The year 2024 has already gained momentum and we know that it will be full of news. On the one hand, for example, Škoda will present a facelifted Octavia, the British-Chinese MG will launch a number of new models, including an electric and combustion MG3, which will attack the segment of compact hatchbacks, a facelifted Golf or a completely new Passat will go on sale.
However, the Chinese Dongfeng also operates on our market. If we ignore its almost zero marketing in our country, it is a car company that is slowly starting to develop in our region and appeal to a new Czech clientele. And with the announced introduction of new products, the brand through a private importer – the company Plastonic – could also shake up the market, because it brings us a lot of interesting pieces!
Forthing U-Tour V9
Do you remember our test of the Chinese MPV U-Tour? A solidly equipped multi-purpose vehicle with a gasoline engine will get a bigger combustion brother. Called the U-Tour V9 (or Forthing M6), it’s even more luxurious, with power side doors, a full-dash instrument cluster, a large glass roof, premium seating, a seven-seat layout and a huge trunk.
The engines for the Czech Republic have not yet been confirmed, but as part of its premiere in Munich, the car boasted a four-cylinder 1.5 turbo petrol unit and a plug-in hybrid with a combination of a 1.5 turbo drive and an electric motor. In addition, this luxury MPV has such a wide radiator grille that even the BMW 7 Series can seem like a decent model compared to the U-Tour V9.
The price is not yet known, we estimate around one million, the smaller U-Tour today costs CZK 815,000 including VAT.
Homologation for this vehicle should be completed in May of this year, while exclusive materials from the import sourced directly in China indicate that this model will be produced not only as a hatchback, but also as a convertible.
In any case, it is supposed to be a competitor in segment B, where Peugeot e-208, Renault Zoe, Mini Cooper or Honda e are for example. The batteries should already be LiFePO4, which have a longer life compared to the batteries that are widely used today, and can (sometimes have to) be charged up to 100% and there is less risk of catching fire. They should have a capacity of up to 40 kWh, which could result in a maximum range of around 300 km per charge.
The price of this closed model could tentatively be around CZK 500,000 including VAT, which would make it a truly affordable electric car if it received a state subsidy of CZK 200,000.
Remember the article that reported that a beastly Chinese SUV with 1,000 horsepower is headed to Europe? So it will also head to our market, in its purely electric version. In practice, you should get a car the size of a Kodiaq with four electric motors with an output of 800 kW (1,087.6 horses), with acceleration from zero to one hundred in 4.2 seconds and a giant NMC traction battery with a capacity of 142.7 kWh. The range could realistically be around 400 km per charge.
We also know that this vehicle, which is based, among other things, on the Mengshi Warrior military model, will offer a so-called crab walk (turning the wheels to the sides), respectable off-road characteristics, a wading capacity of at least 950 mm and the completion of homologation sometime in February 2024. However, the price will probably be a lot over two million crowns and more, it is not yet known exactly.
The novelty is not full of backpacks like MG, however, a cheap electric could shake up the market, while a luxury MPV will attract everyone who needs a “better” family car. What about the M-Hero 917? When you get tired of your G-Wagon or someone on the golf course buys one too, you know where to stop for a new, unseen but brutal monstrosity with supersport performance parameters.