The Chinese automotive industry – especially in its part that is focused on electric vehicle developments – is progressing faster than ever. Many startup companies now sell battery-powered products on the local market and the country’s legacy automakers are quickly catching up with new models. One of the latest to join the party is Changan, a Chinese state-owned automobile manufacturer headquartered in Jiangbei.
Changan has two new brands focused on electric mobility. One of them is called Shenlan and this marque has a new product that will try to compete against the Tesla Model 3 in the People’s Republic. There’s a new video from our friends at Wheelsboy detailing the so-called Shenlan SL03 and below you’ll also find an exclusive photo gallery of the electric vehicle.
Gallery: Changan Shenlan SL03
Jointly developed with Huawei and CATL, the SL03 looks a lot like a traditional liftback. While the overall shape may remind us of the Tesla Model 3, the car is actually longer and has edgier forms that make it look sharper on the outside. In addition to a purely electric vehicle, it is also sold as a range-extender EV with a 1.5-liter engine. Today, however, we will focus on the battery-powered variant.
The dry numbers show power comes from a rear-mounted 255-horsepower (190-kilowatt) electric motor, which has a peak torque of 236 pound-feet (320 Newton-meters). The battery has a capacity of 58.1 kilowatt-hours, which should be enough for about 320 miles (515 kilometers) at a single charge according to China’s WLTC cycle. The sprint from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) takes 5.9 seconds.
The comparison with a Tesla Model 3 isn’t exaggerated. The SL03 has similar performance capabilities, the two vehicles share the same basic design, and there are even more similarities in the cabin. The EV from China has the same minimalist interior layout that’s even taken to a new level with no available decorations in a color different than black. One very interesting feature has to be the tilting center display for the infotainment screen, which – the host says – is a more useful feature than expected.