XPeng reportedly may ditch LiDAR for pure vision in new EV

A Chinese auto blogger on Weibo has posted spy images of what could very well be our first public look at XPeng’s new EV sedan, codenamed “F57,” and rumored to officially debut as the P8…. or P9. Camo’d images show a slim but roomy sedan with a unique rear that reportedly has LiDAR but perhaps won’t for now. Check it out below.

XPeng Motors is a prominent Chinese EV automaker that like many, continues to expand to new markets worldwide, particularly in Europe. The automaker currently offers five all-electric models, including the Tesla Model Y competitor, G6, and most recently, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) called the X9.

In recent years, XPeng’s pipeline has been focused on larger EVs, meaning we haven’t seen an entry in its “P” line of vehicles since the P5 in 2021, which saw hurdles in its attempt to enter new markets in the EU. It is joined by the P7 sedan – XPeng’s flagship model that arrived in 2019 and saw a refresh last year.

Per recent spy images captured in China, XPeng appears to be working on a new EV sedan codenamed “F57,” which could debut this year as its third model donning the “P” nomenclature. Here are the first images:

XPeng’s new EV looks like a mass-market compact sedan

The images above come from Weibo user Xzshuoche, aka “Xiaozhi talks about cars,” spotted outside his company, Sugar Design, in China. The camouflaged EV, codenamed “F57,” is reportedly 5 meters (16.4 feet) long and has a wheelbase of 3 meters (9.85 feet).

It sits atop the same EV platform as the G9 SUV, which we had a chance to drive in the Netherlands last year and loved. As a sedan, the F57 is expended to arrive in a name that includes a “P,” possibly the P8. Given that XPeng’s previous models went from P7 to P5, to P7i, the new EV could also debut as the P9… hell, maybe even the P3! More details per the Weibo post (translated from Chinese:

Xpeng code-named F57 smart crossover station wagon, the interior is not the final version yet, there should be a relatively big change. The shape is deliberately disguised like this, because the rear is the highlight of this car. Judging from the spy photos, the body is relatively slender, and I predict that the space should be good.

According to Chinese media outlet HiEV, the new XPeng EV is abandoning LiDAR in favor of pure vision and 3D millimeter wave-radars, citing several individuals close to the matter. This is interesting if true, considering XPeng was one of the first automakers to deliver a production model with LiDAR when it launched the P5 in September, and the automaker has pulled no punches in touting the capabilities of its autonomous technology compared to Tesla’s FSD tech.

While the images above still show two LiDARs equipped on the camo’d EV, the HiEV report states the XPeng team is seriously considering removing those components before it goes into scaled production.

Per the report, F57 is expected to arrive priced slightly above the P7 and launch in the second half of 2024. We have reached out to XPeng Motors for comment but have yet to hear back.

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