Revamped: A Modern SUV Pickup Combining 1960s Inspiration

Stylish rear design inspired by the Studebaker Wagonaire.

Crossbreeding coupe and SUV models often results in practicality issues due to the sloping roofline, which significantly reduces cargo space and renders it unsuitable for storing taller objects. Fortunately, a recently developed electric vehicle from China aims to tackle these challenges by combining the styling of a coupe with the functionality of an SUV.The hybridization of coupe and SUV designs frequently leads to practicality drawbacks caused by the angled roof, which substantially diminishes the storage capacity and renders it unviable for accommodating taller items. Nevertheless, a fresh electric alternative originating from China endeavors to overcome these shortcomings by merging a coupe’s appearance with an SUV’s versatility.

Changan Automobile, China’s most established car maker, recently introduced its latest electric brand, Qiyuan. Following the debut of the CD701 concept in the previous year, the electric vehicle (EV) division has taken the necessary steps to push the innovative design into mass production under the name E07. Recently, official photos have been released on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s website, in accordance with homologation procedures.

The Qiyuan E07 is an electric SUV that has the unique feature of a sliding rear glass section, allowing it to also function as a pickup truck. It is classified as a “trucklet” and boasts a similar length to the Ford Maverick. However, while the Ford model maintains its heavy-duty purpose, the Qiyuan EV’s conversion into a pickup is more of a novelty. Nevertheless, it is an interesting concept.

It should be noted that a similar concept has been attempted in the past. Dating back to the mid-1960s, the Studebaker Wagonaire (shown below) sported a bulky wagon design with a retractable sliding roof. However, the implementation on the Qiyuan E07 is expected to be more successful, as previous owners of the open-top wagon experienced issues with leakage from the roof.

The Qiyuan E07’s owners will not have to push forward the roof in order to reach the truck bed. Instead, there is a distinct tailgate that opens separately from the retractable rear portion. It is uncertain if the interior of the truck is divided from the cargo area, as it was not shown in the initial concept. This may result in passengers being vulnerable to the weather. Although a traditional truck equipped with a canopy offers greater practicality, it lacks the sophisticated design that has made coupe-SUVs popular among automotive brands.

In terms of technical details, this car gadget will come equipped with a solo-engine configuration generating 338 horsepower. If you prefer the all-wheel drive version, the electric vehicle will come with an extra 252 horsepower motor, creating a combined output of 590 hp. The Qiyuan E07, known for its dual nature, will be offered with both 20- and 21-inch wheel options.

While the Qiyuan E07 boasts impressive power, its Cybertruck-esque bed cover may not attract those who truly require a pickup truck. It seems to fall into the category of “lifestyle vehicles” created for the trendy crowd.

As a closing remark, let us discuss the functionality of the retractable roof in the Studebaker Wagonaire.

1963 Studebaker Wagonaire, the wagon with the sliding steel roof 

Source: Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

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