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Youxia – the world’s first Android electric supercar?

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So move over Tesla, there’s a new clone in town. The newcomer offers all the exotic all-electric power and style of the American supercar, but with a lower price and a few different features. The Youxia (pronounced Yo-sha) is due to hit the streets next year sometime, although we’ve not seen any confirmed images of a factory floor or anything which resembles an assembly plant yet.

The vehicle comes with some pretty bold claims. For one a 0 – 100 kph time of 5.6 secs (that’s definitely Tesla territory, right there) and a maximum range of around 460 km (280 miles). Like the Tesla, the car uses 18650 lithium battery cells packed together in a pack under the rear seat, which is pretty conventional for most high performance electric cars nowadays.

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There are a couple of novelties. The front grill is programmable, so you can display whatever icon you want up front, if you don’t like the manufacturer logo, and the car also runs on Android, which means it’s fully open source, and with an open API for folks to hook into. Whether they will is anyone’s guess, although we suspect a few car thieves might be interested. The car also comes with full driver assist sensors and radar, to manage lane changing and stuff like that.

youxiacolors

The car’s operating system is actually called KITT OS, which is a direct reference to the Knight Rider TV series with its intelligent talking car as the star. And funnily enough, the Youxia also can talk to you, which we guess will be some sort of derivation of Siri, Google Now, Cortana tech. “Good morning, Michael, how are you today.” As if it cared! One cool feature will be the ability to pipe in the exhaust note of your choice into the cockpit to replace the anemic electric whine. Wanna Ferrari sound? You’ve got it.

The video above shows some bench testing of the drivetrain and electric motor in an undetermined location. Or our Chinese wasn’t good enough to decipher the location. We have to say, the development team has done a bang on job of ripping off the Tesla vibe almost completely. From the recessed door handles to the huge 11.6 inch touchscreen dominating the interior, the whole thing looks great (at least from the mockups).

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There’s no official price on the car yet, although it’s supposed to be around $33,000 in China (which has a $20,000 electric car subsidy or something), which means it should be around $50K if it ever exports anywhere Western. Which is almost competitive, although we wonder whether people will be interested in a no-name, when they can have the real thing for not much more. Time will tell. [Via]

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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