It's China's Lexus.
The Geely Auto Group has officially announced a new flagship brand for its upcoming high-end electrified vehicles. These cars will be known as the Galaxy series, and the range will consist of long-range hybrid and battery-electric vehicles.
As part of the announcement, Galaxy introduced the two models that will lead the charge. The Galaxy L7 PHEV SUV appears to be production ready, while the Galaxy Light is a fully-electric concept model that likely previews the range of models that will be introduced under this new banner.
Geely Galaxy will introduce seven new vehicles within the next two years. Four of these products will be long-range PHEVs, and the remaining three will be pure electric.
The Galaxy L7 and L6 (sedan) will start shipping in the second and third quarter of this year. The E8, will be the first all-electric model, and deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Geely didn't have much to say about its all-electric models except that it will use its new Aegis battery safety system. This new system not only adequately protects the battery pack in the event of a direct impact in a crash but also against things that impact its lifespan. Aegis can predict and prevent thermal runaways and various other situations that negatively affect battery life. The result is a claimed 20% increase in battery life.
The current estimated lifespan of a battery is 100,000 to 200,000 miles, which means in a best-case scenario, you're looking at an additional 40,000 miles. Still, Geely did not provide range estimates and will likely only make that information available closer to the E8's launch.
For now, the PHEV models are way more interesting, thanks to Geely Auto's NordThor dedicated hybrid engine. It's called the NordThor 884, and Geely claims it has a peak thermal efficiency of 44.26%. A typical ICE engine only operates at 25% thermal efficiency.
This impressive engine is mated to the NordThor three-speed dedicated hybrid transmission, which Geely says offers the best performance and fuel economy combination. The engine and gearbox will get the large L7 from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 125 mph. Most impressive is the claimed fuel consumption, which Geely says is 45 mpg. On a full tank, the L7 can go 856 miles on a single tank.
Now, we always take these kinds of claims with a grain of salt. Chinese manufacturers have a history of laying it on thick, not to mention the country's flawed standard fuel consumption tests.
All Galaxy models will be equipped with the new Galaxy N-Operating System. Geely designs and builds its own chips, operating systems, intelligent cloud computing, and satellite networks. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8155 vehicle chip backs the system.
Geely also has its own network of satellites, which means the navigation systems will be accurate to within fractions of an inch. This helps with intelligent driving features, like automatically setting up the suspension for an upcoming corner. The Geely Group will launch even more satellites until there are a total of 72 giving the Galaxy range global coverage. We wonder whether the word "global" includes the USA. Probably not, as Geely doesn't need the USA, as its home country is the world's biggest market for cars.
The Geely Group is not publicly listed but is owned by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu. Shufu has written several blank cheques throughout the years to save legacy manufacturers.
The group currently holds a controlling stake in Volvo, Lotus, Polestar, and a new exciting upstart called Zeekr.
Thankfully, Geely is not directly involved in running the above companies. It simply gave these flailing companies enough money to get them back on track, and so far, all of them have succeeded. But now may be the time to start paying Geely back, allowing Galaxy to dip into the parts bin.
Galaxy will likely borrow heavily from Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus. The PHEV models will probably borrow powertrains from models like the S90 Recharge, albeit with the newly developed gearbox. Polestar's focus is on electric models, so that's likely where Galaxy will get EV motors and battery packs.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Geely is introducing a luxury brand. It launched Emgrand in 2005, and it was axed in 2014. We had the misfortune of driving the Emgrand EC7, and it felt like an abused 10th-generation Toyota Corolla.
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