All-new Xpeng X9 debuts: the world’s only MPV with rear-wheel steering as standard

Tonight, Xpeng’s Guangzhou Intelligent Manufacturing Base is as brilliant as day.

Looking back at the entire 1024 Xpeng Motors Technology Day, we can find that, except for the new car Xpeng X9, the other contents are all the "traditional repertoire" of Xpeng 1024, namely intelligent driving, robots, and flying cars – last year and the year before that. Xiaopeng 1024 is all about these three parts.

How will these three things be different this year?

Different from the past, Xiaopeng has given different meanings to the four numbers "1024" this year, as follows:

  • 1: China’s smart driving, just look at Xpeng 1
  • 0: Witness the breakthrough of new AI species 0
  • 2: Land and air travel combined into one
  • 4: AI is inspired by new ideas, and 4 feet are further evolved.

It’s boring to just watch Xiaopeng shouting slogans, let’s talk about them one by one.

0: AI new species

2023 is a great year for domestic MPVs.

No one should have guessed that the second half of the auto market in 2023 will eventually be "taken over" by the booming domestic MPVs. A little further ahead are the Ideal MEGA and Weipai Alpine, and tonight it’s the Xpeng X9.

Have you ever seen such a smart MPV?

At the press conference, He Xiaopeng could not conceal his excitement.

As soon as it appeared on the stage, the Xpeng X9 performed a "U-turn on a narrow road" on the narrow stage. The moment the huge body came to a stop, the stage camera focused on the rear wheels that can flexibly turn.

Standing in front of this "new species of travel", He Xiaopeng announced that in order to completely solve the problem of "meaty" driving texture of traditional MPV models. Xpeng X9 will be the only MPV model in the world with “standard” rear-wheel steering.

In addition, He Xiaopeng also talked about the unique appearance design of the X9. He Xiaopeng bluntly said that the internal team is not satisfied with the cookie-cutter "square box" shape of traditional MPVs. The appearance of the X9 has a very strong sense of the future and technology. The large-area beveled front and rear design and ultra-low wind resistance shape break the tradition. It seems It looks like a starship "ready to go".

He Xiaopeng believes that it is the mission of the Xpeng X9 to break the "old" prejudice against MPV model design in the past market.

As the flagship model of the Fuyao architecture, Xpeng X9 continues its excellent performance in three electric vehicles in the past while also undergoing continuous iterative optimization.

Improvements first occurred in the cockpit core. Xpeng X9 will mass-produce the first fifth-generation smart cockpit system, XOS Dimensity. The new Dimensity system uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip. The car will support multi-tasking split screen, XDock high-frequency function Bar, full-scene car-like SR rendering and a new AI small P function. Subsequent XOS Dimensity will be updated through OTA , pushed to all models of the brand.

According to Xpeng officials, the speed improvement experience of the XOS Dimensity system comes from all aspects. Among them, the boot speed is increased by 20%, the application response speed is increased by 50%, the system fluency is increased by 35%, the sliding and hand speed is increased by 33%, and the touch response speed is increased by 40%.

He Xiaopeng believes that the future of automobile companies is inseparable from the empowerment of automobiles by AI. In the new XOS Dimensity system, AI XiaoP will also be fully connected to the XGPT Lingxi large model to achieve a high degree of AI in the car.

For autonomous driving and general artificial intelligence, Xpeng has also accelerated the improvement of in-vehicle computing hardware and released the industry's first cockpit capacity and in-vehicle computing center, Xpeng XEEA 3.5, which iterated from the previous generation's "single chassis, multiple modules" structure to the latest The "ONE BOX ONE BOARD" reduces hardware costs by 40% while improving computing performance by 50%, allowing X9 to more freely access artificial intelligence.

From the inside to the outside, the performance nature of the X9 radiates from the core of the smart cockpit to the body hardware. Xpeng X9 will also be equipped with Xpeng's next-generation electric drive system. He Xiaopeng revealed that the team has condensed new thinking on high-speed energy consumption control on the next-generation electric drive system. On the basis of reducing silicon carbide consumption by 20% and reducing key costs by 50%, the next-generation electric drive system maintains high-speed endurance efficiency above 93%, achieving better high-speed energy consumption performance.

Dongchehui once mentioned when reporting on the release of the 2024 G9 that “cost reduction” will be Xpeng’s most important main task in the next year. On the flagship model X9, we can see the efforts made by Xpeng’s internal team in reducing costs.

Starting from the X9, Xpeng will take the lead in stripping off the two front-angle radars to better balance the cost of smart driving hardware for Xpeng product models; in terms of production technology, Xpeng is also pushing the front and rear integrated die-casting technology into a new heights.

He Xiaopeng revealed that the internal team is pre-researching the next-generation CIB+ mid-floor integrated die-casting technology. In the future, this die-casting technology will reduce vehicle manufacturing costs by 10%-30%. After sufficient lightweight integration, it will also bring Give the entire vehicle a 5% battery life improvement.

With its bold and cutting-edge appearance design, coupled with excellent three-electric performance, at least in terms of product strength, Xpeng X9 is definitely worthy of the market’s applause. But on the other hand, "Why does Xpeng, which focuses on young brands, build an MPV?" has also become a question in many people's minds.

In the financial report conference call in May this year, He Xiaopeng once revealed to the outside world that Xpeng Motors’ user group is positioned as a young technology. The current main user group is between 25-35 years old. How does MPV compete with Xiaopeng’s young brand? The image matches, but He Xiaopeng gave up a little bit.

The controversy over whether Xpeng should build an MPV is a bit harsh. Some skeptical voices believe that the MPV product is disconnected from the Xpeng brand. At the same time, there is always an indescribable sense of dissonance. Xiaopeng's launch of MPV models seems to be contradictory to its "basic base" of car owners.

However, the domestic MPV market is undergoing "dramatic changes", especially the core audience of MPV models. In the past few years, the core needs of MPVs have gradually evolved from business to more household. In addition to being easy to drive and sit in, some middle-class people with spending power are no longer simply satisfied with the space experience brought by SUV models. , began to pursue more extreme spatial performance.

The further differentiation of household demand has shifted the core of the MPV audience, and the age structure of car owners has begun to actively decline. More and more young consumers will choose an MPV. In addition, purely electrified MPV products can bring healthier profit margins to car companies. The growing and transforming MPV market may become the next high-end breakthrough for new car companies. Xiaopeng's launch of MPV model is correct at least in the general direction.

Of course, in addition to having an insight into market trends and catering to the trend of younger MPV market, X9 is more like a valuable "land" for Xpeng Smart Driving. To a certain extent, MPV-oriented product planning is highly consistent with Xpeng's philosophy.

MPV models are special. Among all models, MPV is almost a travel tool that integrates service functions to the extreme. The realization of autonomous driving is to finally free up the hands of car owners and free up more energy to devote to current life.

In addition to the youthful exterior design, Xpeng also wants to differentiate itself in the X9’s smart cockpit to amplify its smart driving advantages. If we talk about the raid of Ideal MEGA, it is to occupy the aesthetic high ground of the new power MPV in advance. Then, Xpeng X9 may have to play a more advanced role. Behind the MPV layout is Xpeng's determination to seize the right to speak MPV smart driving.

Xpeng X9 is like a "dividing line" in the MPV market. Based on its radical and bold appearance design, Xpeng has raised the competition dimension of MPV to more "hard-core" intelligent driving and vehicle-mounted models.

1: China Smart Driving

For the intelligent driving part, the speaker was not He Xiaopeng, but Dr. Li Liyun, the head of the autonomous driving team who made his first public appearance. What he said can be summed up in one sentence:

It can be used nationwide and is easy to use throughout the journey.

Li Liyun believes that this is the biggest feature of XNGP. He said that XNGP currently covers 73% of the country's road network, and its opening speed has reached 20 times, while the cost is only one-tenth of the original.

To achieve this, one thing is inseparable, and that is what Xiaopeng calls the ultimate architecture for all-scenario intelligent driving – XBrain.

According to Xiaopeng, this intelligent auxiliary architecture consists of XNet2.0 and XPlanner.

The former further increases the sensing range by 200%, adds 11 sensing types, and can also read text information such as "Tide Lane". At the same time, it integrates the industry's highest-precision pure visual occupancy network, achieving the integration of dynamic BEV, static BEV and occupancy network. It is the industry's first perception architecture that applies large models with spatio-temporal understanding capabilities.

The latter has the characteristics of long time series, multiple objects, and strong reasoning. It can continuously analyze motivations with time series of more than minutes, and make timely adjustments based on surrounding environment information to generate the best motion trajectory. Simply put, it can "predict your predictions."

Another important feature brought by Li Liyun is AI driving. Unlike XNGP, the AI ​​driving function will not be restricted by cities. Users can set the starting point and end point nationwide. After driving manually once, a memory map can be formed. When taking this route in the future, the AI ​​can be used Driving function.

Does it look a little familiar? Yes, this function is actually similar to the commuter NOA that Li Auto is currently testing on a small scale. The difference is that the ideal commuting NOA requires about 5-6 manual trainings in advance, while Xpeng's AI driving only requires 1 time.

He Xiaopeng then took the stage to announce good news. After the press conference, the AI ​​driving function will be launched for the first batch of users. In addition, XNGP will also expand from the existing 5 cities of "Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Buddha" to 25 by the end of November. cities and expanded to 50 cities by the end of December.

Finally, He Xiaopeng finally set a flag: to achieve full coverage of XNGP in road networks in major cities across the country by 2024.

2: Land and air flight

At the 2021 Xpeng Motors Technology Day, Xpeng Motors unveiled the concept of its integrated flying car for the first time. It uses an innovatively designed arm and blade folding system to switch between land and flight scenarios.

At that time, He Xiaopeng bluntly stated on the stage that the development of integrated flying cars encountered great difficulties in reducing the weight of the car body, but this concept will still be mass-produced in 2024.

Now it seems that He Xiaopeng's mass production goal cannot be achieved.

At first, Xpeng's progress seemed to be going smoothly. In the second year, it built an electric and intelligent Xpeng Huitian X3 experimental vehicle that could drive and fly. Different from the dual-rotor configuration of the concept car, the X3 test vehicle was changed to a four-axis, eight-blade multi-rotor configuration with higher safety redundancy. The wings can also be folded into the car and switched from flight mode to land mode.

But its shortcomings are also very obvious – excessive weight. "It can drive hundreds of kilometers, but it can only fly tens of kilometers." He Xiaopeng said frankly.

Xpeng Huitian X3 did not achieve the lightweight goal of "50% of the P7's curb weight", and its total weight still reached 2 tons. It can indeed drive and fly, but it "doesn't meet our expectations."

what to do? Are flying cars not a thing of the past?

In fact, the integrated flying car is only one of the research and development directions of Xiaopeng Huitian. There has always been another product with a completely different configuration, which is under secret development, and that is the split flying car.

Tonight, Xpeng Huitian unveiled this new product for the first time at the Xpeng Motors Technology Day – the "Land Aircraft Carrier" flying car.

Different from the Xpeng Huitian X3, this "aircraft carrier" adopts a two-piece configuration design, which is divided into two parts: the land body and the flying body. The two parts can automatically separate. After separation, the flying body can independently take off and land vertically.

That's right, since the weight of an integrated flying car is difficult to control, then the car can be turned into an "aircraft carrier", and the aircraft in the cabin is its "carrier-based aircraft."

Different from Xpeng's existing products, this "land aircraft carrier" is equipped with an extended-range hybrid power system, which is designed to replenish energy for the flying body. Gao Haotong, head of product planning for Xpeng Huitian, told Dongchehui that the time it takes for the vehicle to replenish energy for the flying body is about 30-40 minutes.

The size of the "Land Aircraft Carrier" is similar to that of a full-size SUV. Due to the load capacity at the rear, Xpeng has set up 4 rear wheels for it, allowing it to achieve 6×6 all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering, which can provide Provide users with certain off-road capabilities.

Before the press conference, Xpeng Huitian showed a test vehicle in the research and development stage – a Xpeng G9 equipped with 6 wheels – to the Dong Auto Conference. However, Xiaopeng Huitian emphasized that the existence of the mule cart does not mean that the G9 will launch a 6-wheel version. In addition, the G9 has no plans to launch an extended-range version.

The flying body part is a purely electric manned aircraft that can achieve vertical take-off and landing and low-altitude flight, and supports both manual and automatic driving modes. This aircraft uses a distributed electric propulsion system and can continue to fly even if the dual rotors fail.

What if you are unlucky and all six rotors fail?

Xiaopeng has prepared a parachute for you.

In October this year, Xpeng Huitian equipped the Traveler X2 with a self-developed ultra-low-altitude multi-parachute life-saving system, successfully completing a 50-meter ultra-low-altitude flight parachute deployment experiment. The aircraft landed at a speed of only 5.2m/s.

Outside the press conference, a relevant person from Xiaopeng Huitian said proudly when talking about this experiment:

After the experiment was successful, people from the Civil Aviation Administration of China came to talk to us, hoping that we could supply products to others.

Leaving aside flying cars, this technological achievement of Xiaopeng Huitian has filled the gap in the field of ultra-low-altitude safety and life-saving flying cars at home and abroad. Perhaps this is what He Xiaopeng meant by doing a good job in reality and solidly "implementing it".

In addition, Xiaopeng has not given up on the research and development of integrated flying cars. Tonight, they also brought a new look of integrated flying cars.

4: Get new inspiration

The last one to appear was Xiaopeng’s bipedal robot. This time, it was no longer a robot horse.

Xiaopeng said that its intelligent robot already has the industry's top bipedal walking ability and obstacle-crossing ability. With self-developed high-performance joints, it can walk indoors and outdoors and move quickly. Judging from the on-site demonstration video, the Xiaopeng bipedal robot has certain anti-interference and obstacle-crossing capabilities, and can even use a balancing car like humans.

You can live without feet, but you cannot live without hands. Hands are the core of everything.

Finally, He Xiaopeng proudly introduced the humanoid dexterous hand of the new generation robot. The maximum load on a single arm is 3kg, and the maximum terminal linear speed is 1m/s. It can grasp objects of different shapes in different grasping postures, and Possess terminal tactile perception ability.

He Xiaopeng said that in the future, bipedal robots will be connected to XNGP, XEEA electronic and electrical architecture, XPower, XGPT Lingxi large model, and XOS and other smart car homologous technologies, and try to apply them to scenarios such as factory production and sales services. Perhaps Indeed, as he said, strong talkers may influence public opinion, but only by truly engaging in technology can we create the future.

However, regarding the specific usage of bipedal robots, He Xiaopeng has a very simple idea:

I hope that when I get older, a robot can crack eggs with me (a poker game popular in East China).

*Deng Zefeng also contributed to this article.

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