Coupe-SUV mashups are severely compromised in terms of practicality because of that sloping roofline. It eats into the vehicle’s cargo capacity and makes the storage area impractical for carrying taller items. However, this new EV from China addresses the limitations of an SUV with a coupe-like profile.
Changan Automobile, China’s oldest car manufacturer, has a new electric-only brand called Qiyuan. After unveiling the CD701 concept last year, the EV marque has taken the legal measures to put the automotive oddity into production as the E07. Revealing images have now emerged on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website as part of the homologation process.
The Qiyuan E07 is an electric SUV that can double as a pickup, thanks to a sliding rear glass section. It falls into the category of a trucklet, with a length roughly equivalent to that of a Ford Maverick. While the Blue Oval’s workhorse retains a more utilitarian nature, this EV’s ability to transform into a pickup is more of a gimmick. Nonetheless, it’s a neat idea.
It’s worth noting this has technically been done before. Way back in the mid-1960s, the Studebaker Wagonaire (pictured below) was a boxy wagon with a retractable sliding roof. Hopefully, it’s better executed on the Qiyuan E07 because owners of the open-top wagon had problems with the car’s roof leaking.
Qiyuan E07 owners won’t need to slide the roof forward to access the cargo bed, as there’s a separate tailgate that opens independently of the retractable rear section. It remains to be seen whether the cabin is separated from the cargo section; this wasn’t the case in the concept, therefore leaving passengers exposed to the elements. While a conventional truck with a canopy offers more functionality, it doesn’t have the sleek profile that have allowed automakers to carve a niche with coupe-SUVs.
Regarding technical specifications, this automotive contraption will be available with a single-motor setup producing 338 hp. Opt for the all-wheel-drive variant, and the EV will feature an additional 252-hp motor, bringing the total to 590 hp. The Qiyuan E07 with its split personality is going to be sold with 20- and 21-inch wheels.
Despite its impressive power, the Qiyuan E07 with its Cybertruck-esque bed cover is unlikely to appeal to those who genuinely need a pickup truck. It appears to be one of those “lifestyle vehicles” designed for the cool kids.
As a final note, here’s how the sliding roof worked on the Studebaker Wagonaire: