Wuling EV for Indonesia revealed: CKD version of Mini EV with futuristic new design, 68 PS, 300 km range

Chinese carmaker Wuling is serious about bringing its wildly popular Hongguang Mini EV to the Indonesian market, though not without some changes. The company unveiled a version of the tiny electric runabout, simply called the Wuling EV, that sports a completely new exterior design for the archipelago.

Firstly, some background. Having launched a slew of MPVs since entering the market in 2017, the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture announced last year that it would introduce its micro EVs based on the Global Small Electric Vehicle (GSEV) platform, in order to take advantage of lucrative government incentives for EV production. The Wuling EV will be built at the Cikarang plant in Bekasi, West Java, alongside its siblings.

The Indonesian-market version looks very different from the Hongguang Mini EV, although the boxy silhouette remains familiar. The futuristic front end sports a full-width light bar that is visually connected via chrome strips to the wing mirrors, which are mounted on stalks on the door body instead of at the base of the A-pillar. Underneath this bar sits the charging port door, where the five-diamond Wuling logo also resides.

Further down, you’ll find the dual-tier headlights, positioned just above the black front bumper. The body side is also fairly interesting, with a black roof and a vertical rectangular rear side window, just aft of the B-pillars and flush door handles. The clean side surfacing consists of just a single shoulder line connecting the big side windows to the headlights, as well as a scalloped lower section.

Wuling Indonesia did not release any photos of the rear, but its Chinese counterpart has shown the back of the car, which will be sold in the Middle Kingdom as the Air ev. Here, the front end design has been replicated below a vertical wraparound rear windscreen. The whole thing rides on minuscule 12-inch wheels (Kancil size, basically), just like on the Mini EV, albeit made from steel with four-spoke plastic caps.

The Air ev will apparently be slightly larger than the Mini EV, although “larger” here is relative, as it’s still a Little Tikes car by modern standards. According to details published by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the Wuling measures 2,974 mm long, 1,505 mm wide and 1,631 mm tall with a 2,010 mm wheelbase. There’s an even shorter two-seater model that’s just 2,599 mm long (which means it fits inside a Honda City’s wheelbase), sporting a scant 1,635 mm wheelbase.

Another area where the four-seater Air ev will trump the Mini EV is the powertrain. It will be offered with power outputs of either 30 kW (41 PS) or 50 kW (68 PS), which is more than the 20 kW (27 PS) offered on its likely cheaper sibling. Both are quoted to offer a range of 300 km on the Chinese CLTC cycle with 26.5 and 28.4 kWh lithium-ion batteries respectively.

The Air ev should share the same aluminium construction as the Mini EV, but with more technology on offer. Wuling says the GSEV platform is able to support Internet connectivity, driver assistance systems, park assist and voice control. That’s not surprising, given that the company is facing some stiff competition from Chery and its new QQ Wujie Pro, which features most of these items. The car is slated to be launched globally (presumably including Indonesia) in the second half of the year.

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