The Chinese car company Geely has created ‘Radar Auto’, a new brand of electric ‘lifestyle vehicles’ such as pickup trucks, SUVs, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The first product is the Radar RD6 pickup truck, scheduled to go into production in the fourth quarter of 2022. Details are to follow at a later date.
According to a statement, Radar will be launched as an independent brand within the Geely Holding Group. It said this would give it access to vehicle technologies and common components for electric vehicles. The brand also has its own research and development facility in Hangzhou and an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Zibo, Shandong, from where production and delivery of the Radar RD6 will begin.
Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA)
The Radar RD6 is based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which gives the vehicle an extensive technological foundation, for example, with the options for a dual-motor system, a frunk, and a cargo area with external charging capabilities. Unfortunately, Geely does not give details of the vehicle’s performance and range in the announcement but states that these will be revealed in due course.
Several electric vehicle models from different brands within the Geely Group will be built on the SEA platform, unveiled in 2020. There are already concrete indications of the use of SEA at Lynk & Co and Zeekr, Volvo Cars, and Smart, and the Chinese tech group Baidu.
One example is the Zeekr 001: the five-meter-long e-limo comes with an electric all-wheel drive to 400 kW of power and is offered with two battery options (86 and 100 kWh). At the other end is Smart #1, 4,27 meters long, and has an installed 66 kWh battery pack.
Due to the use of SEA, space has been maximized considerably, allowing for a front trunk or a ‘frunk’ under the hood and a truck bed that boasts external charging facilities.
Sustainability in design and use
The new brand’s development was supported by former Volvo design boss and now independent automotive designer Peter Horbury from his design studio in the UK. “The Radar product portfolio is focused on electric pickup trucks and SUVs; this direction challenges us to mix functionality and usability with aesthetic form,” he explains. “Our aim is to let Radar users expand their horizons and explore nature in a sustainable way.”
Automotive engineer Ling Shi Quan has been appointed CEO of Radar. Dr. Ling is a veteran engineering lead at Geely Auto Group and has taken responsibility for several major milestone projects for the Geely Auto Group of brands, including Lynk & Co and Geely Auto.
“Understanding this new market segment and creating a new brand specifically for these unique users has been the highlight of my career so far,” he says. “Radar Auto will be purpose-driven from the outset, and that purpose is to allow users to explore the world in a more sustainable way.”
To engage closely with potential users, Radar is also introducing a lifestyle sub-brand, ‘Radar Weekends’, that focuses on outdoor lifestyles and will cooperate with different partners to create a fun, diverse outdoor ecosystem.
Radar Weekends will work with the camping equipment brand, NatureHike to develop a variety of outdoor camping accessories for the brand’s vehicles. In addition, Radar has also partnered with National Geographic China for a program to ‘Protect Nature’s Wonders’, which promotes the concept of leaving no trace behind when adventuring in the great outdoors.