June 02, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 Weltmeister W5 Limited

Thriving with Electrification

Mobility electrification is finally on a steady but slow path to general Philippine consumer adoption. The proposed tariff commission of a 30% reduction of duties to incentivize EV’s will only fast track the journey to cleaner air and reduced mobility costs.

Joining Nissan, Jaguar, BYD, Porsche, Chery, BMW, Changan, AUDI, and Hyundai in the Philippine market with their own 100% EV model is a completely new player from China; WM Motor. WM Motor begins their enterprise with the 5-seater compact crossover Weltmeister W5 (also known as the EX5 and EX5-Z) which has the physical proportions that measure between the current Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5.

Weltmeister is the brand name of WM Motor’s range of EV crossovers, and it means World Champion in Deutsch. The W5 is the first model of the group to be sold in the Philippines through their exclusive distributor WM Motor Philippines. WM Motor Philippines is the new company of Rashid Alexander Delgado, the current President of the hugely successful Transnational Diversified Group (established in 1976 by Rashid’s father J. Roberto Delgado and the storied late Kiyoshi Osawa) which handles complex logistics, ship management, tourism, information technology services, warehousing, cold storage, crew management, maritime education, tanker operations, travel agency services, software development, securities trading, real estate development, renewable energy, and e-business solutions) with close to 18,000 people (both land-based and sea-based) worldwide in employment.

WM Motor (WM Motor Technology Group Company Limited) was founded in 2015 and is the brainchild of former Geely board member and group vice president Freeman Shen who was also instrumental with the acquisition of the Volvo automotive group back in 2010. Shen then served as the chairman of Volvo Cars in China until 2014. Before Geely, Shen was the President of BorgWarner China from 1998 to 2007, then Chief Executive Officer of FIAT Powertrain China from 2007 to 2009. At Geely, Shen was the Chairman and CEO in Shanghai from 2009 to 2014. And finally, Shen spent a year as co-founder and CEO of the Pateo Group in China which is a Smart Car Technology Company focusing on vehicle connectivity.

Dr. Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems (Left), Freeman Shen, Chairman and CEO of WM Motor (Right).

WM Motor Philippines will be opening its flagship dealership before the end of June this year at the prime ground floor location at the Seven-NEO Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The official agreement was signed only a few months ago in February 2022 between executives of Indonesia-based WM Motor Asia-Pacific (WMAP), and WM Motor Philippines. It is the first distributorship agreement outside of the Chinese market.

We had our first experience with the Weltmeister W5 with a pre-production unit last March at the mind-blowing Transnational Diversified Group headquarters off the C5 expressway. Our initial impressions were mostly positive but limited as the units were not registered for legal road operation and were still undergoing extensive internal testing and assessments. The Gentian Blue test unit seen here is part of the initial wave of fully LTO registered units. There will be another round of vehicle updates and improvements before they are officially sold to end users.

The W5 is significantly larger than the Nissan Leaf which is its primary competitive peg. Even without the extra benefit of the looming 30% government tariff reductions which would apply to the whole field of EVs, the Weltmeister W5 Limited will be sold at a much lower retail price than the award-winning Nissan Leaf, with a lot more interior space, considerably more standard equipment like full-LED lights, a massive 15.6-inch center infotainment screen with comprehensive features that include the 360-degree exterior view of the crossover, a panoramic moonroof, powered retractable door handles, and intelligent rear trunk combined with a FREE 7-kW AC Home Wall Charger together with the standard 6.6-kW AC onboard travel charger.

Those features alone would trump the Nissan Leaf, and there are so much more key additions to share with you all like its disinfection features (it is equipped with a smart UV device that kills bacteria and viruses in the car), N95 air filtration system climate control with rear ventilation, a more rigid skateboard chassis, an integrated dashcam inside the rearview mirror, a driver-recognition camera on the steering wheel with full adjustability, powered front seats, 12.3-inch instrument display, “living lights” on the nose present battery energy in real-time (which does use precious energy as well so it can be disabled on the control screen), a more superior audio system, it charges faster, is much more dynamic, and has considerably more real-world range.

The Weltmeister W5 is purely front wheel driven like the Nissan Leaf and has a similar suspension setup with independent Macpherson struts up front and a semi-independent torsion-beam at the rear, but it is a more substantial vehicle that rides on good meaty 225/55R18 98H Giti GitiComfort 225 V1 tires wrapped on two-tone 18-inch alloys.

The dimensions of the Nissan Leaf are: 4490 mm length, 1788 mm width, 1540 mm height with a 2700 mm wheelbase and 155 mm of ground clearance and trunk space of 668 liters with the rear seat fixed and 849 liters with the rear seat folded. The Nissan Leaf has two available powerplants, a 40-kWh unit (147 hp / 236 lb-ft, 240-kilometer real-world range, 0-100 km/h in 7.6 seconds, 152 km/h top speed) and a 62-kWh unit (214 hp / 250 lb-ft, 362-kilometer real-world range, 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, 157 km/h top speed). The Philippine market gets the 40-kWh unit for the Nissan Leaf.

The dimensions of the Weltmeister W5 Limited are: 4585 mm length, 1835 mm width, 1672 mm height with a 2703 mm wheelbase and 174 mm of ground clearance and trunk space of 488 liters with the rear seat fixed and 1500 liters with the rear seat folded. The Weltmeister W5 has two available powerplants, a 52.56-kWh unit (215 hp / 232 lb-ft, 388-kilometer real-world range, 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, 180 km/h top speed) and a 69-kWh unit (215 hp / 232 lb-ft, 513-kilometer real-world range, 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, 180 km/h top speed). The initial Philippine-spec units have the 52.56-kWh battery which is a great place to start. WM Motor is finalizing their 620-kilometer power unit too for future applications. A full charge from a completely depleted battery will cost roughly P535.00 for 388 kilometers of range which is a massive difference compared to both gasoline and diesel engines at the same range. You could easily drive from Manila to Baguio on a completely charged battery using completely normal climate control, audio, and pace. When you do get there, you will have approximately 138 kilometers of range left to spare to explore the city before retiring for the night after plugging in the crossover.  Just make sure that your destinations have outlets with the correct amperage to handle the charging load.

Charging rates with a completely drained battery are:

AC Charging Time: 8.4 hours (6.6 kW), approximately 7.3 hours with the free 7kW Wall Charger.

AC Charging Time: 13-15 hours using a (240-volt household outlet).

Fast DC Charging Time: 35 minutes (to charge from 30% to 80 % capacity).

Thus far, the Weltmeister W5 Limited is a handsome and comprehensive fully-electric compact crossover with deep real-world abilities and surprising pace that would thrill even the most jaded car enthusiast. It is far from dull and boring. It does have its own quirks and unique functions that you learn to adapt to however the learning curve is no longer steep and daunting for an EV.  Essentially WM Motor Philippines is the very first completely new mobility company in the country and they are starting with a genuinely solid and desirable product with deep abilities. The W5 is certainly not the most inexpensive BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) in our market but for its size, range, build quality, driving dynamics and packaging, it definitely sets a new standard.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 52.56-kWh ternary lithium-ion battery pack, Maximum Electric Motor Speed 10,600 rpm
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 215 hp (160 kW)
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 232 lb-ft (315 Nm)
Transmission 1-Speed Direct Drive

Performance

Top Speed 180 km/h (112 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 7.4 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 388 kilometers (our tests) / 403 kilometers claim (NEDC)

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 2,549,000.00 to PhP 2,700,000.00 (approximate price range that includes a free 7kW AC Home Wall Charger and 6.6kW AC Onboard Travel Charger)
What's Great Spacious, fairly strong dynamic performance, dependable realistic range, good build, feature-rich, competitive.
What's Not So Price, no wireless phone charger, quirky.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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