The number of Tesla Model 3 competitors is rapidly growing with more Chinese automakers stepping into the game with pretty serious intentions. The latest newcomer is the Nezha S, a rather appealing electric four-door sedan that was revealed in production form following the 2020 Eureka 03 concept and the pre-production model from 2021. Like many other new models, the Nezha S was supposed to debut at the Beijing Auto Show which was postponed due to the pandemic, so the company presented it online.
Nezha or Neta is a rather new brand established in 2018 by Hozon Auto. Its model range consists of two SUVs called U and V, with the S being the latest addition. The production version closely mirrors the styling of the concept we saw last year with a rather upscale styling compared to earlier models from Hozon.
The front end is following the split headlight trend, but the upper units are very slim. The sculpted nose with stylish intakes, the curved fenders, and the clean design of the profile make the Nezha S an appealing vehicle. At the back, we find full-width LED tailights, an integrated spoiler, a discreet diffuser, and a sloping roofline completing the aerodynamic look.
In terms of dimensions, the Nezha S measures 4,800 mm (188.9 inches) long, 2,000 mm (78.4 inches) wide, and 1,400 mm (55.1 inches) tall, with a generous wheelbase of 2,900 mm (114.2 inches). This footprint makes it slightly larger than the Tesla Model 3 and more in line with its China-built rivals including the BMW i3, Nio ET5, BYD Seal, and Xpeng X7.
Inside, the highlight is the massive infotainment touchscreen in portrait orientation combined with a minimal digital instrument cluster, head-up display, and an extra touchscreen in front of the passenger. There is also a fancy 1,216 Watt audio system with 21 speakers including roof-mounted and headrest-integrated speakers, plus heated, ventilated, and massaging seats. Premium materials are used for an upscale look with Alcantara, leather, wood, and metal highlighted by the ambient lighting.
The sedan is the first of many models to be based on the new “Shanhai” modular architecture, which supports both fully electric (BEV) and range-extender (EREV) variants. The company has yet to announce the detailed specs, but they are expecting an NEDC range of 710 km (441 miles) for the electric model and up to 1,100 km (684 miles) for the range-extender. They also announced a low power consumption figure of 12 kWh / 100 km, thanks to the HozonEPT4.0 battery temperature management system developed with the help of Huawei, and the 92 per cent efficient electric motors.
Hozon has set the bar high when it comes to technology, with the goal of providing its latest sedan with Level 4 autonomy courtesy of 13 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, five millimetre-wave radars, and two Lidars. Mind you, Mercedes was the first automaker to introduce Level 3 autonomy in a production vehicle (the S-Class) starting in 2022, so getting to Level 4 is a bold claim.
We don’t know the price of the Nezha S or if it is going to be available outside China, but we will be keeping an eye on Hozon’s official website for any updates.