Unlike what it might seem to hear the name ‘Weltmeister‘, this car brand is not German at all. Also abbreviated as ‘WM’, it is a Chinese company that launched its first (electric) model in 2018, and which can boast some pretty important investors in the battery, communication and technology sector: Baidu, Tencent, Saic and Catl. Based in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, Weltmeister quickly got to work abroad as well, opening research and development offices in Germany and the United States. Weltmeister was founded in 2015 by Freeman Shen, a former executive at Geely and Volvo.
In Italy the brand will be distributed from Koelliker group, as part of a larger operation that also involves Aiways, Seres, Karma and Maxus. The first model will be the W5 crossover SUV, which is marketed as EX5 in China. This is a front-wheel drive electric car with a power of 160 kW, a range of 430 kilometers and a 52 or 66 kWh battery. It can be recharged with direct current in 35 minutes and is also prepared for V2G charging, even if in Italy this technology is not yet so mature.
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Perhaps the most interesting part of the car is the dashboard. the digital and Internet-connected instrumentation includes a 15.6 “display with Apple CarPlay and Android auto, a dedicated application for remote control, connectivity to more than 20 Xiaomi smart appliances, level 2 autonomous driving, the standard dashcam , Mobile key and 5 external colors. Reverse parking is completely autonomous. There is also the panoramic sunroof with electronic voice control via “Xiaowei”, the on-board assistant. The interior is in premium Nappa leather with heated seats and lumbar support. Beyond the design, which recalls the most popular SUV lines of the moment, the car is solid: scored 5 stars in the C-NCAP rating.
The brand is very ambitious: together with Baidu it is studying to reach level 4 of autonomy, and the will is to achieve a leadership position among electric cars. The Koelliker group will help Weltmeister to adapt the car to the Italian market, and by the end of 2021 the car should be ready with all the necessary language and connectivity updates. Koelliker will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the brand to obtain more effective customizations, in order to have more chances in terms of sales: for the first time WM will come out of China and will probe the tastes of a clientele with high expectations.