Leapmotor’s presence at the Munich show signals the launch of an international development plan for the small Chinese manufacturer. It presents its latest technologies, and its first “global” vehicle, the C10 compact electric SUV.
Compared to Nio or Xpeng, Leapmotor is not the best known of the small Chinese manufacturers. After a sluggish start in 2019 and 2020 with the strange S01 coupe, its sales took off thanks to the small T03, then the C11 SUV. Particularly thanks to its version with a range extender, the latter now represents nearly 70% of the brand’s registrations. Sales are at a rate close to 15,000 monthly units over the last quarter. In China, the manufacturer enjoys a good image, particularly because it designs most of its technologies in-house.
The center of its presentation in Munich is also focused on technology, with its new Leap3.0 platform. Leapmotor intends to develop not only in the sale of vehicles, but also in the sale of its technologies to other manufacturers. It is currently in discussions with Stellantis and Volkswagen.
A state-of-the-art platform
This Leap 3.0 platform thus aligns the latest generation components in the different areas that are currently focusing the interest of automobile manufacturers.
After an intermediate transition to Module-to-Chassis on the C01, the batteries are here integrated into the structure of the vehicle in Cell-to-Chassis (CTC). This integration brings a gain in rigidity, but also in weight or height. This will make it possible to offer both SUVs and lower sedans on this basis. The voltage of 800V will boost the charging power. But no value has been announced at the moment.
The new oil-cooled engines will range from 170 kW / 231 hp to 250 kW / 340 hp, in rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. They mainly integrate high voltage components made of silicon carbide (SiC) and are praised for their compactness and reduced weight (76 kg) and their efficiency (92%).
The in-house LeapOS operating system controls the display, communication and entertainment functions in the cabin. It runs on Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 8295.
Highly requested by Chinese customers, semi-autonomous driving will be at L2+ level. Urban driving guided by navigation (Navigation on Pilot) with high definition map is equipped with 30 sensors including a Lidar and an 8 million pixel camera. Everything is controlled by an Nvidia Drive Orin SoC (System On Chip) processor with a computing power of 254 TOPS
This entire assembly is based on a totally centralized electronic architecture. It integrates the areas of cockpit, autonomous driving, propulsion/battery and chassis into a single central core. Leapmotor promises OTA (Over the Air) updates for five years.
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Presented on the stand at the Munich show, the Leapmotor C10 is naturally based on this brand new architecture. In the end, we don’t know much more about this compact electric SUV than what is listed in the platform’s characteristics. With an estimated length of around 4.60 m, it would, according to certain Chinese media, be offered in a configuration with 2 or 3 rows of seats.
Leapmotor also indicated that this new platform would remain compatible with electric offers with or without a range extender. The C10 should therefore offer the choice between these two solutions depending on the country of sale.
This C10 is announced by the manufacturer as its first “global” model. It was therefore designed not only for China like the T03, C11 or C01, but taking into consideration the requirements of customers from other regions. Leapmotor says it wants to launch no less than 5 global models in the next two years, targeting Europe, the Asia-Pacific sector, the Middle East and Latin America.
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