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Electric MPV Exeed concept is headed for production … with its ingenious doors

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Chinese automotive giant Chery spawned the Exeed luxury sports brand in 2017, and the Exeed E08 “concept MPV” shown at Auto China last week definitely does exceed expectations.

The Exeed 08 features automation at six key points to vastly increase the usability of the vehicle and to optimize space, plus it offers a few very handy party tricks.

At 5.2 meters (17 ft) in length, it is less than two inches longer than a Kia Carnival or Chrysler Pacifica, but the Chinese-UK design team appears to have thought about using every part of the vehicle to create better access and usability, and much of the function of the vehicle’s robotic doors was not demonstrated to the press during the press days.

It didn’t need to apply much mayonnaise to the media day sell because of the size and sheer elegance of the vehicle.

Starting from a clean sheet, Exeed has used that vast area at the front of an MPV for a series of lights, rather than imprinting the traditional “company design DNA” (aka family resemblance) that is essentially a carryover from the internal combustion engine era – when designs were required to accommodate large radiators and air ducts.

Regardless, it has done a gorgeous job of sculpting a vehicle that looks the part, but it’s the functionality that we’re most excited about.

The E08's doors can be seen from above, with the driver and passenger doors moved forward and flat with the side of the vehicle.
The E08’s doors can be seen from above, with the driver and passenger doors moved forward and flat with the side of the vehicle.

Chery Automobile

The above image was released by Chery in the weeks prior to the world’s most important car show, Auto China. The show opened in Beijing on 25 April and runs until 4 May 2024. It clearly shows front doors that can remain flat with the vehicle while open, and the massive sliding doors on either side of the vehicle which offer easy access to the third row of seats

As can be seen from this photo from the show, the front doors also open much wider than normal doors, but with this degree of access available on both sides of the vehicle, the design certainly gets the maximum space possible from the shape of the vehicle.

Chery offered no information about the technologies that have been integrated into the E08, and the display was visibly working throughout the show, though its functionality was never demonstrated. The central screen in the above image appears to be largely multimedia entertainment for the passengers, with the dashboard being that long strip that sits deeper into the windscreen nacelle. It features the rear-view camera displays on the edges, then an array of the car’s functionality spread across the field of view.

The more we looked at the E08, the more we were convinced that someone had really thought about things. What really sealed the deal for us was the rear end treatment. Using automation, the rear of the vehicle can transform into a luxurious viewing platform – a portable viewing platform that will find many uses, from watching the kids play sport to … just add your own scenery.

The E08 is not your average “concept car” where things are static and there to gauge public opinion. For starters, we do know that the car is built on Chery’s new E0X platform announced late in 2023, and intended for use in 24 PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle) and 15 high-end BEV (battery electric vehicle) models across its Exeed, Jetour and iCAR brands over the next two years. So that explains why everything was working.

It might also indicate the closeness of production readiness and partly explain why Chery decided to keep schtum on the functionality and detail of the vehicle. There seems little doubt the public disclosures were walked back in the period immediately prior to the show.

It might also explain why before the 2024 Beijing Auto Show is even finished, rumours are swirling that the Exeed E08 concept car will see production before the year is out, with a price of CNY 400,000 – 500,000 (USD$55,000 – $70,000).

The Chery company’s stance is to pursue “disruptive innovation.” It has committed to invest $14 billion in R&D over the next five years, and the MPV segment is hot in China at the moment. Last year 1.1 million MPVs sold in China, but the trends show a latent demand for electric MPVs.

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