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This SUV Doubling As A Pickup Truck Rehashes A 1960s Idea

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.

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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.

2024 Qiyuan E07

The Qiyuan E07 is an electric SUV with a movable back glass part that allows it to function as a pickup truck. It’s about the same length as a Ford Maverick, therefore it fits into the trucklet category. The Blue Oval’s workhorse still has a more practical aspect, but this EV’s pickup conversion is more of a trick. Still, it’s a really good idea.

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It is noteworthy that this has theoretically been done previously. The boxy wagon with the retractable sliding roof was the Studebaker Wagonaire, seen below, back in the mid-1960s. The Qiyuan E07 should hopefully have a better execution of it, as the owners of the open-top wagon had leaks in the roof.

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.

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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.

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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:

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wahhaj

I'm Wahhaj, your go-to author for all things electric vehicles. Join me on this green journey as we explore the future of transportation together.

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