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UK to flood Chinese market with Austin Princess powered by 300kWh battery

British industry retaliates to influx of Chinese EVs

Published: 17 May 2024

Here’s TopGear.com’s roving correspondent, Cory Spondent, with his mostly incorrect exclusives from the world of motoring

The UK is to hit back at Chinese manufacturers flooding the market with EVs by selling a new version of the Austin Princess exclusively in China.

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While the US has announced tariffs to protect its car industry from discounted Chinese products, the UK has instead chosen a so-called ‘tat-for-tat’ strategy that involves playing China at its own game.

As such, several British manufacturers have pooled their resources to design an all-new Austin Princess, which will be powered by a 300kWh battery and quad motors for 1,700bhp.

Theoretical range is thought to be close to 1,000 miles, although a source familiar with the project – which has been codenamed Operation Wedge - assured TopGear.com that the Princess “will definitely break down long before it runs out of charge.”

As well as suffering from its traditional poor build quality, the new Princess will also be crippled by a host of modern problems, including a glitchy, 47-inch touchscreen that freezes on a daily basis.

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Crucially, the British government has agreed to subsidise production of the electric Princess, meaning it can go on sale in China for 275 Yuan; roughly 30 quid at current exchange rates.

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