Jaecoo J6 EV – rebranded iCar 03 with 501 km range, solar panels, ADAS tech by DJI, 150 km/h top speed

You’re looking at the Jaecoo J6, an all-new entry for Chery’s emergent premium sub-brand. Unlike the ICE or PHEV-powered J7 and J8 however, the smaller J6 is a full fledged EV. As you can see, it’s certainly a cool looking SUV, though its styling doesn’t necessarily conform to that of the rest of the Jaecoo range.

Well, that’s because the J6 isn’t strictly a Jaecoo at all, at least not at birth. In China, it’s sold as the iCar 03 (completely unrelated to the much-rumoured Apple car), which is yet another sub-brand under the Chery umbrella that is targeted at fashion-conscious young people. For export markets though, it will be called the Jaecoo J6.

You may also have noticed that we have two sets of pictures here: one showing the car wearing Jaecoo badging, and the other with its original iCar name. The Jaecoo grille unfortunately loses out on the illuminated i logo that is replicated on both the head- and taillight designs.

Jaecoo J6 EV – rebranded iCar 03 with 501 km range, solar panels, ADAS tech by DJI, 150 km/h top speed

Another difference is the large box at the back, which is missing on the Jaecoo display vehicle. Mind you, the external rectangle box fashioned after traditional tailgate-mounted spare tyres on the iCar pre-dates the similar charging cable storage solution on the just-unveiled electric Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

Beyond that, the J6 has a very distinctive blocky design, which will definitely stand out on Malaysian roads if it is to arrive here. The shape gives off Land Rover Defender vibes for sure, while its small size gives a bit of a Suzuki Jimny 5-door flavour as well. However, it has to be said that in the flesh, the J6 does have an original look of its own, unlike the countless Chinese copycats seen at the ongoing Auto China 2024 in Beijing.

Interesting details include the Defender-aping side-hinged tailgate and the flush self-presenting door handled. However, the latter flicks out towards the back rather than popping out as a whole like in other Jaecoo models (among the few features that draw comparisons with Range Rovers).

Size wise, the Jaecoo J6 measures 4,406 mm long, 1,910 mm wide and 1,715 mm tall. Its wheelbase is relatively long for an SUV this size, at 2,715 mm. The dimensions make it just slightly shorter than the J7 (4,500 mm), though the J6 is a touch wider (+45 mm) and taller (+35 mm).

Inside, it gets a large centre display and a wide-set horizontal dash layout. It feels rather plush to the touch – perhaps even more so than the J7 does – especially with the crystal drive mode selector on the centre console. The doors open via push-buttons a la Tesla, while the grab handles with exposed rivets are inspired by the Defender.

In China, the iCar 03 is available with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive electric motor configurations. According to local Chinese reports, the dual motor version is rated at 279 PS and it can get from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. However, top speed is limited to just 150 km/h. Range is up to 501 km on the CLTC test cycle, using the largest 69.8 kWh CATL-supplied LFP battery option.

Also available is a set of roof-mounted solar panels that can help add charge to the battery pack, as well as ADAS cameras from popular drone-maker DJI. Similar to Tesla Vision, the J6 solely relies on high-definition cameras placed around the vehicle for driving assist functions, without any radars or sensors.

We will know more when exports start, which we’ve been told will be fairly soon. Do you want to see the Jaecoo J6 in Malaysia? Comment below.

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