On March 5th, Changan Automobile’s all new compact crossover, Changan UNI-T, officially launched. The new car is the first model in the new “UNI” lineup, it is also so-call “Yinli” (引力) in Chinese, meaning “Gravity” in English. It not only features brand new design language and family-style interior style, but also features a new smart car system, and equipped with the Blue Whale NE1.5T engine (Meets the Chinese CN-6b emission standards).
Changan Auto is set to launch its UNI-T compact SUV this coming June 2020. The new car is the first model in the “gravity” sequence and the company’s first product based on the brand new architecture. The estimated selling price range may be between 120,000 and 150,000 yuan.
All New Design Language on Changan UNI-T
The expression of the new design language is apparent on the new car. From the front, the cover has multiple ribs that accentuate the smooth lines and sharp edges. The front grille has an inverte trapezoidal design. The daytime running lights on the sides and the irregular-shaped headlights are very prominent.
The market positioning of Changan UNI-T is compact SUV. The length, width, height of the vehicle body are 4515mm / 1870mm / 1565mm, and the wheelbase is 2710mm. Compared with Changan’s existing CS55 / CS55 PLUS, UNI-T is longer and wider, but lower in height. The hidden door handle and the curved surface of the vehicle body are integrated into one piece, which can effectively reduce the wind resistance of the whole vehicle.
From the sides, the windows are narrow resting on a high waistline. Door handles are hidden for unbroken flow. 225/55 R19 and 245/45 R20 options are available for the wheel hub. The roof line flows downward from the B pillar before merging with the double waistline.
From the rear, the tail shape mirrors the front, this time with a slip-back design. A two-sided trapezoidal exhaust design is employed along with a large bottom diffuser. Color-wise, the two tone body energizes and imparts an overall youthful look.
On the inside, the look of Changan UNI-T is used with upgrades here and there. The center console is T-shaped and assymetrical, the center control screen tilted to the driver’s side, and the steering wheel is D-shaped.
An integrated dual 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen with an 8.1° angle is the showcase interior feature. A hollowed out central platform out in front gives passengers storage space while a joystick-like gear lever lends the interior a strong sci-fi feel.
Technology-wise, the Changan UNI-T comes with a new smart car machine system focused on the human-machine interaction design concept. It is the first smart car to come equipped with China-made AI chips. Directional speech recognition is enabled by the Smart Cockpit NPU Computing platform jointly developed by Changan and Horizon.ai(a AI chip manufacturer in China).
In terms of power, Changan UNI-T is powered by a brand new NE1.5T turbocharged engine and is matched with a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Among them, the maximum power of this engine is 132kW (177hp), the peak torque is 300Nm, the maximum speed can reach 205km / h, the thermal efficiency of the engine is up to 40%, and it can meet the national 6b emission standards. In addition, with the opening of Chinese regulations in the future, UNI-T equipped with L3 autonomous driving will follow the market.
In terms of suspension, Changan UNI-T features front McPherson-type and rear multi-link independent suspension systems, and has three driving modes: sports, ECO and NORMAL, as well as a front-front drive.
Positioning of Changan UNI-T
Different from Changan’s current models, UNI-T belongs to a new series of Changan – “Gravity”. Changan hopes to lead the new consumer trend through the “gravity” series, and it is also the answer of Changan on the answer of high-end brand.
In fact, we can see that Changan has been working hard to improve the positioning of its products. The several PLUS series launched successively have gradually become the brand’s best-selling models in Chinese market, and the product value and image are higher than the old models.
The introduction of the “Gravity” series is a step forward for Changan to break through the logic of the original product and break the burden of brand. Competition with overseas brands is an unavoidable problem for gravity series models, which is why Changan chose to launch the UNI-T at the Geneva Motor Show for the first time. However, the higher positioning of the UNI-T is bound to have a higher price than the existing products of the same level, which tests whether it can be recognized by consumers in terms of design, configuration, adjustment and packaging.
The success of UNI-T will determine whether Changan can break the upward ceiling of Chinese brands. In the following, the Gravity series will also launch 4-5 sports cars and SUVs or models equipped with the main technology. Whether the subsequent projects can be smoothly promoted depends on the market performance of Pioneer UNI-T.
Chinese brands are no longer a new topic. Great Wall launched WEY, Geely created Lynk & Co, Chery had EXEED, and many Chinese brands chose to launch new brands to compete with overseas car companies. Changan Automobile has tried to promote the brand’s high-end process by launching high-level models such as CS95, but it turns out that it is difficult to achieve brand value transition with only a few products. Launching a higher product line and a higher-end brand, although costly, is indeed an effective solution. Today, UNI-T has come to us. Do you think this series of models can carry the banner of high-end Changan, please express your opinions in the message area.