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Chinese car brand HiPhi is coming to the UK

Chinese EV start-up HiPhi will sell cars in Europe by the end of 2023, with right-hand drive models for the UK set to follow

China’s most innovative EV start-up has confirmed that it’ll be selling cars in Europe by the end of 2023, with the UK set to follow. Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, HiPhi CTO, former-JLR engineering director Mark Stanton, said: ”We will definitely be going right-hand drive and going to the UK – I just can’t tell you when yet.”

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Asked whether we could speculate over a 2026 arrival in the UK, Stanton replied, “I hope it’s not going to be that long.”

HiPhi will be selling its first two cars, HiPhi Z and HiPhi X, in Germany and Norway from the end of this year, with HiPhi Hubs - rather than traditional showrooms - opening in Oslo, Norway and Munich in Germany.

First to arrive will be the X SUV - a rival in terms of positioning for Tesla’s Model X - which has just received European Union Individual Vehicle Approval. The Z - a saloon rival for the Porsche Taycan - will arrive at roughly the same time.

As well as announcing its global push at the Shanghai Auto Show, HiPhi also revealed its third model, the HiPhi Y, smaller crossover that’s particularly aimed at Europe and broader expansion.

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HiPhi models are hi-tech premium cars that look like nothing else on the road. With sharp creases and contrasting colours used around the bodywork, the low-slung Z model also features lighting panels along the front, backside of the car, which will create a light show when the car is stationary. The headlights will also project the same image onto a wall that is displayed on the infotainment screen inside the car - and the screen itself will rotate and adjust its angle towards driver or passenger.

The graphics on the infotainment screen have been developed with leading gaming designers and will control the opening of doors and windows, as well as taking care of other functions. Quality and space inside is impressive.

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The X SUV is slightly more restrained, but with a party piece of its own: two-part rear doors with front-hinged doors and roof wings that lift up to allow you to literally step into the car and sit down. They also aid access for an optional third row of seats.

Powering the HiPhi X is a 97kWh battery with two 300bhp electric motors - one on each axle. The firm claims a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds and a range of 403 miles, although it’s worth noting that figure was achieved under the Chinese testing environment. 

Stanton, with a host of fine-driving Jaguar and Land Rover products on his CV, has been responsible for the dynamic development of the cars and promises that HiPhis will prove that electric cars can be fun. But although its cars will be compared to the likes of the Porsche Taycan, he doesn’t expect the same types of buyers to be considering his cars. “Somebody who wants a Porsche will always want a Porsche,” he said. “Our buyers in China are younger - or young at heart - and really tech savvy.” The HiPhi X is currently the best-selling luxury SUV in China.

The new HiPhi Y, set to arrive in Europe some time in 2024, follows a similar theme to the X with its two-stage opening rear doors. It’ll use a development of the same platform as the X and Z models, so expect a maximum range of around 370 miles.

Would you like to see HiPhi in the UK? Let us know in the comments section...

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