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Tesla Model Y Facing Another Chinese Rival

Key Takeaways

  • New Avatr electric crossover teased ahead of Q2 2024 reveal.
  • The upcoming Tesla Model Y rival is expected to be called the Avatr 15 when it arrives.
  • 22-inch wheels, increased ride height, and adventure-inspired accessories hint at off-road capability.

Chinese automaker Avatr has teased a new electric crossover that is rumored to take on the Tesla Model Y directly. Teased on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the new crossover sports design cues that were first seen on other models, like the handsome Avatr 12 luxury sedan. Based on earlier spy shots, the vehicle pictured here appears to be the upcoming Avatr 15.

The camouflage makes it difficult to see details up close, but there are a few things we can see. For a start, the crossover has a generous ride height, suggesting that it will have some off-road ability. There could also be adjustable air suspension, but that remains to be seen.

Here’s What We Can Expect

It looks as if Avatr is trying to market its newcomer as an upmarket lifestyle vehicle for adventure-minded consumers. That can be seen in the various accessories, such as a roof rack with sporting equipment. We can also see the electric crossover will wear 22-inch wheels. Interestingly, the camouflage covers the area where you’d expect a rear window. Perhaps the Avatr 15 will debut without a rear window, much like the aforementioned 12 sedan.

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Interestingly, the new Avatr crossover has been teased with both conventional side mirrors and slimmer camera-based units. Base models will probably use the former, while top-spec variants (in certain markets) will use the camera system. These will likely increase range and efficiency by reducing the vehicle’s drag coefficient.

Debut Is Around The Corner

Information is scarce at this time, but overseas reports suggest that the Avatr will debut in the second quarter of 2024, which means it could arrive any minute now. In terms of size, expect it to measure 187 inches from stem to stern. It will be underpinned by the CHN architecture co-developed by Changan, CATL, and Huawei. We’d expect the Avatr 15 to share drivetrains with its siblings, which means we can expect as much as 578 horsepower and a 94.5 kWh battery from CATL.

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Currently, Avatr only sells its vehicles in China, but there are plans to expand into other markets. At first, the premium automaker will start marketing EVs in Thailand, reports Car News China, but will eventually enter key markets such as South America, Europe, and North America. There’s a low chance that Avatr will offer its cars in the United States, but, like rival brand Build Your Dream, there’s a possibility they may be available in Mexico.

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