Avatr 12: CATL, Changan and Huawei create new electric saloon

Avatr 12 front

The Avatr 12 is the second car to come from the new Chinese brand

New Chinese brand to produce right-hand-drive versions of saloon and 11 SUV from 2024, with UK entry possible

Avatr, the Chinese electric car maker newly founded Huawei, CATL and Changan, has unveiled its 12 saloon – and has plans to produce it in right-hand-drive.

The upmarket five-door liftback is the second production model to be based on Avatr’s EP1 EV platform, after the 11 SUV launched in 2022.

The 12 (pronounced ‘one-two’) is set for sale in China during the final quarter of 2023.

RHD production of both the 11 and the 12 will then start in 2024, Avatr marking chief Li Panghang revealed to Autocar.

“We plan to begin right-hand-drive production in 2024. At the moment, the focus is purely on the Thai market, which we consider very important for Avatr,” he said.

“A decision on when we will expand into other right-hand-drive markets, including the UK, depending on the acceptance of the 11 and 12 outside of China.”

Revealed at the 2023 Munich motor show, the 12 – which uses a 750V electrical architecture – continues the contemporary exterior stylings established by Avatr design boss Nadar Faghihzadeh, who previously worked for BMW.

Distinguishing features include flamboyantly styled LED healights and daytime running lights in an otherwise largely unadorned front end featuring an illuminated Avatr badge.

Avatr 12 rear 3/4

Further back, the 12 has a monolithic body with two main feature lines along the flanks, camera-based rear-view mirrors, wheels of up to 22in in diameter and a long glass roof.

The rear features a liftback-style tailgate, albeit without a rear window. 

At 5020mm long, 1999mm wide and 1460mm tall, the saloon is 81mm shorter but 12mm wider and 49mm higher than the Nio ET7 – just one of a number of new Chinese electric saloons against which it will compete. 

Inside, the 12 has what Avatr describes as a “cocooned sensory cockpit”. Key elements include a “floating” dashboard with an integrated wrap-around digital display, an octagonal steering wheel and a 15.6in central infotainment display. 

It offers seating for up to five adults and both front and rear luggage compartments.

A rear bulkhead that extends to the roof separates the rear from the boot. Vision to the rear is projected on a digital rear-view ‘mirror’ via a camera. 

The electric drivetrains of the 12 mirror those of the 11 both in layout and power. The base rear-wheel drive model offers 308bhp from a rear-mounted motor, while the four-wheel-drive flagship receives a combined 570bhp from a motor on each axle.

Avatr 12 interior

The Huawei-produced motors are combined with a CATL-supplied 94.5kWh lithium ion battery featuring a cell-to-pack design. It’s claimed to provide the 12 with a range of between 403 and 435 miles.

By comparison, the 11 offers the choice of either a 90.4kWh or 116.8kWh battery for official (CLTC) ranges of 345 and 420 miles in rear-wheel-drive guise.

An earlier registry filing with the Chinese Ministry for Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed kerb weights of 2180kg and 2300kg for the RWD and 4WD saloons.

Avatr is yet to make any performance claims for its second production model. However, its SUV has an official 0-62mph time of 4.0sec and a top speed limited to 124mph.

The driver-assistance system of the 12 uses sensors and software developed by Huawei. It operates with 29 sensor units, including three lidar units, allowing for level-three assisted driving where the regulatory framework exists, together with lane-change assistance, traffic-light recognition and pedestrian detection.

The 12 will be produced alongside the 11 at a Changan factory in the Chinese city of Chongqing.

Source: Autocar

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