Automotive

LVCHI becomes the latest no-name startup to show sporty electric super-sedan

LVCHI becomes the latest no-na...
The Venere has a gorgeous profile, in our humble opinion
The Venere has a gorgeous profile, in our humble opinion
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With help from the IDEA Institute, LVCHI has created a sleek, sexy electric sedan
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With help from the IDEA Institute, LVCHI has created a sleek, sexy electric sedan
The interior features a center tunnel touch control center for cabin settings
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The interior features a center tunnel touch control center for cabin settings
Even the steering wheel has touch controls
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Even the steering wheel has touch controls
Using the LVCHI Venere's touchscreen command center
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Using the LVCHI Venere's touchscreen command center
LVCHI Venere close-up
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LVCHI Venere close-up
LVCHI Venere close-up
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LVCHI Venere close-up
The Venere has coach doors in back for a large, comfortable entry
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The Venere has coach doors in back for a large, comfortable entry
LVCHI plans to begin production in Italy in 2019
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LVCHI plans to begin production in Italy in 2019
The Venere has sharp lighting signatures, front and rear
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The Venere has sharp lighting signatures, front and rear
LVCHI Venere
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LVCHI Venere
The Venere has sharp lighting signatures, front and rear
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The Venere has sharp lighting signatures, front and rear
LVCHI Venere
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LVCHI Venere
LVCHI Venere close-up
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LVCHI Venere close-up
LVCHI Venere close-up
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LVCHI Venere close-up
The Venere is powered by four electric motors that team for roughly 1,000 hp
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The Venere is powered by four electric motors that team for roughly 1,000 hp
LVCHI debuted the Venere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
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LVCHI debuted the Venere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
The Venere is the first model of a planned electric vehicle family at LVCHI
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The Venere is the first model of a planned electric vehicle family at LVCHI
The Venere has a gorgeous profile, in our humble opinion
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The Venere has a gorgeous profile, in our humble opinion
LVCHI is a Shanghai-based startup
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LVCHI is a Shanghai-based startup
LVCHI Venere
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LVCHI Venere
A look at the digital driver's cockpit
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A look at the digital driver's cockpit
LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
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LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
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LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
The Venere uses a carbon fiber/honeycomb sandwich frame
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The Venere uses a carbon fiber/honeycomb sandwich frame
LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
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LVCHI Venere premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
A look at the four-seat interior
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A look at the four-seat interior
At the wheel of the LVCHI Venere
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At the wheel of the LVCHI Venere
LVCHI Venere on show in Geneva
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LVCHI Venere on show in Geneva
LVCHI Venere frame
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LVCHI Venere frame
LVCHI Venere frame
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LVCHI Venere frame
View gallery - 30 images

Tesla is moving on to smaller, quicker things, but the fight to unseat the Model S as the world's supreme electric sedan rages on. And it consists largely of startups you've never heard of before and may very well never hear about again after the first time reading their names. Faraday Future. Leeco. Lucid Motors. You can add LVCHI Auto to the list after its coming out at the Geneva Motor Show, where the Shanghai-based newcomer showed off its sharp, coach-doored 992-hp four-door fastback, the Venere. Could this be the new standard in electric sports sedans?

The foundation of the Venere design is its frame construction, a carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich fabricated carefully to provide just the right torsional and flexural rigidity while keeping weight as low as possible. LVCHI mentions it even before more exciting, attention-grabbing details about the motors and performance, so you know it's vital.

The frame incorporates the roof as a structural element to gain just the right amount of strength and integrity. Its lightweight design helps keep total vehicle weight at 4,630 lb (2,100 kg), a few hundred pounds under the Model S P100D's 4,941-lb (2,241-kg) curb weight despite the extra pair of motors. We chose the Model S flagship for comparison because it has similar battery and acceleration numbers to the Venere.

The car draped over top of the carbon sandwich frame benefits from the smooth hand of Italian design. LVCHI teamed with Turin's IDEA Institute in July of last year, bringing the Venere to life from a blank sheet. The 203-in (5,150-mm) four-door has beautiful proportions, the short hood quickly ceding to the long, flowing cabin that drops gently back in silky-smooth fastback style ending abruptly at the sharp crease of the trunk area. The slash-angle rear-end adds a touch of aggression, and the voluminous rear fenders give that aggression added credibly.

With help from the IDEA Institute, LVCHI has created a sleek, sexy electric sedan
With help from the IDEA Institute, LVCHI has created a sleek, sexy electric sedan

If looks were sole judge, we'd say the Venere would be the best Tesla-killer effort yet, smoother and sexier than the Model S itself. But, of course, we need more than just a pretty face, starting with the right powertrain. LVCHI has its ducks in a row there, too, dropping dual motors on each axle and powering the Venere up with 992 hp and 1,136 lb-ft of torque. Front and rear differentials with two-speed transmissions help to distribute the precise amount of torque and power to each wheel in a high-performance AWD layout.

Those motors can send the Venere slingshotting forward from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.5 seconds. LVCHI fancies top speed at 177 mph (285 km/h), and it reckons the sleek, carbon-framed Venere can drive for up to 405 miles (652 km) on a single charge of its 100-kWh lithium-ion battery.

At the wheel of the LVCHI Venere
At the wheel of the LVCHI Venere

Controlling all that e-motive power is certain to be a pleasure, and it becomes a double pleasure when you realize that the interior is every bit as smooth and striking as its exterior. The all-digital design keeps driver and passenger engaged with a full slate of displays, while the angled tunnel serves as a touchscreen control center, eliminating the hard knobs and switches for things like climate control, audio and seating adjustments.

The entire dashboard is also digital, starting with the rear-view screen located driver's left, recessing its way behind the steering wheel into the instrument cluster, sweeping out and over a tunnel-topping central display, and stretching across to the passenger side. Even the steering wheel-based controls are mini touchscreens.

LVCHI plans to begin Venere production in Turin next year. Further expansion plans call for a city car, SUV, MPV platforms, and a second high-performance sedan called the Urano. The Urano was actually previewed in Shanghai in January.

LVCHI is a Shanghai-based startup
LVCHI is a Shanghai-based startup

Usually we're fairly ambivalent about a new electric car startup promising the world – we certainly don't root against them, but we're numb to the fact that we may never hear their name uttered in a serious way again. That said, we're definitely rooting for LVCHI to keep it all together and move forward as planned. The Venere won't likely play anywhere near the Model S price range, but it would be a gorgeous and exciting addition to the electric vehicle market, nonetheless.

Source: LVCHI Auto

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8 comments
Derek Howe
This cars exterior is gorgeous, great lines, headlights & tail lights are perfect. I like the suicide rear doors and no B pillar in the way. BUT. Too. Many. Screens! I hope they change that before it goes into production, its waaaaay overkill. They took the Tesla Model 3 simplicity thing and injected heroin in it. People like knobs & buttons, it may not be futuristic, but its what the people want.
Daishi
NIO that makes the EP9 electric supercar and and competes in Formula E is also out of Shanghai. They took the Nurburgring lap record in a car they developed and built in 18 months. Tesla hit a snag with Model 3 production but between Silicon Valley and China the steady pace of disruption in the auto industry with electrics seems likely to continue. As much as the auto industry tried to interfere with Teslas dealership model in the states I wouldn't be surprised to find out later they are working with suppliers on the backend to shove all the sticks they can into the spokes of Tesla's 3 production plans. It's a make or break moment for Tesla and I would be surprised if they are content with sitting on the sidelines passively indifferent to the outcome.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really nice. I hope it succeeds and isn't a company that has a lot of hype but disappears.
TimShevlin
When performance figures are cited, I would like to see the words "is designed to" instead of "can". Can that gorgeous show car accelerate to any speed under its own power. Call me skeptical. Also, electric car drivers quickly learn, as do ICE drivers, that if you use that monster power your range goes away very quickly. Good for stoplight demos and bragging rights, though.
Craig Jennings
15.3kwh/100km? That's better than anything currently available. The "here comes another one, just like the other one" vibe of the story is justified, but we live in hope :)
EcoLogical
Very nice looking car from all exterior angles.
mark41
If there are four motors, i.e. one for each wheel, then differential gearing would be unnecessary.
Fast Eddie
Truly lovely concept car. I hope they can get it to market someday. It will lose the suicide doors, of course.