Aiways has confirmed it will begin sales of its new U6 in selected European markets in December at a price tipped to start at around €39,000 (£34,000), ahead of planned deliveries of left-hand-drive models during the first half of 2023.
Initially previewed in concept form at the Chengdu motor show in 2020, the U6 is a front-wheel drive Volkswagen ID 5-size SUV with coupé-like exterior styling and a roomy five-seat interior.
It’s the second model to be produced by Aiways, which was founded by Samuel Qiang – a former sales boss of Volvo Cars China – and Gary Gu in Shanghai in 2017.
Aiways’ first model, the more upright Volkswagen ID 4-rivalling U5, is currently sold in 15 markets outside of China.
The U5 and U6 are based on Aiways’ proprietary More Adaptable Structure (MAS). The skateboard-style structure supports a standard 63.0kWh lithium ion battery that uses cells supplied by Chinese battery specialist CATL.
The styling of the U6 is little changed from the earlier concept, with only minor alterations to the exterior and interior made for production, which takes place alongside the U5 at Aiways’ factory in Shangrao, China.
Among those who contributed to the new model’s design is Ken Okuyama, former creative director at Pininfarina, who is credited with the Ferrari Enzo among other supercars.
Befitting its positioning, the proportions and stance of the U6 are more sporting than those of the U5. Key elements include a blunt front end and a large angled liftback-style tailgate with a small lip spoiler. Aiways claims a drag coefficient of 0.26Cd, equaling that of the ID 5.
Power comes from a 215bhp, 232lb ft electric motor, which pushes the 1790kg U6 from 0-62mph in a claimed 6.9sec and all the way to a limited 100mph.
It boasts an official range of 400km on the WLTP test cycle, as well as charging rates of 11kW (AC) and 90kW (DC) – the latter allowing a 20-80% top-up of energy reserves in 35 minutes under optimal charging conditions.
The U6’s suspension uses MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear in combination with adaptive dampers.
It has been tuned by British automotive engineering specialist Prodrive, which was commissioned by Aiways to add polish to the new SUV-coupé’s dynamic properties.
Inside, the U6 receives its own uniquely styled dashboard and what Aiways dubs its AI cockpit, with a thin 8.2in instrument display ahead of the driver and a larger 14.6in infotainment display – the latter featuring an Android OS 9.0 operating system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.