Dongfeng Passenger Cars arrives in PH with Aeolus, Friday, and NANObox
China's Dongfeng Motor continues to expand its presence in the country by growing its electrified lineup in the Philippine automotive market. Months after launching its commercial EVs into the country, Dongfeng has now launched its passenger car lineup with Legado Motors Inc (LMI) as its official distributor in the country.
Present during the official brand launch were key personnel from Dongfeng Motors and LMI itself. But perhaps serving as the most important guest was none other than President Ferdinand "Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. who was accompanied by LMI Chairman and president Luis “Chavit” Singson.
The new Dongfeng passenger cars consist of a hybrid along with two electric vehicles (EVs) that will serve as the brand’s initial lineup of electrified vehicles.
Let’s start with the Dongfeng Aeolus Huge. This sleek and sporty-looking crossover SUV is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that’s assisted by an electric motor. That’s right, the compact crossover is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and doles out an impressive 245 PS with a whopping 540 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to a multi-mode transmission that drives the front wheels. It also has three drive modes to choose from: Sports, Eco, and Comfort.
The Aeolus Huge measures 4720mm long, 1910mm wide, 1702mm tall, and has a 2825mm wheelbase. It then rolls on 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/50 series tires. Given its size, the Dongfeng Aeolus Huge is a direct rival against the likes of the GWM Haval H6 as it also has a turbocharged hybrid powertrain.
Open the doors and the turbo hybrid crossover greets occupants with a pair of displays that both measure 12.3 inches in size. The first one is the digital cluster while the other is the touchscreen media display that supports Bluetooth & USB connectivity. The vehicle also gets automatic climate control, a 10-speaker sound system, a panoramic sunroof, a wireless phone charger, power-adjustable seats, and Nappa leather upholstery.
Next is the flagship EV offering of Dongfeng’s initial lineup, the Forthing Friday EV. It’s a stylish compact crossover SUV that runs on pure electricity. Its overall styling and size make it a direct contender against the recently revealed MG Marvel R.
At the heart of the Friday EV are a single electric motor and a 57.8 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack. The motor is capable of generating a peak power of 204 PS and 340 Nm of torque. The standard Luxury version can travel up to 430 km while the Exclusive variant can reach up to 630 km.
Recharging the battery can be done with a standard 6.6 kW onboard charger that can fully recharge the Friday EV in 10 hours. With a fast DC charging system, however, it can be fully recharged from 30% to 80% in just 35 minutes.
In terms of size, the Friday comes in at 4600mm long, 1860mm wide, 1680mm tall, and has a 2715mm wheelbase. Meanwhile, its closest rival the Marvel R measures 4674mm long, 1919mm wide, 1618mm tall, and has a longer 2804mm wheelbase.
Inside, the Friday EV gets a pair of digital displays on the dashboard - one serves as the instrument panel & multi-info display while the other is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The latter comes with Bluetooth & USB connectivity, and can also play videos. Other amenities include; a dual-zone automatic climate control with rear A/C vents, power-adjustable seats, and leather upholstery.
Both the Friday and Aeolus are equipped with a wide array of safety systems. But perhaps serving as the most important are the intelligent driver aids. These give both crossovers smart driving features for extra peace of mind like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assist, traffic jam assist, auto high-beam, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, and driver monitoring.
Serving as Dongfeng’s most affordable vehicle in PH is the NANObox. It’s an all-electric hatchback that combines quirky looks, zero emissions, and high-tech amenities. Its direct competitor would be the Jetour Ice Cream EV.
Powering the NANObox is a single electric motor that’s powered by a 28.9 kWh ternary lithium battery pack. The motor puts out a humble 45 PS along with a generous 125 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 100 km/h and comes with an onboard 6.6 kW charger which can fully recharge the vehicle in less than 4 hours. With a DC charging system, however, it can recharge the NANObox from 30% to 80% in just 30 mins. Last but not least, Dongfeng claims the vehicle can travel up to 351 km based on the CLTC cycle.
Size-wise, the NanoBox measures 3732mm long, 1579mm wide, 1515mm tall, and has a 2423mm wheelbase. In comparison, the Ice Cream EV measures 2980mm long, 1496mm wide, 1673mm tall, and has a 1960mm wheelbase. The NanoBox also has a curb weight of 921 kg, 14-inch wheels with 165/70 series tires, and a 300-liter cargo space that can be expanded to 1,107 liters when the rear seats are folded.
When it comes to features and amenities, the NanoBox has a 7-inch digital cluster, a 10-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a two-speaker sound system, leather-fabric seats, manual air-conditioning, and a rotary-style gear selector. For peace of mind, it also has several safety features like a reverse camera, rear parking sensors, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, tire pressure monitoring, and a pair of front airbags.
The pricing of the Dongfeng’s hybrid and electric passenger cars is as follows:
Aeolus Huge 1.5T HEV - PHP 1,888,888
Forthing Friday 430kms - PHP 1,980,000
Forthing Friday 630kms - PHP 2,580,000
NANOBox - PHP 888,000