Sunday China Drive | IM L6: liftback sedan that drives like a Mini Cooper

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Within a week of its official launch, IM Motors secured lock-in orders of over 10,000 units for the IM L6, the fourth vehicle in its lineup. Besides breaking the 25-year-old moose test speed record, IM claims the new L6 is loaded with cutting-edge technology. How does this liftback sedan stack up against the Xiaomi SU7 and the Zeekr 007? Let’s go on a Sunday drive and see how the IM L6 performs! 

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Booking for a test drive

I have made an online reservation for a test drive. After three days, I finally received a call from IM’s headquarters in Shanghai to confirm my booking. When I arrived at the given location, I only found that a Zeekr shop had replaced IM at the shopping mall. 

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I quickly searched online to find the closest location. Upon arrival at the only IM dealership in Zhuhai, I discussed the confusion with the IM rep, and a test drive of the L6 was arranged on the spot. In total, I drove close to an hour to get to this destination.  

First Impressions

Our test car was the L6 Max Long Range (RWD), priced at 275,900 yuan (38,100 USD). It carries the design language of the LS6 SUV, making the IM L6’s appearance slick and sporty. The car has a sloping roof with hidden door handles, allowing the L6 to achieve an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.226 Cd. 

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The IM L6 has frameless doors. It is incorporated with a ducktail spoiler. Despite being a liftback sedan, it has no rear screen wiper. All the panels are well aligned. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design/ University of the Arts London is responsible for IM L6’s design. 

The Interior

Upon entering the IM L6, the familiar interior design of the LS6 SUV is apparent. The appearance of the “puffy” dashboard may take some time to get used to. POPO seats are ventilated without massaging. 

The large liftback sedan measures 4931/1960/1474 mm and has a wheelbase of 2950 mm, providing lots of leg room for the rear passengers. The rear seats offer good leg support with manually adjustable back support. It has a large panoramic roof. 

The IM L6 is a technological marvel equipped with cutting-edge features such as Nvidia Orin X, Qualcomm 8295, and LiDAR. We had the pleasure of testing the innovative multi-angle Carlog, which uses built-in cameras for in-car Vlog recording, and the City Drive, which provides local content on the car display. These features, while fun to have, also add a touch of practicality to your driving experience. 

Surprisingly, the self-developed 21-speaker car stereo system was very analytical, with punchy bass.  


The IM L6 has a small trunk that fits the charging cables. It has a large boot with a 457-liter capacity and the versatility of a liftback sedan. 60/40 split fold-down rear seats provide more expandability while carrying oversized luggage. 

Behind the Wheel

The driver’s seat was snug and comfortable. While my eyes could see the instrument cluster clearly above the Tesla yoke-like steering wheel, my left hand unintentionally reached the 10 o’clock position of the steering wheel only to find nothing to hold on to. “The steering is too light,” I said after getting used to the yoke steering wheel. “Let me adjust it for you,” the IM representative replied. After a few moments, the steering wheel felt much firmer. 

The IM L6’s driving dynamics remind me of an American sports saloon. It offers effortless acceleration and a sense of prestige. Since SIAC and GM have been partners since 1997, the SAIC-produced IM vehicle is bound to be influenced. 

I found the ride quality from the chassis is more refined in sports mode than in comfort mode. The new car features VMC (Vehicle Motion Control) smart digital chassis technology, rear-wheel steering, intelligent electronic damping, and ICS gimbal control to minimize body roll. This translates to a fun-to-drive mid-plus-size liftback sedan. The IM L6 shines when making a hairpin turn with its 4WS, allowing it to be handled like a Mini Cooper instead of a 4.93-meter-long car. Please note: IM L6’s turning radius is 4.99 meters, while the turning radius for the Mini Cooper is 5.3 meters. 

During the test drive, we encountered heavy rain. The IM L6 handled the road confidently like it was on dry roads. The IM rep switched on the “night rain mode.” The cameras below the side mirrors become digital side mirrors, with images clearly displayed on the instrument cluster’s LCD when making lane changes. 

The rear motor generates 300 kW and 500 N-m and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds. This enables the driver to overtake any vehicle effortlessly.  

Since the IM L6 memorizes your route with its radars and cameras, you can use the automated feature to back out of a dead-end stress-free. However, testing the NOA at the traffic lights was disappointing. As the traffic lights turned green, the IM L6 couldn’t decide what to do, just like a driver with a new learner’s permit, resulting in many cars honking at us. Hopefully, this can be fixed with an OTA update.

We returned to the shopping mall’s parking lot to test the auto parking system. At a complete stop, we selected the difficult parking space. In seconds, the IM L6 was parked.

Battery Range

According to IM, the L6 Max Long Range (RWD) has a range of 850 km (CLTC) and a battery capacity of 100 kWh. In the real world, this translates to roughly 680 km on a single charge. 

Safety Features

Vehicle motion control system: The IM L6 range’s lizard digital chassis manages the car’s movement in three axes, offering six degrees of freedom. It helps the car stay level with the road during cornering, improving stability and enabling higher-speed maneuvers.

Four-wheel steering: enhances flexibility and enables a tight turning radius of 4.99 meters. This system also reduces the space required for parallel parking by 11%.

ICS gimbal control: eliminates rolling and nodding during intense braking, improving passenger comfort. Furthermore, its high-speed emergency obstacle avoidance system reacts 30% faster than a standard ESP system while deviating 80% less.


While the interior of the IM L6 may not be as luxurious as the Zeekr 007 or as sporty as the Xiaomi SU7 on the road, I found myself consistently smiling from the pleasure experience during this test drive.

IM Motors is a collaboration of SAIC Motor Corporation Group, Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, and Alibaba Group. So, finding cutting-edge technology in this car should come as no surprise. While many may still argue that ICE cars are more enjoyable, the combination of these new technologies makes the IM L6 so much fun to drive. 

The IM rep mentioned that the semi-solid state battery version will be available later this year, limited to only 1000 units. Opting for the IM L6 Max Long Range will be a wiser choice. Not only is it cheaper by 71,000 Yuan (10,000 USD), but there is also no need to wait months for the new car to arrive.  

Updated: 30 May, 2024

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