AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, has lifted the covers on its U6ion electric crossover coupe concept. With a focus on class-leading aerodynamics, intelligent technology and sporty design, the U6ion investigates the exciting future of the AIWAYS brand.
The concept arrives just ahead of AIWAYS’ European launch. The U6ion’s sibling, the proven U5 all-electric SUV, will be available in select European markets from August this year. The two share AIWAYS’ innovative MAS (More Adaptable Structure) platform, a unique system that supports high-range electric vehicles to suit a variety of lifestyles, functions and configurations. The U6ion capitalizes on the relatively low weight of the MAS platform, combining it with a light motor, battery pack and interior to further improve vehicle range.
The U6ion’s distinctly sporty and flowing design elements are thanks to the tutelage of Ken Okuyama, AIWAYS’ Chief Advisor for Design and Arts. The team worked to create a design language that embodied ‘intelligent and simplified technology’ – the concept at the heart of AIWAYS product development ethos.
Alex Klose, EVP of Overseas Markets at AIWAYS, commented: “The AIWAYS design team is building upon the success of the U5. Intended for youthful, environmentally-conscious buyers, the U6ion concept represents a sportier and more characterful expression of the AIWAYS philosophy. Options remain limited in the all-electric SUV market and we are aiming to meet the needs of young people with a vehicle that suits their lifestyle.”
Designed from the outset to be a wide-body crossover coupe, the U6ion features sporty and muscular lines. A fastback style roofline incorporates a dome glass surface that finishes in a sharp-edged C-pillar. Flared haunches add to the visual theatre initiated by the sleek and purposeful front fender, which incorporates a number of functional aerodynamic elements. Uniquely styled LED headlights are paired with a daytime running light system that includes position lights and turn signals. Underneath each headlight is an independent air intake that directs flow to the braking system for cooling.
Aerodynamic performance was a key focus of the AIWAYS’ design team. The rear fender and wheel arches follow pneumatic engineering principles, using shark fins and lipped edges to ensure a clean separation of airflow, thereby reducing drag. Toward the rear of the vehicle is a two-tone curved spoiler that accentuates the U6ion’s sleek design. The 21-inch, two-tone, low-drag sports wheels not only look distinctive, they also provide excellent heat dissipation and aerodynamic performance, all while being relatively lightweight. Combined, these details give the U6ion a class-leading drag coefficient of 0.27 – a true testament to the design and engineering teams’ efforts.
AIWAYS chief designer Dongfei Luo explained: “The U6ion brings a new level of excitement to the crossover segment. It is a dramatic design with sharp lines and flowing elements. Its width provides ample space to sculpt muscular features, bold haunches to attract younger buyers to the zero-emission SUV market. The U6ion evokes a connection between modern craftsmanship and the technology of the future – a symbol of AIWAYS’ ambition as an electric mobility pioneer.”
The well-appointed and energetic interior highlights the technology-focused design of the U6ion and draws from lightweight themes. Reinforcing the sporty styling of the external surfaces, the interior features striking colors and interesting details.
When the driver first sits down, they are greeted by a squared multi-function sport steering wheel, providing an immediate idea of the vehicle’s capability and intent. Behind the wheel sits a 7-inch floating gauge cluster that provides the driver with essential driving and system information. The ‘grip shift’, down by the driver’s side, is a unique drive selector design inspired by the throttle levers in power yachts.
Racing style ‘tab’ door handles complement the four integrated sports seats. Rear passengers can make use of safety grips behind the front seats, which are accompanied by another ‘tab’ that details the owner’s ‘exclusivity number’.
For control of the vehicle settings and multi-media system, the U6ion uses a freestanding 14.6-inch touchscreen mounted centrally in the dashboard. Mounted atop the dashboard is a ‘little robot’ – a human machine interface with advanced voice recognition that can talk and listen to occupants and be used to control numerous vehicle and entertainment features. Alongside the touchscreen, a number of easy-access controls are mounted below the ‘grip shift’ using capacitive touch glass.
The doors are able to showcase the owner’s personality with customizable backlit panels. Considerations have even been made for all-weather use, with capsule umbrellas stored integrally within the doors.
A series of inventive storage solutions highlight the intended market for the U6ion. Specific drone and remote-control stowage spaces sit between the rear passengers, ensuring that U6ion users never miss an opportunity to take the perfect shot. In the boot, AIWAYS has fit a hidden compartment specifically for the quick and easy deployment of an electric scooter – a modern short-distance commuting solution.
Much like the U5, the U6ion boasts a host of advanced features to make occupants’ journeys safer and more comfortable. From an integrated AI voice assistant to innovative driver aids, the U6ion validates its aesthetic design with AIWAYS most advanced technologies.
The engineers at AIWAYS see the implementation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as essential to safety. The U6ion utilizes all of the ADAS and assistance systems of the U5 including Auto Emergency Brake (AEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), Lane Keeping System (LKS), driver fatigue detection, and more.
Winter Wang, Chief Technical Officer, explained: “Incorporating advanced safety and convenience systems into our vehicles was a priority from the beginning. These features are particularly appreciated by European customers. I am proud to say that the U6ion has a feature lists to rival the most forward-thinking and pioneering automotive brands in the world. It brings these technologies together in a sporty design that will resonate with a youthful and active audience.”