Car Industry

SF Motors is back as Seres, debuting the electric SF5 SUV in Shanghai

The self-described Tesla rival is back after going radio silent awhile, and it's ready to debut its first car.

SF Motors is back, and it's calling itself Seres now. Its SF5 is finally ready for a public debut.

Josh Miller/CNET

Hey, remember SF Motors? No? Well, it was the US-based arm of Chinese manufacturer Sokon, and it was going to take on Tesla's Model X with a pair of high-powered electric coupeovers called the SF5 and SF7. And then it didn't.

Now, though, things are different. Because SF Motors is called Seres, and it's going to debut that SF5 electric crossover coupe thing next week in Shanghai, according to a Friday report by MotorAuthority. The folks at Seres say their new technological terror can be had with a battery of up to 90 kilowatt-hours and electric motors that make 684 horsepower and 767 pound-feet of torque.

Interestingly, Seres isn't focused only on going the pure electric route. It's also planning to offer the SF5 as a range-extended EV with a 33 kWh battery pack and a gasoline-powered generator. This is similar to systems in the Chevy Volt (goodnight, sweet prince) and the BMW i3.

Seres will begin taking orders for the SF5 during the Shanghai Auto Show, with plans to start making its first Chinese-market customer deliveries toward the end of 2019. Of course, being the US-based EV arm of a Chinese industrial megacorp, Seres plans on selling cars here too, but so far it hasn't released any concrete plans to do so.

Typically we try to temper our excitement at the thought of new EV companies, especially Chinese ones, because they rarely turn out to be real and it's even rarer for them to make it to the US. However, Seres has a leg up on things because it has not only a US headquarters (in sunny Santa Clarita, California), it also owns a car factory in South Bend, Indiana, that was formerly occupied by AM General.

We'll have our man Antuan Goodwin on the ground in Shanghai next week, and we'll make sure he twists all the knobs, flips all the switches and pushes every single one of the SF5's buttons for posterity.