Like manufacturer Nio, Voyah arrives from China by approaching Europe via Norway. Its first showroom opened in Oslo last June to market the free electric SUV. Maxime Fontanier went there to show you this attractive instrument.
Dongfeng excellent brand
For Dongfeng, Fuya is what Lexus stands for Toyota: a high-end brand dedicated to demanding and financially comfortable customers. It was officially launched at the Beijing Auto Show in September 2020. The custom stand presented two concepts based on the Chinese group’s Essa platform (Electric, Intelligent and Safe Architecture) designed for modern models: the i-Land sports sedan and the i-free SUV.
It is the latter who welcomes visitors, potential and customers to the Voyah store in Oslo. The free-marketed model appears to have retained the main lines drawn by Italian office Italdesign to which we owe such diverse car styles as the Fiat Panda, Renault 19, Lancia Delta, DeLorean DMC 12, BMW Nasca C2, Bugatti EB218, and Lamborghini Cala.
Voyah Free suggests escaping with a machine that borrows some codes from the yachting world. We will quickly note that in the rear and in the on-board planning the comparison can be made in the most obvious way.
Free, the fruit of i-Free
(repeats quickly 20 times)
Abandoning cameras in place of exterior mirrors, marketable and somewhat silent versions of the Voyah Free soon followed lifting the veil. From December 2020, Chinese customers can sign an order form by choosing between an electric model and a rechargeable hybrid version.
The latter should not be introduced in Europe. But the service tunnel at the rear, conspicuously low, makes the middle of the rear seat a place only for occasional use or for relatively short trips.
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While visiting Voyah’s first European showroom, the specialist journalist was waiting for two versions of the SUV, one dressed in white and the other in metallic green. Both are decorated with a fixed panoramic glass roof that brings more light into the cabin. They relied on 20-inch turbine-style rims, mated to Pirelli P Zero tires. The chassis has double wishbones at the front and a multi-link system at the rear.
A bit of originality against the competition
The Voyah Free rests on the same ballpark as the Nio ES8, Audi e-Tron and Mercedes EQE. It can also be invited at the same time as the Tesla Model X or Model Y in the purchase of projects for an unusual electric SUV.
Perhaps you will doubt the authenticity of this Chinese competitor. So take a closer look at the air suspension play, which varies in ground clearance from 11.3 cm with a sporty driving position, up to 21.3 cm. If that’s not necessarily common, then this device isn’t new. Many Citroën DS supporters have already been enjoying it since 1955.
then !? Take a look at the dashboard in the process: it’s motion tracking! Notice in the middle of the panel the eye will play the same role as the travel companion as Nomi of Nio ES8. By monitoring your actions and gestures, it will also report information about the presence and movements of other users on the streets and on the roads.
range 530 km
The Voyah Free is powered by two synchronous motors combined with permanent magnets, with a combined power that can extend up to 360 kW (490 hp), for a maximum torque of 750 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, before going to 200 km/h limiting its top speed.
The motor is powered by an NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) lithium-ion cathode battery of 100 kWh, out of a total power capacity of 106.4 kWh. The Chinese plant communicates with an average consumption of 18 kWh/100 km and a combined cycle WLTP range of about 530 km.
Via the Combo CCS connector, the package can be recharged with a direct current of up to 125 kW. We are far from what the Korean Hyundai Group offers now. A good curve can make the difference relatively. The vehicle contains an 11 kW charger for connection to 22 kW AC terminals available in public or in a personal charging box.
Ready for the trip?
But how do you operate the electric tailgate opener for the tailgate in Voyah Free? You can choose between placing a foot under the rear bumper or using the remote control. The floor is covered in quilted genuine leather and is illuminated by two small LED strips on the sides. The volume of 560 liters is extended to 1320 liters by folding the backrest into two parts of the seatpost. Note that it will be divided into 3, with a ski slot, on units delivered in Europe. Charging cables or small bags can be placed front in the 72L storage box.
With a wheelbase of 2.95 metres, two rear passengers will get plenty of legroom, elbows and head. The seat is not too low. Maxime Fontanier has discovered a lightweight faux leather interior, with a central armrest that can release 2 cup holders if needed.
” Honestly it looks very good. It looks like real leather. It is very rewarding ‘, he thinks. Aside from a few centimeters of plastic strip that wants to imitate wood, the material covering storm doors is nice and lined. There’s plenty of storage space and a perimeter light strip. The windows here are tinted.
Driver’s point of view
Up front, the seats are well ventilated, heated, massaged and above all, they are very welcoming. ” I think it is well drawn. It’s convenient. We have a lot of support without being oppressive “I appreciate the man with the cap. As the show noted luxuriant The instrument panel, from one end to the other, is made up of a series of digital displays.
Thus, the passenger seated next to the driver also has access to many applications. For this purpose, it has a dedicated shelf located above the refrigerated glove box that keeps drinks cold. The system includes a 5G switch, and European versions of the Voyah Free will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
To the right of the pebble-shaped drive selector, the touchpad allows you to operate the center display without lubricating it with your fingers. A variety of materials, including brushed aluminum, brighten the ultra-comfortable suspended center console. The steering wheel is also located, on the left there are buttons for managing steering aids including cruise control, and on the other side buttons for interfering with the infotainment system.
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Behind the collar, the hardware screen is easily readable with beautifully polished graphics. It is a model of its kind. In the lower left part of the speedometer, the level of available power in percentage and autonomy is indicated. An induction charger has various outlets (USB and 12V) and several storage spaces are available for travelers in the front.
The dashboard, door panels and all parts in contact with the knees are covered with cushioning material. ” This is arguably the best driving position I’ve had in an SUV so far. ”, compares Maxime Fontanier. If the Voyah Free test cannot be carried out, one would imagine that the machine develops very silently, even at high speeds. The presence of laminated glass and very thick door seals confirm this idea.
” For a long time, I went to shows where I saw Chinese people studying European cars to copy. I can tell you that today the Europeans will start copying Chinese cars Our collaborator warns, particularly impressed by what he discovered in this new electric vehicle.
In Oslo, Voyah Free is on offer from NOK 719,000, for availability at the end of the year. With a very accurate exchange rate of €0.10 per unit, that amount represents only €71,900.
However, electric motorists in this country do not have to pay VAT, which is 20% in France. Which would put this electric SUV in France at €86,280, excluding the mixed prices.
What do you, dear readers, think of this model? Do you imagine it is able to alarm European manufacturers? And would you be tempted enough to add it to your list of electric cars to try out if you were planning to get one in this budget?
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