Alibaba And SAIC Team Up To Launch New IM EV Brand, Sedan Features 39-Inch Display And Autonomous Driving Tech


Alibaba and SAIC have joined forces to launch an all-new automotive brand called Zhiji Auto / IM.

Set to become China’s latest premium electric vehicle maker, the company will have a lineup that includes a stylish sedan and crossover.

The sedan features a streamlined design and an intelligent lighting system which reportedly consists of 2.6 million pixels of light. They can be used to show animations as well as the charging status.

Besides the high-tech lights, the sedan has flush-mounted door handles and aerodynamic wheels. We can also see a panoramic glass roof, a roof-mounted sensor pod and full-width taillights.

Also Read: Geely Joins Forces With Chinese Search Giant Baidu To Build Intelligent Electric Cars

The upscale styling continues in the cabin as drivers will find semi-aniline leather, wood trim and metallic accents. The sedan has also been equipped with dual pane windows and electric closing doors.

Those features are nice, but they’re largely overshadowed by a 39-inch widescreen display that rises out of the dashboard and is broken up into three different sections. If that wasn’t enough screen space, there’s a secondary 12.8-inch display that ramps out of the center console like in the 2021 Mercedes S-Class.

Speaking of technology, the car has been equipped with 15 high-definition cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and five millimeter wave radars. They’re used for the semi-autonomous driving system and Tesla-like summon feature.

At the end of the year, IM will reportedly offer point-to-point autonomous driving. Details are limited and it’s reportedly dependent on government approval.

However, NVIDIA confirmed the vehicles use their DRIVE Orin compute platform and have multiple Orin SoCs. They allow for “500 to 1,000+ TOPS [trillion operations per second] of performance for automated and autonomous capabilities in addition to in-cabin personalization that is continuously upgradable over-the-air for a truly software-defined experience.”

On the performance front, there are two electric motors which give the vehicles all-wheel drive as well as a combined output of 536 hp (400 kW / 544 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. This will enable the sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.

A 93 kWh battery comes standard, while a 115 kWh battery will also be available. With the latter, the sedan will reportedly have a range of up to 543 miles (874 km) in the NEDC cycle.

Interestingly, the car is set to come with the world’s first mass-produced high-speed wireless electric vehicle charger. It charges at up to 11 kW and can give the car a range of 43-50 miles (70-80 km) in as little as an hour.

Getting back to performance, the vehicles ride on an aluminum architecture and feature chassis tuning by Williams. We can also expect an adaptive damping system and rear wheel steering.

The sedan will be showcased at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, while the crossover will follow in 2022.

more photos…

Updated: January 14, 2021 — 11:45 pm

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