On December 28th, Xiaomi Automobile held Xiaomi EV Technology Launch, and its first mass-produced car SU7 made its debut as an actual vehicle for the first time. At this EV Technology Launch, Xiaomi Automobile focused on introducing three aspects of technology based on the Modena platform architecture: electrification, autonomous driving, and smart cabin. At the same time, this themed conference titled ‘Stride’ also showcased Xiaomi‘s ecological layout around ‘people-vehicle-home’ as a technology company.
With the support of multiple self-developed technologies, this car, positioned as a ‘C-class high-performance eco-friendly technology sedan,’ has been referred to by Xiaomi‘s founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun as a ‘dream car that rivals Porsche and Tesla’ that can fulfill everyone’s aspirations. Lei Jun confidently stated, ‘We are not afraid of competitors stealing our technology; the first product must be successful.’
As an electric intelligent vehicle, electric technology is its foundation. Xiaomi has released three ‘hardcore’ technologies, including the Xiaomi HyperEngine, CTB integrated battery technology, and a 9100-ton integrated die-casting equipment cluster system (Xiaomi HyperCasting).
The upcoming Xiaomi HyperEngine V6 and V6s, which will be installed in mass-produced vehicles, have a maximum speed of 21,000 rpm. The peak torque reaches 500 N.m, with a peak power of 275 kW and a power density of 6.78 kW/kg. These motors are jointly developed by United Automotive Electronic Systems (UAES) and Inovance. In 2025, the V8S HyperEngine will be introduced with a maximum speed of 27,200 rpm and a maximum horsepower of 578 ps. It has a peak power output of 425 kW and peak torque reaching 635 N.m. Its highest efficiency is at 98.11%, with a power density of 10.14 kW/kg. Meanwhile, Xiaomi‘s HyperEngine has already started researching the next-generation technology using carbon fiber laser winding process to achieve speeds up to 35,000 rpm.
At the same time, as the most popular CTB integrated battery technology currently, Xiaomi has also conducted independent research and development. Its CTB battery pack volume efficiency reaches 77.8%, with a maximum capacity of 150 kWh, and CLTC range of over 1200 km. Xiaomi also pioneered the technique of inverting the battery cells to quickly dissipate heat for safety assurance. In terms of winter range, Xiaomi adopts dual-energy heat pumps that can be used for multiple purposes, directly supplying the passenger cabin with three-stage heating technology using residual heat generated by the motor, delivering it to member compartments with a maximum heating power of 18 kW. It is worth mentioning that Xiaomi cooperates with CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited) in producing battery cells and has built its own battery pack factory.
In the field of integrated die casting, Tesla, as the pioneer of this technology, has also become a benchmark for many car manufacturers. Xiaomi has released a self-designed 9,100-ton integrated large-scale die casting equipment cluster system, which integrates 72 components of Xiaomi‘s car rear floor into one piece, reducing 840 weld points and achieving a weight reduction of 17%. At the same time, production hours are reduced by 45%, with a projected area on the rear floor larger than that of Tesla Model Y by 17%. In addition, Xiaomi has independently developed Xiaomi Titan alloy material to match the die-casting process.
In terms of autonomous driving, Xiaomi showcased three important scenarios at the press conference, including navigation, valet parking, and precise positioning in ultra-narrow mechanical garages. Xiaomi‘s autonomous driving technology innovates in areas such as variable-focus BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), super-resolution network utilization, and large-scale road models. Equipped with two NVIDIA DRIVE Orin chips with 508 Tops computing power and a combination of one integrated LiDAR sensor, eleven high-definition cameras, three millimeter-wave radars, and twelve ultrasonic sensors under the end-to-end perception-decision model developed by Xiaomi.
‘Xiaomi‘s self-developed full-stack intelligent driving technology, Xiaomi Pilot, has a total initial investment of 3.3 billion yuan (approximatly ＄0.5 billion), which has now been increased to 4.7 billion yuan (approximatly ＄0.7 billion). Its goal for autonomous driving is to enter the industry’s top tier by 2024.’ Lei Jun has set a KPI for Xiaomi‘s autonomous driving, stating that ‘100 cities will have NOA (Navigation on Autopilot) activated by the end of next year.’
As a technology company, Xiaomi excels in smart cabins. The entire vehicle is equipped with 5 screens, including a 16.1-inch 3K resolution 16:10 central control ecological screen, a 56-inch large head-up display screen, a 7.1-inch flip-type instrument panel screen, and rear seats that can be suspended tablets. The intelligent cabin is equipped with the Snapdragon 8295 cabin chip to ensure the stability and smoothness of the cabin system.
At the same time, Xiaomi also incorporates its flagship operating system, Xiaomi HyperOS, into the car to provide users with an interactive experience similar to that of smartphones and tablets. This is also the foundation for Xiaomi‘s smart cabin in achieving a complete ecosystem for users’ home, car, and personal devices. Xiaomi cars can seamlessly connect with mobile phones and achieve instant transformation of mobile applications into in-car applications.
‘With the upcoming release of Xiaomi‘s car, Xiaomi‘s complete ecosystem of people, vehicles, and homes has officially closed the loop, ushering in a moment of stride.’ Lei Jun said, ‘Xiaomi has many natural advantages in making cars because today’s smart electric cars are essentially an integration of the automotive industry and consumer electronics industry. It is a major convergence. Therefore, entering the automotive industry poses challenges for Xiaomi but overall difficulty is manageable.’
In the second half of the press conference, Xiaomi also conducted a ‘pre-release’ of its first mass-produced car. According to previous plans, the Xiaomi SU7 is expected to enter full production in the first half of 2024. Regarding pricing, although there have been speculations within the industry that it will be around 200,000 yuan, Lei Jun stated that the Xiaomi SU7 is ‘indeed a bit expensive,’ but it is ‘expensive for a reason.’ He added, ‘Don’t mention 99,000 yuan (approximatly ＄13,936) anymore; even 149,000 yuan (approximatly ＄20,974) is not possible.’