mPreview: Zeekr X – X Gon' Give It To Ya

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719322002481 Mpreview Zeekr X X Gon Give It To Ya Featured

Zeekr is the latest in a long line of Chinese electric carmakers making their way into the Singapore market and will have it all to do to set themselves apart from the competition.

Their first challenger will be the Zeekr X, a compact crossover with an eye towards the future. The X is gunning to be the first choice for tech-savvy drivers who want to enjoy the EV lifestyle and the high-tech features that come along with it. 

Zeekr has also positioned itself on the more luxurious end of the spectrum, focusing on high-quality materials and a premium feel to the interior and exterior designs. While the SUV body style may be commonplace nowadays, Zeekr has ensured that people can distinguish the X from the others through its various design elements.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719311037719 2024 06 11+170726Does anyone else think it looks a little insect-like?

The Zeekr X features two claw-like daytime running lights that are 3D instead of being flush with the body. The rest of the front fascia is clean, interrupted only by the front camera and a tiny grille just above the front bumper. 

The back end of the X is equally as clean with tasteful details like the Zeekr badge on the back also lit up and in 3D to match the DRLs. While the X itself is as smart as it looks, our limited time with the car, especially on the road, didn’t allow us to try out most of its features.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719311062718 2024 06 11+171209Minimal buttons and giant screens are all the rage these days.

One feature that we did get to try, however, was its artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, Eva. Zeekr were heavily promoting Eva as an intuitive feature that should become almost second nature to use. The instructors certainly seemed to be well accustomed to it, using Eva to do everything from lowering the windows and turning off the rear windscreen wiper, both of which were tasks I’ve never seen any other car-based AI assistant able to do. 

Unfortunately, they had sent me (failed Chinese 10 years in a row) on this trip and as Eva is only currently able to be activated in Chinese, I was far from able to fully utilise Eva to its (her?) maximum potential. I shall just wait for the English language functionality when the X comes to Singapore in August. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719311068769 2024 06 11+171353

While we weren’t allowed to test the Zeekr cars on the roads, we were given a day at Ningbo International Speedpark to put the X and the 009 through their paces. We’ll cover our first impressions of the 009 in a separate article but here’s what the X felt like at first glance.

Boilerplate items first. In all-wheel drive Flagship trim, the X has two motors, a 66kWh battery, 422hp, and 543Nm of torque. 0-100km/h is dispensed of in just 3.7 seconds and it’ll do 420km on a full charge. Those are big boy numbers and the X had the driving dynamics to back it up on the track too. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719316193197 804 A0642+%281%29Speedy through the slalom, even on eco-tyres.

This is still a fairly standard roadgoing SUV so the suspension is setup for the road. While that may be too soft for proper track use, the X’s suspension will hold up just fine for occasional sporty driving or B-road bombing. I believe the pace at which I was pushing the X on the circuit was far greater than any Zeekr X owner will and it held up brilliantly.

The suspension allowed me to easily transfer the X’s weight around to load it up as I saw fit and it was never unsettled, even over the giant kerbs that make up the racing line at the Ningbo circuit.

It’s also got enough slow to match all that go. The Zeekr X comes with 380mm Akebono brakes which can stop the X from 100km/h in just 34.5-metres. On track, the brakes had monstrous stopping power and held up to two and a bit laps of abuse before beginning to fade from the heat. That may not sound like much but 2.5-tons of body weight is a lot of mass to try to slow down. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1719311581881 Img 5705+%281%29Ultra-fast 300kW chargers at the track help to juice up the cars posthaste.

I came away from my short time with the X properly impressed at how it fared out on the track. The balance of the X was surprisingly good for performance driving and the steering though numb in feeling was direct and accurate and made the X easy to place. 

The single-motor, rear-wheel drive, Standard trim of the Zeekr X will have an MSRP of S$220,000 including COE and after VES and EV rebates. Although the all-wheel drive, Flagship variant like the one we tested will be pricier, on paper, it still seems like great value for the performance, tech, and luxury available on tap.

It remains to be seen whether the Zeekr X will be equally as impressive in day-to-day usage but as first impressions go, the X has left a brilliant one. 

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