Hongqi E-QM5 Is An Electric Sedan With A Funky Face

Will this funky face on this new Hongqi attract or detract buyers from it?

EVs, thanks to its lack of an engine, does not really need to conform with the conventional automotive design standards of its conventionally-powered counterparts. That being said, out of the box aesthetics can sometimes go too far, as it has with the case of this new Hongqi E-QM5. 

Unveiled at the 2021 Haikou International New Energy Vehicle and Connected Mobility Show, this new Hongqi electric sedan undoubtably has, to put it kindly, a funky-looking face. Featuring a unique split-style lighting signature, not to mention an enclosed ‘waterfall grille’ and a prominent chrome strip running part way down the bonnet, the E-QM5 is certainly not easily mistaken for any other car. 

Its interesting design continues further down the side of this compact sedan, with a chrome trim running along the upper window line, before finishing up on an extended black C-pillar trim for added visual flair on its side profile. Completing the exterior highlights on this Hongqi are the oddly small-looking alloy wheels and scythe-like bifurcated tail lights on its short, stubby and tapered rear end. 

This interesting exterior design aesthetic is no accident of course, as the E-QM5 is designed by ex-Rolls-Royce designer Jiles Taylor, who has been hired by the Chinese automaker since his departure from Goodwood marque two years ago. Then again, it is harder to see the resemblance to the Phantom or the Cullinan in this particular Hongqi, unlike the more reasonably-styled H9 luxury sedan and the HS9 luxury SUV. 

As for the powertrain of the E-QM5, it is really nothing as funky as what the exterior would lead one believe. Instead, power for this Hongqi comes from a single 190 hp electric motor hooked up to a lithium iron phosphate battery pack. 

While it might not seem like a whole lot of power, because it isn’t, the claimed all-electric range of the Hongqi is actually not too bad. On a single charge, the E-QM5 supposedly is able to achieve an NEDC-claimed range of 430 km. 

Moving inside, much like the powertrain and totally unlike the exterior, the interior of the E-QM5 too is similarly conventional, with the large, almost iPad-like floating central touchscreen sticking out of the woodgrain and leather-wrapped dashboard perhaps being the highlight of the cabin. Other interior features up front worth a mention include a multi-function steering wheel, semi-analogue instrument cluster and a floating centre console which contains an electronic handbrake and a stubby gear lever. 

Then again, there is some unconventionality with the interior of the E-QM5. That is because in the rear compartment of this Hongqi is only seats two people. Making it a dedicated four seater only, much like a Porsche Panamera. Where normally the central rear seat goes is instead taken up by a dedicated armrest with cupholders and an array of buttons.

To be launched sometime in March in its home market, prices for the E-QM5 are estimated to be somewhere around the 180,000 yuan (RM 110,000) mark. No word yet though on whether it will actually be sold outside of China. 

Looking at it though, the chances of it, or any Hongqi for that matter, officially making it into the international market are slim to none at the moment. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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