Li Auto is a relatively young player in the Chinese automotive market but it is quickly becoming popular among the wealthier buyers in the People’s Republic. It's still selling vehicles only in its home market but is currently looking to raise $2 billion from US investors in a new stock offering and potentially become a global brand. And judging by its second product, there is a huge potential in Li Auto to find new customers in the United States or Europe.
The L9 is a luxury family hauler and we talked about it in June this year when our friends at Wheelsboy shared a static review of the BMW X7 competitor and made a promise for a full behind-the-wheel video later this year. That moment has come and we are happy to share the test drive accompanied by an exclusive photo gallery attached below. All the visual production belongs to Wheelsboy which shared it with the Motor1.com audience.
Gallery: Li Auto L9 review by Wheelsboy
The video at the top of this page was shot on a special proving ground where the L9 was tested on asphalt and off the paved road. The 10-minute clip starts with a demonstration of the vehicle’s safety systems, though that’s not something we haven’t seen many times before. We are much more interested in the moose test, which the L9 passed with flying colors, albeit we don’t know the maximum speed.
The Chinese luxury SUV was surely not designed for off-road adventures, though – as this review shows – it can do off-road pretty well. There’s no locking differential, though the electric motors of the hybrid powertrain seem to be doing a good job in power distribution when the traction is low. Also, 23.6 inches (60 centimeters) of water are also not a problem for the vehicle.
Powering the L9 is a range extender hybrid system that consists of a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and two electric motors. The peak output of the system is 440 horsepower (330 kilowatts). A 44.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides an electric range of up to 112 miles (180 kilometers), while the 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration takes 5.3 seconds.