The SAIC Maxus Mifa 9 has been revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China. Prices and specifications for the eight-seat electric MPV haven’t been revealed yet, but the maker has confirmed it’ll go on sale in the UK in the third quarter of 2022. It’ll be a rival for the Citroen e-SpaceTourer, Fiat e-Ulysse, Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life electric minibuses.
SAIC says the Maxus Mifa 9, which is the first model based on the manufacturer’s self-titled Mifa platform, will have a 90kWh battery for a claimed range of 323 miles on a charge. Performance figures will be announced at a later date, although SAIC has confirmed the Maxus Mifa 9 will feature an electric motor producing 241bhp and 350Nm of torque, so performance should be healthy.
A choice of seven and eight-seat layouts will be offered, with “motorised backrests” as well as “leg support”, plus functions including “ventilation, heating and massage”. It isn’t clear at this stage whether all this will be standard, or optional on some models. Three as-yet-unnamed trim levels will be offered.
SAIC has said the Maxus Mifa 9 will come with a host of intelligent assistance systems, with functions such as “narrow road traffic”, which is said to help drivers avoid obstacles on congested streets. No more information was available at the time of writing.
A short walkaround video posted by China Auto Show on YouTube (above) gives us a good look at the car inside and out. The divisive styling is sure to attract attention, and at 5,270mm long, 2,000mm wide and 1,840mm tall, the Maxus Mifa 9 is fractionally longer, wider and taller than a Tesla Model X. The SAIC also boasts a 3,200mm wheelbase – 235mm longer than the Tesla’s.
Inside, the Maxus Mifa 9 looks to feature a digital dashboard that spans the whole width of the car, featuring three separate screens. It looks as if the centre console is unconnected with the main dashboard, freeing up space between the driver and front-seat passenger. The car featured in Guangzhou showed a not-for-Europe six-seat layout.
Elsewhere, the video shows the doors covered in quilted fabric, while in the rear, the two individual armchairs look to come with a tablet in the armrest – possibly to control vehicle functions such as the air-conditioning, or media connectivity; the show car was fitted with screens on the back of the front seats.
Sliding doors should help access in tight spaces, while a large, top-hinged, power-operated tailgate reveals access to the boot. Total load volume will also be revealed closer to the car’s launch.
The Maxus Mifa 9 follows the Maxus D60 SUV and Maxus T90 pick-up, both of which were revealed in China earlier this year. However, while the Mifa 9 has been confirmed for the UK and Europe, it’s not yet clear which other variants will be available here.