More than two years ago we should have looked into the future of Aiways contemplating its U6 ion . Although the new Chinese brand was not yet sold in our country, at some point in 2021 it would have reached some European markets (Germany, France, Belgium…) its definitive version, which according to Alexander Klose , Vice President of International Sales, will be very similar. to the prototype. And now that the brand is finally landing in Spain , we would talk about a range made up of two models: the current SUV U5 and the more stylish U6 , both 100% electric.
For this reason, I feel that traveling to Antwerp to see the Aiways U6, or rather its prototype, has some outstanding debt finally paid off . And I also have the feeling that delay is something that is soon forgotten when what is coming is so attractive .
Crossover… o Coupe SUV
On the banks of the Scheldt river , in a small, completely glass-enclosed room lit by powerful spotlights, a handful of journalists found ourselves in front of a model that I must admit I didn’t know would make such a good impression on me; It is not an SUV, but a crossover , although when it comes to classifying its models, there are those who prefer to classify it as an SUV coupé.
What we see is a prototype without an engine, without batteries , with an interior that is not functional and rather fanciful and original due to some of its solutions. That is why I prefer to focus first on its exterior, with authentic overtones of a real car except for some details, such as the illuminated logos on the front and rear, the huge 21″ wheels and a rear spoiler that apparently will leave its place for a much more discreet one.
The prototype anticipates a future car 4.7 meters long for those looking for a car for family use but with an obvious sporty aesthetic . It has a granite front , very high, with an attractive light signature, a front spoiler and side wings that we will not see in the real model and a ‘face’ that for some reason reminds me of the stormtroopers from Star Wars.
There’s muscle in the wheel arches and flush door openers (these are also on the U5), and the coupe-like roof drop (in contrast, of course) is joined by a very bulky C-pillar that confirms the feeling of being a solid sculpture.
A solid looking set
As for the rear, the tailgate falls very flat , with contrasting bumpers to emphasize the playful aspect (such as the wheel arch moldings) and boomerang-shaped optics joined by a thin line of light. Optics, by the way, with a rather attractive dynamic lighting pattern.
We must insist that this U6 ion is a prototype because from its interior we can have interesting clues and aspects that we must take as simple and fanciful design exercises and will never reach the real model. Of the latter we find the change selector copied from the accelerator of a boat, the aeronautical-inspired steering wheel and the tapes that act as door openers (as in competition models), above all.
But there are also very imaginative functional details, such as the folding umbrellas in the door trays, the space to store a drone between the seats (it is a four-seater, another detail that the real model will not have) and the induction charger for scooters in the trunk.
And then, what clues are valid to know the interior of the U6? Well, on the one hand, the width, very generous for the legs but much less wide than that of the U5 in terms of space at head height. Now, I have the suspicion that the two rear seats were higher than the real rear seats will be, so in the real model there would be more space.
And on the other the quality of the finishes ; even being a prototype, I was surprised by the care of its assembly and all the finishing touches. And having known the U5 very recently, which has one of its strong points in its good finish, it is possible that this model also has the same claim.
By the way, we have verified that this prototype has cams . On the U5 you have to get lost in the central screen sub-menus to change the regeneration force, and if these cams make it to the real model this retention change would be easier and even more fun.
Nothing has been said about engines in this first meeting. Not batteries or autonomy. But it has been commented that the objective is to look for a plus of emotion, so it is possible that the 204 hp engine and the 63 kWh battery derived from the U5 have the complement of more powerful mechanics (perhaps with two motors, which would give it total traction) and higher capacity batteries. Time will tell.