This is the all new Arcfox Lite, one of the most significant electric cars to hit the Chinese car market this year. Because: 1) it is not based on a petrol powered car, like 99% of all the other Chinese EVs. 2) It is positioned as a ‘premium mini EV’, stepping away from the cheap-ass EVs that all the other car makers make.
3) It is the first car of the Arcfox brand, which will make only electric cars. 4) It is using rather advanced materials to keep it light. 4) it is loaded to the max with tech. 5) It looks genuinely great and cool. 6) It has LED displays fore and aft where the driver and the passenger can display their own massages.
The display can display Chinese characters, the Western alphabet, graphics, and emoticons.
The Arcfox brand is owned by BJEV, and that in turn in a subsidiary of the Beijing Auto Industry Corporation (BAIC), commonly know as Beijing Auto. The brand is aimed at young hipsters living in big cities. Later on Arcfox will launch car sharing schemes.
Right now however it is a buy only. Price after-subsidies starts at 93,800 yuan and ends at 106,800 yuan ($14,160 – 16,122).
This display shows a graphic of a setting sun.
Power comes from an electric motor with 49 hp and 120 Nm, mated to a not-too powerful 16.4 KWh battery. The motor is located over the front axle, the batteries below the floor. Range is 170 kilometers and top speed 110 km/h. Charging on a fast charger takes just half an hour (to 80% battery). On 220V is takes 6.5 hours.
Size: 2986/1676/1492, and wheelbase is 1870.
Curb weight is 895 kilo, which is light. The technology to create this lightness is called Air Tech. ArcFox says that the frame is made of aluminum alloy, the body from carbon fiber reinforced composite, and the body panels from plastic. They claim a total weight saving of 40%. They also said that the dashboard is made out of a magnesium alloy tube beam, saving 30% weight compared with a standard dash.
The colors of the display can be changed too. Here is says ‘Lite! Look!.
Everything seems well-put together and well-designed.
The interior is a tech-fest. It comes with three 8 inch screens. One in front of the driver, one in the middle, and one in front of the passenger. More on the screens below. Sadly, the build quality of the interior doesn’t seem to match the exterior. Look at the small hatch on the left side, the one-yuan pedals, and especially the looks of of the lower part of the center tunnel. Did Arcfox run out of money after they fitted all those fancy screens?
The glove box and the area around it don’t look premium either. Cheap plastics!
Okay, the screen. Screen in front of driver displays the usual dials but it can also show the map and entertainment.
The center screen has all the usual infotainment functions, …
… and the map, and …
… the setup for the displays. Here is shows various standard messages, including Wet Road, Baby in Car, the brand name, and something called Safe Driver. The Chinese text says ‘icy road, be careful’. So the English phrase ‘Wet Road’ is wrong, it should be Icy Road.
The display in front of the passenger. The graphics are so so, but kinda ‘connected’. It comes with separate infotainment, so the passenger can listed to different music or watch a different movie.
But best of all: the screen has yet again the map. So the missus can read directions for her hubby, just like in the old days! Or she can connect the headphone, listen to music, and do nothing.
And while she does all that she can also change the text on the display. Shown here is the black display on the DIY (do it yourself) function, where one can add whatever one wants. Yes, one can add bad words. New text always overrides the old, do driver and passenger can have a nice fight.
Display displays a face.
The tailgate opens up and down, still leaving a very small hole, and a very small space.
Showing pink and orange lines, like a 1980’s computer game.
Concluding: it looks great (matte gray from factory), it has the tech, and it has a segment for itself. But it is pricey even for all the new it offers, range is a bit on the short side, and some interior details really look too cheap for a ‘premium’ vehicle. So it is significant still, but there is clearly room for some improvement.