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Dongfeng’s M-Hero 917 with 142 kWh battery prepares for export to Europe and the Middle East

M-Hero 917 is a hardcore off-road electric SUV launched in August and is only available in China. That might change next year as 917 started overseas adaptability testing at Mengshi Technology Park today. According to Dongfeng, the trials should end in March 2024, and exports to global markets will follow.

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M-Hero (猛士, Mengshi in Chinese) is a brand under the state-owned auto giant Dongfeng. Initially, Mengshi was a product line of road-certified versions of armored military vehicles, which later became an independent brand under Dongfeng and got the official English name M-Hero.

M-Hero 917 adaptability test start ceremony in Mengshi Technology Park. Credit: Dongfeng

The 917 is M-Hero’s latest car with a pretty wild design. It comes as BEV and EREV and packs over 1,000 horsepower, a massive CATL battery, hardcore offroad capabilities, and even a drone helipad.

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Xiangyang Da An Automobile Test Center will conduct the adaptability testing in coordination with Dongfeng’s R&D Institute. Two teams were established: One focusing on adaptability testing for the European Union and the second for testing for the Middle East.

Dognfeng specifically mentioned it wants to focus on Germany, France, Sweden, and Norway as representative countries regarding EU market trials and on the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia regarding the Middle East.

In the EU, the testing team will focus on car use scenarios such as mountain routes, coastal areas driving, shopping, and daily commuting. It will hire European drivers and gather the feedback and opinions of local users. For the Middle East, the testing will cover driving in desert high temperatures performance.

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M-Hero 917 stands on Dongfeng’s new M-Tech (previously MORA) platform. Dimensions are 4987/2080/1935 mm with a wheelbase of 2950 mm. Surprisingly, it is not as big as it seems from the pictures – not even 5 meters long. For comparison, its competitor, YangWang U8, measures 5,319 mm.

BEV variant of M-Hero 917 has four electric motors and a peak power of 800 kW (1,088 hp), suitable for zero-to-hundred acceleration in 4.2 seconds. The e-motors are powered by a massive 142.7 kWh ternary (NMC) battery from CATL. However, the curb weight of the M-Hero 917 is 3,293 kg, and the quad motor’s output leads to a maximum range of 505 km (CLTC).

The EREV version M-Hero 917 has three electric motors for 600 kW (816 hp). As for the ICE, it is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 197 hp. However, it is EREV, so it doesn’t transfer torque to the wheels. Instead, it acts like a generator, charging the battery. It has a 65.8 kWh NMC pack from CATL, and the mixed range reaches 1,032 km (CLTC) with a full 85L tank.

Inside the SUV, you find three large LCDs, a 15.6″ central control screen, a 12.3″ instrument panel, and a 12.3″ co-pilot panel.

917’s EREV option is the cheaper one and would cost you 637,700 yuan (90,000 USD). The BEV version price tag is 697,700 yuan (98,400 USD).

It is pretty interesting to see such a massive off-roader in an all-electric version, and it is not very common in China as most of the 917 competitors don’t come as BEVs. For example, YangWang U8 offers only the EREV as well as the lower-positioned Fang Cheng Bao Bao 5. M-Hero 917 is one of the coolest off-road SUVs, and if Dongfeng can ship it overseas before BYD gets its YangWang U8 outside China, it can spark interest.

Dongfeng M-Hero 917 driving 50 km/h vs. an object moving 50 km/h in the opposite direction.
BYD's YangWang U8 launched, can float on water for 30 minutes and sail 3km/h

BYD’s YangWang U8 launched, can float on water for 30 minutes and sail 3km/h

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