Chinese firm is first to the long-range, mass-market EV segment

Denza EV
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Many automakers are touting affordable, new-generation electric vehicles that will land in a few months — or, in some cases, a few years — with a driving range of about 250 miles. Denza, a Chinese brand co-owned by BYD and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, has beat them all to the punch.

Called 400, the only model in the Denza lineup is based on the last generation of the Mercedes B-Class so its chassis isn’t what we’d call state-of-the-art. The same can’t be said about its drivetrain, which is made up of a compact electric motor that zaps the front wheels with 181 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of instant torque, and a 62kWh battery pack mounted under the passenger compartment.

The pack stores enough juice to give the 400 a 250-mile driving range. The company points out on its official website that driving at a steady 40 mph bumps that figure up to about 293 miles, however. In comparison, a Nissan Leaf can drive for 107 miles on a single charge, while a base model Tesla Model X 60D is rated at 200 miles. Denza explains that Chinese motorists will likely only need to charge the 400 once a week because they drive approximately 40 miles a day on average.

Denza’s newest model is on sale now in China. Pricing for the midlevel Executive trim starts at 415,800 yuan, a sum that represents roughly $62,606 at the current conversion rate. EV buyers are eligible to receive hefty rebates from the local and national government, and they benefit from a generous tax break. When all is said and done, the Denza 400 Executive’s base price falls to 305,800 yuan, which converts to approximately $46,000. Pricing for the base model or the range-topping Aurora trim hasn’t been released yet.

Read more: Shareholders ask Mercedes why it hasn’t built a Tesla-rivaling model yet

The Denza 400 is made and exclusively sold in China. At the time of writing, the company isn’t planning to take on the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt on the long-range, mass-market EV segment.

Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

Tesla no longer offers a Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for Models S, X, and 3 in the company's online configuration tool. CEO Elon Musk said the FSD option caused confusion. Its software validation and regulatory approval could take years.
Cars

U.K. on-demand car service plans autonomous vehicles in London by 2021

U.K.-based Addison Lee and Oxbotica allied to serve the connected and autonomous vehicle services market. Addison Lee is an established executive car service and Oxbotica develops self-driving car systems and fleet management software.
Cars

Protect yourself (and maybe capture something crazy) with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Drive.ai's free on-demand self-driving car service is now available in Frisco

After deploying its self-driving shuttles in Frisco, California-based start-up Drive.ai is launching a second pilot program in Arlington. Riding in a shuttle -- which operates in a geo-fenced area -- is free.