The Chinese electric Aiways U5 debuts in Spain with Astara

Aiways is a Chinese brand of 100% electric vehicles created in 2017 by Samuel Fu, an entrepreneur with extensive experience in the automotive sector, where he worked for different European brands such as Volvo, Mercedes, Skoda and Audi. His goal was to create a new brand of electric-only vehicles made in China but with the commercial ambition of the European market. Astara (former Bergé) will be the importer of the new brand for Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium and Antonio Muñoz de Verger, its general director in the markets of the Peninsula.

Currently the company has about 1,800 employees and a production plant in the Chinese town of Shangrao that manufactures 150,000 units a year of the first model of the brand, the Aiways U5, but it has an installed capacity of 300,000 vehicles. The headquarters are in Shanghai and the company’s partners include the Chinese battery supplier CATL, Didi Chuxing, the city of Sangrao or the local steel company Shagang.

In Europe, it has its headquarters in Munich, a development center in Denmark and a spare parts warehouse in Holland, which confirms its interest in the markets of the old continent, where it entered in 2020. It is already present in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark , France, Italy and Israel and now it arrives in Spain and Portugal, where the first model of the new brand, the U5, can be purchased online. Your marketing system is a bit different in that you will have agencies within dealerships and online reservations. In mid-2022, the launch of a new model, the U6, this time a coupé with a sporty designand from 2023, a new 100% electric model each year.

Measurements of the U5 Airways

The company has not been very complicated and has landed in the segment with the highest volume, that of SUVs, which is increasingly crowded, but also with a large D-segment car. It is a five-seater saloon and 4.68 meters long, 1.68 wide and 1.70 high, although it appears to be even larger. The electric motor has a power of 150 kW, equivalent to 204 horsepower and a maximum torque of 310 Nm. It allows you to choose between three driving modes (normal, eco and sport) and three levels of electrical regeneration (high, medium and low) depending on a greater or lesser retention.

Has a autonomy of 400 kmWLTP approval, which can increase to 583 in exclusively urban driving in which the braking allows a greater recharge of the batteries. The average consumption is 17 kW/h every 100 km, the top speed 160km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. Charging time with a 11 kW three-phase plug is 7.5 hours. On a fast charger it can recover from 20% to 80% in 35 minutes. Their price is 42,690 euros that if the discounts of the Moves III plan are managed, they can be reduced to 36,690 euros. The warranty is five years or 150,000 km and eight years for the battery.

future models

It is built on a hybrid chassis of aluminum and steel, very resistant but also more flexible and lighter. which achieves a weight saving of about 200 kilos and, therefore, less consumption and more autonomy. Aiways has developed this specific platform that it has called MAS (More Adaptable Structure) on which up to 15 different models can be built. The short overhangs and the wide wheelbase, 2.8 meters, achieve a large interior space. And since it is an electric car, which does not need to occupy the entire space under the hood with mechanics, it has a storage space of 50 liters in that position, as well as more than 500 liters of rear trunk.

Aiways batteries are designed in a ‘sandwich’ structure, under the floor, and, they say, optimized to offer the highest capacity and life time of the market.

technology inside

The interior of the U5 may seem sober, but it packs a lot of technology. A 12.3-inch screen, connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and aids that allow level 2 autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control (iDrive) up to 130 km/h, automatic parking assistant, lane keeping assistant and peripheral vision monitor.

Among the design elements, the retractable door handles stand out, which unfold when the car is opened, the panoramic and electric opening sunroof or the induction mobile recharging system. It also includes alloy wheels, front seats with electric adjustment, opening, closing and starting without a key or an electric tailgate that detects the foot to open.

Among the safety systems, it includes driving assistance, blind spot control, automatic headlight on and off, rain sensor, intelligent high beam, 360-degree camera to assist parking, traffic sign recognition, warning frontal collision, rear traffic warning, emergency brake, lane departure warning or rear radar.

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