Dongfeng's M-Hero brand unveils the M800, an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) SUV, raising eyebrows and generating questions in the ever-growing Chinese market for rugged off-roaders. With a length of 5.2 meters, powered by a 1.5-liter ICE and CATL's ternary battery, the M800 positions itself as a robust contender in the electric vehicle landscape.
M-Hero, derived from the Chinese term “Mengshi,” draws inspiration from Dongfeng's renowned armored military vehicles. While the company still offers conventional petrol versions under its banner, M-Hero signifies Dongfeng's global entry into the electric vehicle sector, with plans targeting markets in Europe and the Middle East. Following the debut of the M-Hero 917 SUV in August, the M800 is set to make a significant impact.
A leaked M-Hero product roadmap outlines plans for three models, M18-1, M18-2, and M18-3, featuring EV and EREV powertrains. Assembled at Dongfeng's Wuhan plant, the production targets include 5,000 M18-1 and 15,000 M18-2 models annually, with the M18-3 anticipated for a 2026 launch.
The M800 shares its exterior styling with the M-Hero 917, showcasing sharp lines and a distinctive grille. Notably, it features a rooftop drone helipad, adding a touch of adventurous flair. Measuring 5,136 mm/2,172 mm/2,063 mm, it surpasses the 917 in length but maintains a similar 2,950 mm wheelbase. The M800's four-seat interior layout hints at urban driving emphasis over off-road pursuits.
Despite its city-oriented interior, the M800 boasts off-road capabilities with 24 and 30-degree approach and departure angles. Riding on 275/65 R20 front wheels and 295/60 R20 rear wheels, the vehicle weighs 3,270 kg with a gross weight of 3,740 kg.
The M-Hero M800 integrates a 1.5-liter petrol ICE engine generating 197 hp, serving as a generator without directly powering the wheels. While MIIT filings lack specific details, speculations suggest a powertrain similar to the M-Hero 917, featuring three electric motors producing a combined 816 hp, powered by a CATL ternary (NMC) battery pack.
With a larger size and a four-seat layout, the M800 is anticipated to carry a higher price tag than the 917. Priced around RMB 700,000 (approximately €91,000), the M800 aligns with its substantial features and positioning. A future all-electric variant is also on the horizon for Dongfeng's M-Hero lineup.