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Tesla Model Y will face a big challenge in 2025: New Zeekr CX1E electric SUV teased ahead of global launch as Zeekr 7X with ultra-fast charging battery tech

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Zeekr CX1E pre-production
Zeekr CX1E pre-production

Zeekr has shown off a new model in China, which is codenamed the CX1E.

Some have named the new midsize SUV the Ark but there is a hint in the reveal posted to Chinese social media site Weibo by Zeekr vice-president Lin Jinwen, that the car’s name is hidden in the Louis Vuitton-like camouflage. 

If you can spot similarities to the Zeekr 007 in the CX1E’s unique headlight design and surfacing you wouldn’t be alone. This gives us a hint to the car’s most likely names: Zeekr 7X or Zeekr 007X. 

There are 7s and Xs in the camouflage wrap and it is expected to be an SUV version of the 7 sedan – not unlike the close connection between Model Y and Model 3

The 7X/CX1E electric mid-size SUV would face the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV5 and Mustang Mach-E in a hotly contested segment. 

Zeekr is a Geely brand (Geely also owns Volvo, Polestar and Lotus) that specialises in higher-end products aimed at export markets.

This means the new CX1E/7X may join Zeekr’s 009 people mover and Zeekr X - the brand's Volvo EX30-related small SUV - in Australia.

We will see the car undisguised by the year’s end. 

Zeekr CX1E pre-production
Zeekr CX1E pre-production

Being related to the 007, it’s likely the Zeekr CX1E/7X will use the same high-tech ‘Golden Brick’ lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery and 800-volt architecture. 

It promises higher energy density than your average LFP battery - such as BYD’s blade battery in the Seal sedan - while the high voltage permits DC fast-charging up to 500kW. 

That’s enough to beat a Kia EV6’s charge speeds and could see the CX1E/Ark recuperate up to 500km driving range in 15 minutes. 

The platform is known as the PMA2+ which is a version of the Sustainable Electric Architecture (SEA) that is not currently utilised by Polestar or Volvo. 

Zeekr 007 sedan
Zeekr 007 sedan

CarNewsChina reports the CX1E has been spied testing in Europe, confirming export intentions. The Zeekr brand has a presence in Sweden and the Netherlands, where it currently sells the 001 coupe SUV and X small SUV.

Related spy shots show the vehicle has the same steering wheel as the Zeekr X but a larger 15-inch multimedia touchscreen that can rotate to support portrait or landscape orientation. 

Expect the CX1E/Ark to debut later this year, when CarNewsChina reports it will cost between 240,000 to 350,000 yuan range (A$49,000-A$71,300).

Zeekr’s website lists a litany of countries in Western Europe, including Denmark, Italy, France and Spain as ‘coming soon’ markets. An Australian Zeekr X launch is expected by early 2025.

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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