IM L6 to launch in May, solid state battery gives 1000 km range

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After debuting earlier this week at the Geneva Motor Show more details are emerging about the IM L6 thanks to government department information. It’s now believed that the fourth model from SAIC brand IM Motors will officially launch in May. Sales in South America and Europe will likely being in 2025.

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The length, width and height of the new car are 4931/1960/1474 mm, and the wheelbase is 2950mm. Weight is 2040 kg for the rear wheel drive version and 2250 kg for the all-wheel drive performance version. The rear wheel drive car gets a 250 kW electric motor whereas performance versions swaps that out for a 379 kW motor and add a 200 kW motor to the front axle.

At launch the car will come with a choice 90 or 100 kWh ternary lithium (NCM) battery packs from CATL. The smaller pack gives the rear wheel drive version a 720 km CLTC range and the all-wheel drive 700 km whereas the 100 kWh battery gives 770 km and 750 km respectively. IM however spoke at Geneva about a version gaining a solid state battery. This they claim will provide over 800 km (WLTP) range or 1000 km CLTC.  

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At the back the car has an upturned ducktail type rear and the car may actually be more of a hatchback than a pure sedan. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) listing information shows that the car really does use the half-spoke yoke steering wheel and that the car will have a choice of four different wheels. Higher spec versions will gain roof mounted Lidar.  

MIIT listing picture showing variations of the IM L6

Weibo (China’s Twitter equivalent) posts by Liu Tao, the CEO of IM, have led Chinese media to believe the driving capabilities or the L6 will be a major selling point. They expect the car to come with self-adjusting damping and have rear-wheel steering and the ability to do tank turns like the Yangwang U8. Speculations also lies around the car’s self-driving capability after IM Motors obtained L3 autonomous driving test permits in Shanghai.

In December 2023 highway NOA (navigation on autopilot) went live for highways in 333 cities nationwide. Urban NOA will gradually be rolled out in the first half of this year.

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Editor’s note:

The IM brand has not been a major success for SAIC with sales last year of 38,253 cars. Given the highly competitive nature of the Chinese NEV market place this is not surprising. IM now going overseas is an obvious attempt to turn the fortunes of the brand around. The simple fact, though, is that SAIC has too many brands. Currently they have Roewe, MG, Rising, Maxus and IM without even counting Wuling. The only one of these with any major difference to the others appears to be IM and it remains to be seen whether when going overseas IM cars will simply be rebadged as MG models as has been done with vehicles from Roewe, Rising and in come cases Maxus.

There is a huge question mark over the solid state battery which IM mentioned at Geneva. Firstly it is not included in the MIIT information so indicating it may be some time off. Nio famously started talking about a semi-solid state battery back in 2022 and said it would deliver that year, now two years later it looks as if we might finally see it. Then there is the factor of cost, the Nio battery is apparently so expensive it is only offered as a short term rental, will IM be able to offer such a battery at an affordable cost to consumers?

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