use software and networks developed by LeEco. The company has a research facility in Beijing and says it currently employs 750 people in the U.S. and in China.
LeEco has said that the LeSee EV will be manufactured in China, and thus not in the Las Vegas factory.
The concept car works. It was driven on stage and they also demonstrated a smart-phone based remote control system. The production car will be fitted with systems for semi-autonomous driving, note the sensor box in the center of the roof.
Finally a good look at the interior, shot through the window because LeSee didn’t open the doors or windows for the media. The instrument panel is completely digital, and there is a huge screen in the middle. Steering wheel looks very ‘futuristic’ with a thin rim, in gold!
The production version will be equipped with an techy isolated infotainment area for each passenger, so there will be no need for talking, which is becoming a bit of a thing these days, with all those smartphone zombies all over the planet. Will we still be able to talk, in a hundred years or so, or will our voice be gone, by evolution, caused by the smartphone and smart-everything? That aside, the screen looks cool, with a gold-colored control unit below.
The autonomous-driving pod on the panoramic roof.
Rear the strongest point of the design, especially from 3/4. Roof ends in strong shoulder line going to boot lid with a small wing. And on this photo we can also see that there is an air duct behind the front wheel.
Light unit above the bumper.
All in all the vehicle seems surprisingly ‘finished’, indicating production is probably not that far off indeed. More on Monday!