Whether we’re ready for it or not, electric cars are the future. Despite a slow start to the electric renaissance, a growing number of automakers have now announced plans to introduce a new electric vehicle or hybrid model, if they haven’t already launched one.
Gone are the days when Elon Musk’s Tesla held the spotlight on EVs, with other top luxury automakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche entering the race – each taking turns on the stage for the coolest electric innovations.
Catch up on the latest automaking news that’s driving electromobility forward below.
One of the most highly anticipated launches in the EV segment, the Mercedes-Benz EQS is a gamechanger for both the marque and the German automaking industry – reflecting its shift from legacy carmaker to a luxury electric-vehicle company. The EQS is said to have a range of up to 770km – making it the longest-range BEV on the market, and a fierce competitor for Tesla’s Model S Plaid+, which has an estimated range of 837km. Equipping the car’s cool new MBUX infotainment system is the 56-inch Hyperscreen, making it look and feel as futuristic as it green. It’s slated to arrive in late summer for Europe and the United States, then in January for China.
BMW i4 and iX
The BMW i4 electric four-door grand tourer made its official debut at the Auto Shanghai 2021, featuring a battery pack that offers up to 590 km of range. The electric motors output a maximum of 530hp, reaching the century sprint in just 4 seconds. Then there’s the iX, the marque’s first electric SUV, boasting more than 500hp for a 0-100kmph dash in under five seconds. The largest battery option for the iX is said to have a range of over 600km. It’s unclear if and when these models will be available in Malaysia, but there’s a reasonable range of plug-in hybrids from the marque to consider in the meantime, including the new 5 Series.
Audi Q4 E-tron
Audi’s latest entry-level SUV goes up against the Tesla Model Y, offered in a total of five variants at launch. Power figures range between 170hp to 299hp depending on the variant, with a range of up to 520km on a single charge. The base model, the Q4 e-tron 35, performs the century sprint in 9 seconds onwards to a top speed of 160kmph, whilst the Q4 e-tron 50 (Quattro) tops out at 6.2 seconds with a top speed of 180kmph.
Maserati Levante Hybrid
Compared to its petrol version, this electrified SUV is faster and greener – combining power and respect for the environment. The Maserati Levante Hybrid is equipped with a two-litre 4-cylinder thermal engine with a 48-volt Hybrid system that allows the driver to recover energy during deceleration and braking. It is capable of reaching a maximum of 330 hp and 450 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm, allowing it to achieve the century sprint in 6 seconds with a top speed of 240 kmph.
Next we have the Porsche Taycan – not the Turbo, Turbo S or 4S – just Taycan. Launched earlier this year, the fourth variant offers a rear-wheel drive with two battery options: the single-deck Performance Battery which delivers up to 300kW, or the two-deck Performance Battery Plus, which increases the power output to 350kW. The former boasts 431km of range, whilst the latter tops out at 484km of range. Regardless of the choice of battery configuration, both boast a top speed of 230kmh, reaching the century sprint from a standing start within 5.4 seconds.
Following the launch of the hybrid SF90 Stradale, Ferrari finally announced that it’s working on a fully electric car to be unveiled in 2025. There’s not much else to go by, but Ferrari patents suggest that the company has been working on a two-seat electric vehicle, with a motor powering each wheel. In the meantime, the company will be focusing on new hybrid models, set to launch in the upcoming months.
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