[YesAuto Design Decoding] Some people say that SAIC-GM-Wuling is the “cradle of sacred cars”, while others say that it is a sane market research expert. In any case, SAIC-GM-Wuling has repeatedly confirmed everything with “impeccable” sales data. . Recently, news of a pure electric household mobility car under the Wuling brand has spread like wildfire, and some people call it the Chinese version of K-Car. This feeling of mystery and familiarity makes people feel that they are near and far away, and the moon is overwhelming. In order to find out, we came to the SAIC-GM-Wuling Design Center in Liuzhou and talked with the designer about what kind of product it is.
■ It’s still the designer, but is it still the design team?
Those who follow SAIC-GM-Wuling may be familiar with the designer Gao Chenwei. Because many of the products under the Xinbaojun and Wuling brands are from him, we also had a dialogue with him in the design interpretation of the Xinbaojun RS-5 and the Xinbaojun RM-5. But when I met him this time, he introduced to us: “The current design team of SAIC-GM-Wuling has changed a lot in terms of number, division of labor, and team planning compared with before.” Once Liuzhou has a design team of nearly 200 people, and there are more than 80 people in Shanghai, but now it has absorbed many outstanding designers, and the overall design team has been further expanded to nearly 400 people.
Gao Chenwei also said: “In the last two to three years, our design team has completed the design of more than ten models including traditional models, new energy models and four concept cars.” The rapid implementation of so many excellent products in a short period of time actually depends on the efficiency of the design team, the execution of the engineers, and their strong combat effectiveness and cohesion.
The slogan of SAIC-GM-Wuling is “Wuling will make what the people need”. Under the example of this spiritual role, the design team has also derived a slogan, which is “Wuling needs to make what we design!”
In interviews with many car company brand designers, we understand that the young state of the designer requires the thinking and vitality of keeping up with the times, of course, this also requires a lot of energy and physical strength from the designer. In this era of rapid product iteration and rapid production development, Gao Chenwei believes that it is necessary to deal with it through the attitude of “world martial arts, only quick and unbreakable”. Here, the design team cannot simply treat it as a task to complete. Instead, regardless of personal gains and losses, the design team needs to be driven by the deep love of design in order to create better works.
■ Hongguang MINI EV's product positioning and audience analysis
● A small car pursuing the ultimate practicality of space
At present, China's urban traffic generally suffers from travel problems such as congestion, difficulty in parking, and high fuel costs. At the same time, in the post-epidemic era, more and more users are paying attention to the privacy of travel space, and consumers have increased demand for first or additional purchases of vehicles. People's demand for convenient travel is real, and the market demand is huge.
They may be full-time mothers, working people, or young people who have just stepped into society. They travel around 30km in radius every day. These people need a practical, convenient, low-cost and safe transportation tool to meet multiple travel scenarios such as commuting to get off work, picking up children, shopping and grocery shopping, and personal leisure travel.
● The official replacement of “low-speed electric vehicles”
The design team of SAIC-GM-Wuling did a lot of market research before developing this product. At present, there are a large number of low-speed electric vehicles in non-first-tier cities in the Central Plains (commonly known as “Laotou Le” and “Old Age Scooter”, and the price is between 20,000 and 30,000 yuan). The needs of the target population of Hongguang MINI EV are very similar. Their demand for cars is very low, and they are pursuing the extreme price-performance ratio of small cars, but they are not guaranteed in terms of safety and quality. For this part of users, in fact, they have no more choices in the market at present.
The Hongguang MINI EV launched by SAIC-GM-Wuling can fully meet the needs of these users, and is given by the “three no products” such as low-speed electric vehicles in terms of quality, safety, brand power, and after-sales service. It's impossible. More importantly, this car is protected by car insurance, can travel at high speeds, and can also enjoy the comfort brought by the configuration such as on-board air conditioning. “The name is just right”, nothing more than that.
■ Appearance design concept-design pursuit function
It is precisely because the Hongguang MINI EV is a small car that pursues the ultimate space practicality, and such a product does not need to be too exaggerated, too enchanting, and too exaggerated “for the sake of good-looking” styling design; and It is to be practical, durable, and durable so that more people can accept it. What it pursues is a larger coverage and a larger scope of application for consumer groups. On the whole, Hongguang MINI EV is “design pursuit function”.
Although “focusing on practicality and function” is the first, of course this does not mean that Hongguang MINI EV has given up on the design. Under the premise of ensuring practicality, the perfect combination of “aesthetics and space practicality” is realized. The new car adopts the design technique of “trimming geometry”, giving it a three-dimensional image and dynamic beauty, which is stable and full of changes; It is more square, but the body is also mostly flat and slightly curved, so that it can leave more space inside the extremely small body.
The length, width and height of the body are 2917/1493/1621mm respectively, and the wheelbase is 1940mm. The body size is small and flexible, so that it can be opened and stopped well, and two Hongguang MINI EVs can be parked in the traditional parking space. Walking through the streets is easy, especially in densely populated places such as vegetable markets and small streets, which greatly improves the convenience of daily transportation. Thanks to the compact body size, the Hongguang MINI EV has a turning radius of only 4.2m. As a 4-seater model, it is very easy to turn around.
When the vehicle size and wheelbase are determined, the length of the front/rear overhang often has a direct impact on the size of the interior space. The longer the front overhang and the farther the A-pillar is, the smaller the interior space. When designing the Hongguang MINI EV, the design concept of shortening the front/rear suspension as much as possible was adopted to maximize the internal space.
In terms of body color, the design team chose four low-gray, bright and soft colors for the car: Nebula White, Xinghui Gold (yellow), Xingkong Blue, and Xingyun Powder. On the one hand, it also combines the current trend of popular colors of new energy vehicles; on the other hand, it is hoped that in a serious environment where the epidemic has not yet fully ended, it can bring users more joy and boost their mood through it. Among them, the two colors of star blue and star rhyme powder are relatively rare in the market, which can make this “Hongguang Little Car” turn into a moving visual focus, which well demonstrates the owner's unique aesthetic taste.
■ Pursue warmth and fun in the simple home interior style
In the interior part, the new car uses two-color mix and match home texture fabrics, the overall style is soft and warm. The interior design style of Hongguang MINI EV represents an attitude to life, and it is not a fast-paced and intense life. On the contrary, it creates a comfortable life at home.
Taking into account the actual use of the user's car, Hongguang MINI EV removes the redundant display screen and other entertainment equipment, making the entire interior design more simple, and the operation buttons on the dashboard have clear functions and simple operations. When we talked about the popular floating screen, in addition to the cost issue that we can consider, Gao Chenwei also explained that because in the actual car scene of the user, within the range of 30-40km in the living area, the range of activity It is small, does not take a long time to use the car, and is very familiar with the surrounding environment, so it is not highly dependent on navigation, car networking and other functions. Of course, users can also choose to install the Internet of Vehicles configuration, through the “intelligent voice robot” can realize simple functions such as navigation, listening to music.
■ Magical space design
For a mini-car, everyone is most concerned about the internal space. Similarly, for Gao Chenwei’s design team, the biggest difficulty to overcome is how to put down four seats in an effective space and make ergonomics better; and how can some The effective space is used, and in combination with the overall shape, as much storage space as possible is cleverly designed to make it easy to use and practical.
Gao Chenwei said: For our design team, the interior design of this car is more challenging than the exterior, because the exterior size of the Hongguang MINI EV is very small, and the interior needs to be designed with two rows of four seats in the front and rear. The layout is a test of the designer's skills. In order to achieve the optimal solution for the multi-person short-distance travel scenario of the mini-vehicle, the design team also used many innovative designs.
Due to the need to place large air-conditioning mechanical parts in the limited space inside the center console, Hongguang MINI EV does not have a traditional glove box, but considering that the user’s daily car still has some insurance documents, driver’s licenses, For the needs of cards and other items, storage compartments and net pockets are also intimately arranged under the center console to facilitate users to place items in them.
The seat of the trunk can be tilted forward as a whole, which is very convenient for taking and placing large items such as luggage or strollers. It is understood that the car will add a version that supports the two rear seats to be tilted independently in the future. Taking into account the layout of the battery and seats, the opening of the trunk is higher, which is also based on the choice of meeting the rear row under the electric layout.
■ What are the similarities and differences between it and Japanese K-Car?
From the perspective of the body structure, the relatively more square shape is the body shape with the largest volume and the most practical internal space among the various shape structures. In this way, the body design concept is similar to the Japanese K-Car. Speaking of this, some people say that the Hongguang MINI EV is the “Chinese version of K-Car”, so what are the similarities and differences between it and the Japanese K-Car?
We all know that the birth of Japanese K-Car was derived from their national conditions, regulations, and culture at that time. From another perspective, it can also be said to be a product under the influence of local policies (no parking space certification is required, and the cost of maintaining a car is cheap). As far as China’s current national conditions are concerned, the population density of many cities and towns is also very high. In this case, the design concept of K-Car's small body and large space is also very suitable for us.
Regarding the common points of Hongguang MINI EV and K-Car, first of all, they both have a lovely square body; secondly, the pursuit of ultimate space practicality is also one of their common points. Through the application of the MM concept, it is possible to realize the mechanical as much as possible. Minimize space and maximize ride space. Like the Japanese K-Car, the Hongguang MINI EV can fabricate 4 seats within 3 meters, and the rear seats can be folded flat to achieve a flexible space in the car. In addition, through the in-cut design, the internal space is expanded, and the excavated part is used as storage space to increase the practicality of the internal space, which is also their common point.
In terms of differences, K-Car will extremely compress the mechanical space in pursuit of space practicability, with a lower chassis and general passability; while Hongguang MINI EV, as an electric vehicle, has a battery pack placed on the chassis and has a larger ground clearance. Passability will be better. Secondly, Hongguang MINI EV uses a two-door four-seater layout, which is different from the general layout of K-Car. In addition, K-Car is more expensive in terms of price and relatively cheap to maintain a car. Although Hongguang MINI EV has not announced the price yet, based on the analysis of the audience and the consistent style of Wuling brand, its price should be relatively close to the people.
■ Is the cruising range really enough?
The cruising range of this car is available in two versions, 120km and 170km. Many friends here will be more worried-is the cruising range enough? In fact, it was originally designed for those short-distance travel groups who pay attention to practicality, safety, and economic convenience. It is mainly used to meet the needs of users in the city or community. According to survey data, household users in second-tier cities and below generally travel within 30km, and the endurance of Hongguang MINI EV can fully guarantee their daily commuting needs. At the same time, lower battery capacity means lighter vehicle weight and lower cost, which will be reflected in the real driving efficiency and actual selling price, so this is a design based on comprehensive considerations and trade-offs based on multiple comprehensive factors Ideas.
Regarding the charging method, the new car can directly use the 220V three-plug power supply of the ordinary household grounding wire for charging, and the charging time is about 6 hours/9 hours. DC fast charging is often designed to cope with long-distance travel between cities. In this case, it is necessary to shorten the charging interval as much as possible, and it is highly dependent on public infrastructure. As a city commuter scooter, Hongguang MINI EV is practical for DC fast charging. It is not meaningful.
★ Summary of the full text:
From the above design interpretation, we can understand that Hongguang MINI EV is a convenient and practical scooter. Its design concept is to meet the needs of space maximization and humanization. From its clear product positioning, we can also feel the sincerity of this product. In the end, the price of the product must be returned. It is reported that the new car will officially start pre-sale on May 28, and will go on sale in June. From the two points of wanting to seize the market of “low-speed electric vehicles” and the consistent style of Wuling brand, we guess that it will give a reasonable price that is relatively close to the people.