Aimed at Generation Z
China’s Geely already owns electrified brands such as Lynk & Co, Polestar, LEVC, Geometry and Lotus Cars. The Geometry, in particular, is a new EV brand that debuted just two years ago, in 2019. However, for reasons beyond our understanding, the Chinese auto giant is launching another new EV brand called ‘Zeekr’, which according to the company, “will serve growing global demand for premium electric vehicles”. Geely also says that Zeekr is “not just another car brand, but an energy solution provider too”.
The first model under this new brand is simply called Zeekr 001. There’ll be 86 kWh and 100 kWh battery pack options, with claimed NEDC ranges of up to 526 km (327 mi) and 712 km (442 mi), respectively. The range-topping AWD model with a 100 kWh battery pack claims an NEDC range of up to 606 km (376 mi). The AWD models claim a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 3.8 seconds. Prices start at CNY 266,000 (US$ 40,790).
The Zeekr 001 reminds you of Lynk & Co cars with its front fascia, especially the grille and the headlights. In fact, it looks like a hunkered-down version of the Lynk & Co 01 crossover. Its side profile reminds me of the Porsche Macan, while at the rear, it’s back to Lynk & Co. As for the dimensions, the 001 measures 4,970 mm long, 1,999 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall. It boasts a wheelbase of 3,005 mm.
The cabin has a clean, minimalistic layout, dominated by a Tesla-rivalling floating touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. The driver also gets a small display. The car rides on an air suspension. The AWD model with a motor on each axle offers a combined 400 kW (544 metric hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque.
Geely is also planning a Zeekr charging network with charging speeds of up to 360 kW, which is claimed to deliver a range of 120 km (75 mi) after just 5 minutes of charging. The company also said that Zeekr cars will be sold online and through “experience centres” across China, with plans to eventually expand to Europe and North America sometime in 2022. Deliveries in China are expected to commence in October 2021.
Let’s talk about the name then. The first letter of Zeekr, ‘Z’ represents Generation Z — the folks born between the mid-90s and the early 2010s. The rest of the name is derived from ‘geek’, which of course, is fairly self-explanatory.