Ultra-compact cars all the rage in China

·2-min read
The Changan Lumin Corn from Avatr

In Europe, Citroen's Ami, released in France in 2020, sparked curious looks and headlines for its miniature size, its gadget-like appearance as well as its small price. However in China, this type of ultra-compact city car is already well represented by several models. The latest example is Avatr's Lumin Corn.

Chinese brand Avatr, which belongs to the Changan group, recently unveiled the Lumin Corn, exclusively available for the Chinese market for the time being. This brand, created by Changan and the result of a collaboration with CALT and Huawei, is launching a model of micro-city car, measuring around 3 meters long and retailing at affordable prices, a type of car becoming increasingly common in China. Lumin Corn is going up against the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, the Chery QQ Ice Cream and the Dongfeng Fengguang Mini EV.

The Lumin Corn is 3.27 meters long, which is much longer than Citroen's Ami with its 2 meters, 41 centimeters. Another fundamental difference is that it can accommodate up to four people (packed tightly). But in appearance, the two models are very similar, both featuring a sleek yet rounded design. Inside, the Lumin Corn offers two connected screens.

Several configurations are set to be available, with 30 or 35 kW and 12.9 or 17.6 kWh batteries, for ranges of 150 an 210 km respectively. An even more powerful pack should be offered at a later date. In any configuration, its top speed will not exceed 100 km/h. While the price has not yet been announced, it should be less than about the equivalent of US$5,300.

This type of car, however, has little chance of being exported in other regions' markets as standards and norms are rather different.

David Bénard

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