China’s Zeekr has unveiled an updated version of its 001 performance hatchback for its 2023 debut.

Geely’s high-end electric car brand didn’t spoil the 001’s handsome looks, but improved the vehicle’s performance to a large extent.

The 001 now offers a 140 kwh battery pack, replacing the 86 and 100 kwh options offered since the 001’s 2021 launch.

The 140 kWh battery is a new Kirin design from Chinese battery giant CATL. Unveiled last June, the Qilin is CATL’s third-generation cell-to-pack battery, promising an energy density of 0.255 kWh per kilogram of weight, a 13 percent increase in power output compared to the Model 4680 cells used by Tesla.

2023 Zeekr 001

Zeekr claims the 001 will have a battery range of over 621 miles. The Manila Times reported on Tuesday, citing information released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, that the 001’s official range is estimated at 641 miles on a 140-kilowatt-hour battery. The battery reportedly weighs 1,602 pounds, bringing the vehicle’s curb weight to 5,170 pounds.

The range figures are based on the test cycle used in China, but even with the more stringent test cycle used by the EPA, the 140-kWh 001 may have the capability to exceed the 520-mile range of the Lucid Air Dream Edition.

2023 Zeekr 001

2023 Zeekr 001

Deliveries of the updated 001 will begin in China in the first quarter of 2023, with Zeekr limiting the 140-kWh battery option to just 1,000 units. Prices start at 403,000 yuan ($58,300) for the 140-kWh battery. The 2023 Series 001 starts at 300,000 yuan ($43,400).

Zeekr will supply the batteries for the 009 minivan later this year. Zeekr is also developing a minivan for use by companies operating robo-taxis. Robotaxi’s first customer is Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving technology company.

2023 Zeekr 009

2023 Zeekr 009

Other updates for 2023 001 include new exterior colors and the Z-Sport package. The standard powertrain is a single motor in the rear rated at 286 hp, while a dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup delivers 536 hp.

Zeekr only operates in China, but plans to expand to Europe with 001 in 2023. There are currently no plans to expand to the U.S., but reports suggest that the brand may hold an IPO here.

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