Dongfeng's off-road EREV beast M-Hero M800 details revealed
The latest addition to Dongfeng’s M-Hero (Mengshi) brand, the M-Hero M800, an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) SUV, raises some eyebrows and prompts a lot of questions. At 204.7 inches long this isn’t your average SUV, with a 1.5-liter ICE and CATL's ternary battery, it presents itself as a formidable contender in the fast-growing Chinese market of tough-looking off-roaders.
M-Hero (猛士, Mengshi in Chinese) is Dongfeng's upscale New Energy Vehicle (NEV) brand, drawing inspiration from the renowned Mengshi armored military vehicles series. While Dongfeng still markets conventional petrol-powered versions of these beasts under its own banner, M-Hero is the brand's global foray into the electric vehicle market, setting its sights on Europe and the Middle East. The first offering, the M-Hero 917 SUV, made its debut in August this year, and now, the M800 is ready to make its mark.
The M-Hero product roadmap had previously leaked online, revealing plans for three models with code names M18-1, M18-2, and M18-3, all featuring EV and EREV powertrain options. These vehicles are slated for assembly at Dongfeng's Wuhan plant, with production targets of 5,000 M18-1 and 15,000 M18-2 models annually. The M18-3 is scheduled for a 2026 launch.
The M800 shares its exterior styling with the M-Hero 917, characterized by sharp lines, but it sports a smaller grille and larger overhangs. Interestingly, it comes with a drone helipad on the roof (seriously), perhaps a nod to the adventurous spirit. Measuring 202.2 inches/85.5 inches/81.2 inches, it's a tad longer than the 917, yet both boast a similar 116.1 inches wheelbase - that explains the longer overhangs. However, the M800 adopts a four-seat interior layout, hinting at a focus on city driving rather than off-road adventures.
Despite that city-oriented interior layout, the M800 is still a very capable off-roader with approach and departure angles of 24 and 30 degrees - though a bit shy of the 31/31-degree angles of the M-Hero 917. The M800 rides on 275/65 R20 front wheels and 295/60 R20 rear wheels, and it has a curb weight of 7,209 lb and a gross weight of 8,245 lb. That is one heck of a city car.
The M-Hero M800 comes with a 1.5-liter petrol-powered ICE engine generating 197 hp, which acts as a generator, sending no power to the wheels. Due to a lack of details in the MIIT filing, we can speculate the M800 is likely to share the powertrain with the M-Hero 917, which boasts three electric motors producing a combined power output of 816 hp. The electricity comes from a ternary (NMC) battery pack from CATL.
With its larger size and four-seat layout, the M800 is expected to come with a higher price tag than the 917. In the future, an all-electric version is also on the horizon. M800 is not a small nor light vehicle and its expected price point of around RMB 700,000 (approximately $97,700) seems to reflect that rather well.
The pricing 🤔
- 13 Dec 2023