Not so long ago, Chinese cars were barred from entering Europe due to poor built quality, low crash test score and inadequate safety features on offer. What happened next, they went back to the drawing board and within the next 5 years were able to surprise the Europeans by launching cars that attained 4-stars Euro-NCAP crash test score.
And then came the EV revolution, with all sorts of big & small scale Chinese automakers entering Europe with a flurry of quality electric vehicles, which are so good in many levels that Europeans can do nothing but to welcome them, particularly in wake of ever-evolving & stringent emission standards which even the Euro-6 compliant cars are failing to comply to.
The latest addition to the list of Chinese automakers entering Europe is Voyah, which is a high-end EV brand under the umbrella of Dongfeng Motors. Currently, its model lineup consists of only one electric SUV called Free. Voyah has recently announced that it will arrive in Norway in June 2022. The first Voyah overseas store will open in the center of Oslo, the capital of Norway. The deliveries will commence towards Q4, 2022 following which Voyah will enter other European countries with a broader product range. Keep in mind 3 Chinese automakers including Nio, BYD and Xpeng are already operating in Norway.
Voyah Free is a 7-seater full-sized electric crossover SUV that was put into production in the third quarter of 2021 for the Chinese domestic market. It was originally previewed as the Voyah iFree concept at the 2020 Beijing Auto Show in September 2020. The production version is said to have been co-designed by renowned design & engineering company Italdesign of Italy.
The Voyah Free is built on the Dongfeng’s Electric Smart Secure Architecture (ESSA) platform and measures 4,905/1,950/1,660mm with a wheelbase of 2,960mm. For the sake of comparison its almost similar to the new Toyota Land Cruiser J300 in terms of dimensions. It has almost identical length & width but is obviously shorter in height. The suspension of the Voyah Free is a combination of front double wishbones and rear multi-links, and the chassis parts use all-aluminum subframes and connecting rods. Top of the trim models are equipped with air suspension, which automatically lowers when switching to the high energy driving mode.
There are three versions of Voyah Free. The first is fully electric with rear-wheel drive and outputs 347 hp and 520 Nm. The second is also fully electric but with all-wheel drive, and delivers 694 hp and 1,040 Nm. The third iteration is a range-extended hybrid with a 1.5L turbo engine that charges the battery. The combined power output of the extended-range model is 671 hp and 1,000 Nm peak torque.
The NEDC comprehensive cruising range of the extended-range model is 860 km while 0-100 km/h acceleration takes just 4.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 200 km/h. The NEDC cruising range of the pure electric model is 500 km and the 0-100 km/h sprint takes 4.8 seconds.
The Voyah Free provides L2 advanced automatic driving assistance functions, featuring 3 mm wave radars as sensing hardware. The vehicle is equipped with 9 cameras and 12 ultrasonic radars to perform driving assistance functions, including ACC (adaptive cruise control), LKA (lane keeping assist), AEB (autonomous emergency braking), 360° panoramic imagery and BSD (blind spot detection). Also equipped is an effective active night vision system within 150 meters in front that identifies pedestrians and animals.
The price range of Voyah Free in China is from 313,600 yuan to 363,600 yuan (PKR 86.69 lac to PKR 100.5 lac). Voyah Free boasts 5-star C-NCAP crash test score with an impressive 91.3% protection offered to its occupants. As of January 2022, the 10,000th Voyah Free was already delivered in China.
Voyah is in works to expand its lineup with an electric MPV called Dreamer as well as an electric liftback called H53 that is set to make its debut in Chinese market in 2023 and will reach European markets thereafter.
Upcoming Voyah Dreamer and H53
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com