What doesn’t Xiaomi, the smartphone and appliance brand, make these days? A car might be a long shot, but the company teased exactly that on Weibo on Sunday. After getting tongues wagging, Xiaomi has given its car a debut, although this car isn’t one that you can drive, nor is the design theirs.
The China company’s latest product is a remote-controlled Suzuki Jimny in 1:16 scale. Retailing for 199 yuan (RM120) in China (introductory price of 179 yuan or RM108), the RC version of Suzuki’s fourth-generation small 4×4 by Xiaomi can be controlled via smartphone, with the app installed and Bluetooth hooked up.
If the shell looks realistic, what’s under the skin is decent too. The RC Jimny’s ladder frame chassis is made from shockproof nylon material, linked to suspension with shock absorbers and coil springs. Torque from the motor goes to all wheels, which are wrapped with off-road tyres.
This tiny Jimny comes with a digital servo, and users can steer the car by moving the phone around, manipulating the device’s g sensor. Apparently, this RC Jimny is made from over 200 components, and parts for mods are on the cards.
Xiaomi has toyed with the idea of real cars before, even if it has not materialised yet. According to the South China Morning Post, in 2017, the company reported in a regulatory filing in India that it might sell electric vehicles. Last year, Xiaomi partnered with Chinese carmaker FAW for its version of the Bestune T77 SUV, which allowed its home products to be controlled by voice command in the car.
This month, the Beijing-based company registered a Chinese trademark that roughly translates as “Xiaomi car alliance”. Earlier this year, Sony shocked CES 2020 with its Vision-S concept car – Mi-Car next?