In a move that aligns with the evolving preferences in the electric vehicle (EV) market, Geometry, a sub-brand under Geely, has unveiled the Panda Knight. This new variant of the Panda urban EV deviates from its conventional design, embracing off-road aesthetics that draw subtle parallels with the Ford Bronco. While a notable size difference exists between the two, the Knight edition adeptly swaps out cuteness for an adventurous edge.
Compared to the standard Geely Panda which made its debut in December 2022, the Knight edition boasts a range of exterior redesigns that collectively exude an off-road charm. The familiar round LED headlights endure, albeit now seamlessly integrated into a faux grille, presenting an unpainted plastic finish. This rugged theme extends to the off-road bumpers, wider fender extensions, and other components.
Accentuated by lime green highlights on the recovery points, bonnet handles, roof rails, side-mounted staircase, and rear spoiler, the Panda Knight confidently distinguishes itself in the EV landscape. Geely's thoughtful inclusion of a new five-spoke alloy wheel design maintains the vehicle's small diameter yet enhances its visual impact.
The ostensibly crossover-inspired appearance is more a nod to style than practicality, given the petite wheels and standard ground clearance. Elements such as the greenhouse, doors, sculpted fenders, and lighting units remain unchanged from the standard Geely Panda, harmoniously complementing the new additions.
While the Panda Knight has grown slightly in length, width, and height compared to its adorable counterpart, it remains compact at 3,135 mm (123.4 inches) in length, 1,565 mm (61.6 inches) in width, and 1,655 mm (65.2 inches) in height. The wheelbase remains constant at 2,015 mm (79.3 inches).
Inside, the Panda Knight accommodates up to four occupants, with the cargo capacity expanding to an impressive 800 litres (28.3 cubic feet) when the rear seats are folded. Noteworthy amenities encompass an 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, a stretched 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster, air conditioning, nature-inspired colour combinations, and a unique pattern for the faux leather seat upholstery.
Under the hood, Geely has equipped the Panda Knight with their most potent available electric motor, generating 40 hp (30 kW / 41 PS) and 110 Nm (81.1 lb-ft) of torque. The EV also boasts a 17.03 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack, offering an electric range of 200 km (124 miles) according to the CLTC protocols.
Anticipated for a market release in China come early September 2023, the Geely Panda Knight is poised to command a higher price than its standard counterpart. The existing base price for the standard version ranges between ¥39,900-56,900 ($5,470-7,800) based on the chosen trim. While the primary rival for the Panda Knight is anticipated to be the slightly larger Baojun Yep from SAIC-GM, it is plausible that other automakers will soon follow suit, presenting their own rugged-inspired urban EVs in the near future.