Mission to Sweden: We drive the second model of the Chinese Zeekr to set foot on European soil and we are pleasantly surprised.
Can the name of the Chinese Zeekr was unknown to many until a few months ago, however, day by day the electric cars of this brand are becoming more and more well-known. THE Zeekr created in 2021 by Geely Holding (Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lotus, Lynk & Co, Geely Auto and London Electric Vehicle Company) and in Europe, sales of its first two models, the “001” and the newly introduced Zeekr X. Especially in our country, the brand in question has received special publicity from the fact that the CEO in Zeekr Europe, the Spyros Foteinoshe is Greek.
READ HERE INTERVIEW OF SPYROS FOTEINOS
Having absolutely positive impressions behind the wheel «001»we had similar expectations for our experience with Zeekr Xthe press presentation of which was organized this time in the Swedish capitalowater Both models are based on the new SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) electric platform, which is also used by the Volvo EX30. Unlike the 5 meter fastback Zeekr 001, the “X» is more compact, being a standard C–SUVwith its length reaching 4.43 m.
Regarding the design philosophy of these two models, beyond the inventive approach to the configuration of their lighting bodies, otherwise the Zeekr X is strongly differentiated from its older brother in the configuration of its surfaces, where sharp edges predominatewhile its curvaceous flagship Zeekr refers to Panamera! Overall its design Zeekr X it exudes freshness wherever you look at it, and it’s no coincidence that on the Swedish streets it attracted the attention of passers-by. Frameless doors undoubtedly contribute to the overall premium sense of construction.
Equally interesting is the interior, where the minimalist style launched by Tesla (more on that later), while open tones in sustainable are welcome animal–free upholstery of the seats, doors and part of the dashboard, in the upper part of which we find, of course, darker materials, to avoid annoying reflections on the windshield. It is also worth noting the excellent spaces for rear passengers and easy access to the interior thanks to the large rear doors.
The driver has at his disposal an 8.8-inch instrument panel and a large one too head–up display, but before starting a modern car you must spend some time understanding the multimedia system. In this case, it took us some time to locate the relevant option for adjusting the mirrors in the menu, while we do not consider the steps you had to take to switch to e.g. from the driving functions menu to that of the navigation system.
For those who want to indulge more in the menu with a little playfulness, the Zeekr it made use of the existing loudspeaker, which at low speeds warns pedestrians with a buzz of the car’s presence. So, when the Zeekr X is now parked, the owner can make… announcements through the internal microphone, broadcast the audio system program or play specific pre-installed sounds (cat, dog, pig, horse, bicycle bell, tractor, etc.).
Among the interesting functions is that of “pet mode”, which creates suitable conditions for accommodating a pet inside the car when it is parked, keeping the air conditioner in operation. For the information of passers-by who may be concerned, it has been foreseen that with this particular function relevant messages will be activated in the multimedia system, but also on the small external(!) screens integrated in the middle pillars.
Driving it Zeekr X
We easily settled into the driving position, with a steering wheel in front of us that is beautifully designed and has the right feel. Behind the bezel there are two buttons, which, however, do not concern the selection of the degree of recovery in deceleration (this is selected through the main menu), but some other settings. The car drives very quietly, with the exception of some small aerodynamic and rolling noiseswhich, of course, in the case of electric cars, you cannot accurately evaluate them, given the different conditions at each time (air or asphalt quality).
In the electric part, the rear-wheel drive version has (like the “001”) 272 hp, while in the top four-wheel drive version the two electric motors produce a combined 428 hp (against 544 PS of the larger model). 100 km/h comes in 5.6 and 3.8 seconds, respectively, while the final is limited to 180 km/h.
The battery of 69 kW ensures a range of 440/400 km for the versions RWD/4WDwhile its direct current charging takes place at 150 kW. It is worth pointing out that the charging option at 22 is available as standard kW in alternating current, which is rarely found even in the most expensive electric cars, and is a very useful feature for short stops in the chargers of the corresponding power found, for example, in supermarkets.
Also, the Zeekr X it is equipped with nineteen systems ADASfive external cameras and its next-generation 8155 processor Qualcommwhich promises perfect cooperation of all the car’s individual systems.
If, however, something alienated us, it concerned the mechanical part, and more specifically the setting of the suspension, given the excellent impressions that driving the “001” had left us. Although the Zeekr X it’s based on the same chassis, with MacPherson struts up front instead of the larger model’s double wishbones, while the rear remains the multi-link setup. The Zeekr X it has nothing to envy in terms of comfort, however in the test car the rear felt light going over some bumps, or sank under strong acceleration.
Her people Zeekr they informed us that the cars on display had the Chinese suspension setup and assured us that the ones going to the European market will have dampers with more damping, especially on the rear axle. Finally, closing the part of the driving impressions, it is worth pointing out the very good feeling of the car’s brakes.
There is no doubt that the Zeekr already from its initial steps it has started to gain impressions, creating great expectations for what is to come. The first markets that will welcome “001” and “X” are those of Sweden and the Netherlands, while the list of countries in which the Chinese brand will be active will gradually expand.
At this stage and in order not to delay the deliveries of the cars, there is not much room for customization. His prospective buyer Zeekr X it has a choice between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, five exterior colors and 19- or 20-inch wheels. Finances of course have the final say, so purely for information purposes, the monthly rent for sixty months starts from 539 euros (without VAT), while the starting price in the Netherlands is 44,990 euros._ M. S.
PHOTOS: MICHALIS STAVROPOULOS, ZEEKR
Technical characteristics Zeekr X
>COMBINED POWER: 428 hp (272) >COMBINED TORQUE: 543 Nm (343) >DRIVE: On four wheels (On rear wheels) >TRANSMISSION: Single ratio >FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson >REAR SUSPENSION: Multilink >BATTERY: 69 kWh >LENGTHxPLxH.: 4,432×1,836×1,566 mm. >WHEEL BASE: 2,750 mm. >LUGGAGE SPACE: 362 liters >WEIGHT: 1,960 kg (1,855) >0-100 KM/H: 3.8 sec. (5.6) >TOP SPEED: 180 km/h >AVERAGE CONSUMPTION: 18.3 kWh/100 km (16.4) >AYTONOMIA: 400 (440) km >CHARGE 0-100% (AC): 4 hours (22 kW) >CHARGE 10%-80% (DC): 28.8 minutes (150 kW)
In parentheses are the prices of the R rear-wheel drive versionWD.