Manila, Philippines – Xpeng a company from China has developed the P7, an electric car whose technology and presentation is clearly shaped by Tesla. With Xpeng P7 sales launch in China, it was also noticed that Xpeng’s website looks confusingly similar to Tesla. But an attempt by the Chinese, like Tesla, to demonstrate the performance of their own electric car with a video on social media Twitter, has completely failed.
Xpeng in Tesla’s Blueprint
Xpeng, founded in 2014 by a manager at the car group GAC Group, launched the G3, an electric SUV with a striking resemblance to Tesla Model X – including a large upright touchscreen to the right of the driver and a three-way display behind the steering wheel with an auto-visualization in the middle. The now launched E-Sedan P7 in turn is not only cheaper in base than the cheapest Tesla Model 3 from and in China , the top version is also said to exceed Tesla in terms of range or slightly.
Elon Musk has said on several occasions that part of Tesla’s mission is to get other companies to make electric cars. In 2015, he even released Tesla’s patents on the condition that they are not misused. However, Tesla is less generous with its own autopilot system: a former employee is said to have taken parts of the code to Xpeng.
Like Tesla from RWD to Performance
Xpeng is also closely based on Tesla when it comes to model selection. The P7 will be offered in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, with the all-wheel-drive model being a high-performance version. In addition to the 196 kW (263 HP) rear motor, the all-wheel-drive version adds a 120 kW (161 HP) front motor which drops the P7’s 0-62 time from 6.7 seconds for the base model to 4.3 seconds for the AWD version, a sporty top model with all-wheel drive just like Tesla.
A video posted on Twitter shows Xpengs performance on a cordoned-off route. But it didn’t work out well: with three passengers on board, the electric car carried it far to the right in the first fast curve. In the following left-hand curve, it even slips over a green strip into the run-out zone. The driver continues to do a lot of counter-steering and fails to return to the regular lane and the car ends up swinging into the right-hand barrier.
Apparently no one was injured in the accident. But if it was not due to a technical defect, that would mean: Xpeng may have been inspired or even guided by Tesla in terms of operation, design and website, and maybe even a little too much with the autopilot system, but the driving characteristics of Tesla were not yet reached by Xpeng P7.