2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS450+ Electrifies Luxury

 

The less powerful version of the EQS offers relative value and range for a six-figure outlay.

 
2022 mercedesbenz eqs 450
The 107.8-kWh battery sandwiched in the floor also helps keep road noise to a minimum. That big battery also allows the EQS450+ to go an estimated 350 miles between charges. While that range bests the other German electrics, Lucid and Tesla both have models that far surpass that number. Find a Level 3 DC hookup and the EQS can go from 10 percent charge to 80 percent in 31 minutes. On a typical Level 2 setup, the EQS take just over 11 hours to go from 10 percent to 100 percent.
 
 Moving the electrons around in the battery is a single motor driving the rear wheels that makes 329 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It's not nearly as quick as the 516-hp EQS580, but it'll shove you into the massaging seats. After the initial thrust from a stop the acceleration tapers off, but 60 mph is yours in a claimed 5.9 seconds. In more relaxed driving, the right-now torque affords the EQS the same sort of effortless waftability that Rolls-Royce has been touting for decades.
2022 mercedesbenz eqs 450
Yet what really reminds us of the Spirit of Ecstasy is the suppleness and silence of the suspension as it glides over the tarmac. Not much of the outside permeates the EQS's cocoon. The long 126.4-inch wheelbase certainly helps attenuate bumps, but it's the tuning of the standard air-spring suspension that maintains the serenity despite our test car's 21-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear summer rubber.

Those sticky tires provide excellent grip despite the Benz's estimated 5600-pound curb weight. Press it hard into a corner and it remains flat, and the low center of gravity born of the massive battery in the floor seemingly drills the car into the center of the Earth. Steering efforts are light and don't pick up much even in Sport mode, but the easy efforts help mask the heft and size of this S-class-sized hatchback.

2022 mercedesbenz eqs 450
Four-wheel steering turns the rear wheels up to 10 degrees in opposition of the fronts at low speeds, helping to shrink the turning circle to 35.7 feet, making this very big Benz feel like an A-class. There's an ease and luxury to the whole driving experience, that is only interrupted by the brakes. Hitting the brakes in the EQS starts with energy regeneration from the motors and then blends in the stopping power of the four massive brake rotors. Stepping into the brake pedal is an initially mushy experience that doesn't slow the car much. Keep pushing and you reach a hard point where the pedal resists being moved further. Press harder and the deceleration finally hits, but it takes a lot of pedal pressure to get meaningful braking, and by then you're sailing towards that burgundy Corolla at an alarming rate.

Using those unnatural-feeling brakes can be largely avoided by pulling on the right paddle behind the steering wheel twice. Do so and you get the maximum regeneration (what Mercedes terms Recuperation) that largely eliminates the need to touch the brake pedal and allows one to speed up and slow down in traffic by using only the accelerator. That max regen mode won't bring the car to a complete stop though. The system slows the car to about 5 mph and then continues to creep ahead. There is an additional regen mode that requires you to hold the right paddle called Intelligent Recuperation. It utilizes the adaptive cruise-control radar and camera systems to optimize regeneration based on the surrounding traffic, the topography, and the twistiness of the road. When engaged, it'll bring the car to a stop provided the car in front of you has stopped. It certainly works, but it's not smart enough to stop at a stop sign or red light and will only react to whatever the car ahead is doing.

2022 mercedesbenz eqs 450
Aside from this being Mercedes's first car built on its new EV platform, the other big news is the so-called Hyperscreen. The Hyperscreen consists of three screens that are covered in a massive glass panel that spans the width of the dashboard. The three touchscreens control nearly every function in the car, from setting an interior temperature to a game of Tetris. As a new system, it takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few hours of experimentation we became comfortable with scrolling through radio stations, looking up the outside air quality, setting a destination on the native navigation system, and pairing a phone to the system. Once paired, we largely skipped Benz's system for Apple CarPlay. There is also the option of talking to the EQS. Saying "Hey, Mercedes" wakes the EQS's virtual assistant that can help with a number of controls from setting the temperature to making a phone call. It works surprisingly well, but talking to your car always seems just a little silly.

The Hyperscreen certainly looks like the future, but the instrument display in front of the driver is set high. That elevated cowl is the exact opposite of the low and simple dashboard of a Tesla Model 3 or even a Model S. The brain adjusts to it, but without an engine ahead of you, why does the cowl need to be so high?

2022 mercedesbenz eqs 450
We also questioned the lack of a frunk. A cabin air filter and some other ancillaries live under the fixed hood, but the EQS makes up for that deficiency with an absolutely massive amount of cargo space under the hatch. And, if that's not enough, the rear seats fold away.

There's also a lot of space in the rear seat—leg-crossing, stretch-out space. Sitting in the rear seat you realize that this car is a reimagining of the S-class. In addition to the S-class appointments, performance, technology, and space inside, the EQS comes with an S-class-like price. The least expensive EQS450+ starts at $103,360, moving up to the Exclusive Level adds $3400, and the appropriately named Pinnacle Level comes in at $109,560. Pricing for the more powerful EQS580 opens at $120,160, requires an additional $3400 for the Exclusive trim, and for those who want it all, the Pinnacle will wear a $126,360 window sticker. Aside from the acceleration, the smaller motor EQS450+ is the same luxurious experience as the EQS580. If you never floor it for more than a couple of seconds, you'll never feel like you should have gone with the quicker car. The EQS450+ is just as quiet, just as refined, and just and lovely as the more expensive EQS580. So, for those who don't think every car that's next to you at a red light is competition, you'll be just fine.

(https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a37917666/2022-mercedes-benz-eqs450-drive/)

BMW

2022 BMW iX xDrive50 First Drive: A Glimpse at the Future

BMW’s newest SUV previews our and its electric future.

BMW is serious about going green. Forget about concept cars; starting in 2025 all BMWs will ride on what's for now called the Neue Klasse platform, a single electric vehicle architecture to rule them all. Board member and development CTO Frank Weber called the Neue Klasse "new new" and went on to describe it as "the most radical departure BMW has ever done." Until that time, the Bavarian automotive giant is launching all sorts of EVs on various other platforms, including the i4, an electric 5 Series presumably named i5, an i7, as well as a small SUV that will most likely be called the iX1. BMW already sells an electric X3 named—you guessed it—iX3, but not here in the U.S. However, the brand's most ambitious EV to date is the new iX. I just spent a day in the X5-sized electric SUV, specifically the U.S.-bound AWD 2022 iX xDrive50. How is it? Keep reading. 

From a platform point of view, the iX rides on a highly modified version of BMW's CLAR platform. CLAR underpins the majority of BMW's lineup, including the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Series, as well as the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 SUVs. The Z4 and Toyota Supra, too. Perhaps a better way of explaining the iX's architecture is to say that it rides on a new high-strength steel, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, and aluminum spaceframe platform, but one that relies heavily on CLAR componentry. Like suspension pieces, for instance. This allows the iX to be built alongside its gasoline-powered siblings at BMW's massive Dingolfing factory. As for the competition, there hardly is any. Both archrivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz have yet to build electric midsize SUVs. Jaguar does have the slow selling I-Pace, though its short range knocks it from most people's short lists. The Cadillac Lyriq will be a worthy opponent once it shows up in a year or so. That leaves the nearly $100K Tesla Model X, which makes the $84,195 iX seem like a solid deal.

What Makes The IX?

Powering the xDrive50 are two motors, one per axle, that combined spin out 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. Stout numbers, no doubt, though come January, the even more powerful iX M60 bows with over 600 horsepower. Those 516 ponies puts the iX just below the output the current X5 M50i gets from its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, though the gas-powered X5 makes slightly less torque (553 lb-ft). BMW wants to show consumers there's no performance hit for choosing an EV, at least on paper. We haven't tested or weighed the iX yet, though the EV is much heavier. BMW is quoting an EU-specified curb weight of nearly 5,700 pounds.

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 07
 Why so heavy? Batteries. Until something better comes along, electric cars, trucks, and SUVs will be using lithium-ion batteries, and, like bricks, they're heavy. At 105 kWh of usable capacity, the bmw ix has a fairly large battery, too. To give you some perspective, the Tesla Model S and X both have 100-kWh packs, whereas the Lucid Air uses a 113-kWh battery pack. In terms of range, before I set off with a 96 percent state of charge, the iX was telling me I had 351 miles (565 km) to go. That's a predictive range, based on several factors, such as driver (or, in my case, previous driver) behavior. BMW claims 380 miles of range on the EU cycle, and that will probably drop to around 300 miles on the EPA cycle. One thing that will upset existing EV fans more than new converts: There is no frunk. None at all. Seems like a mistake.

That Face

How about that grille? That's the new face of BMW. Hate it? Well, every human on Instagram seems to agree with you. That said—and yes, I'm obviously old, soft, blind, and on BMW's payroll—in person I thought the iX's face looked, dare I say it, good? There was something about the massive kidney grilles and the narrow, robot-like eyes that just worked. Almost like a second-generation Cylon from the Battlestar Galactica reboot. It's miles better than the grille on the new M3/M4, at any rate. Back to Instagram, the big question seemed to be, if there's no engine, why is there a grille at all? Aside from branding, the twin grilles (which are covered in self-healing skin) are cleverly stuffed with sensors, including two types of radar. As for the rest of the exterior, the hard side is nearly generic save for the floating roof. From the rear, the taillights look too skinny, and the body-colored bumper makes the iX's butt look fat.

Inside The IX

The iX's interior is an exercise in minimalism, at least for BMW. A massive, curved touchscreen dominates the cabin. In days past, BMW has angled the controls toward the driver. In an homage to days of yore, the screen (that contains the controls) bends toward the driver. The number of buttons has been reduced by 50 percent, what BMW considers the bare minimum. That said, if you look down at the lovely piece of wood that surrounds the iDrive knob, you'll see 12 buttons, not counting the controller itself (which does click down and in the X and Y axis) but including the volume wheel. The buttons that remain are logical, and there's a calmness and spaciousness to the interior that's new for the brand. However, there's also a sparseness that just doesn't scream premium luxury to me. And at nearly $85K to start, it ought to.

Technically speaking, the iX is stacked. The latest and eighth iteration of iDrive is more powerful than ever. I know this because I sat through at least three iDrive workshops while I was in Munich. Three! Just know that if you say, "Hey BMW, take a selfie," the iX takes a picture of you. No, really. However, the selfie camera is there as a security feature. Did you leave your wallet or purse on the front seat? Just open your phone and have a look. Speaking of wild tech, meet Maneuver Assistant. Long story short, Maneuver Assistant records how you park the iX—say, in a tricky spot in your garage—like a macro. The iX will then repeat the maneuver whenever you tell it to. Said maneuver can be up to 200 meters long. The iX can store up to 10 such maneuvers. Here's the coolest part: The maneuvers can then be transferred from profile to profile. Meaning you could record the move and then transfer it to your spouse/your kid's profile. That's dang nifty, no?

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 27

But How's It Drive?

First impression: Driving around Bavaria's gorgeous Berchtesgaden region that puts the verdant in verde, one is reminded why going green is so monumentally important. I want your kids to see what I just saw. Ahem. Pointed down the mountain with the iX xDrive50 in efficient mode, simply lifting off the throttle allows the iX to coast. The sensation is wonderful, as if the machine is suddenly free. I guess there's enough brake regen to hold the speed, but it feels like you're sailing. I know some EV enthusiasts (they exist, trust me) love huge levels of regen and one-pedal driving and all that, but I prefer to freefall. The iX is remarkably quiet, bordering on perhaps a bit too quiet. The BMW Group's other spaceframe products, Rolls-Royces, are in fact too quiet. What does too quiet mean? You can hear your own heart beating. The iX comes close.

One area where the bmw ix struggles is that it doesn't sound or feel particularly premium. I know I'm sitting on leather, but the interior has been simplified so much that I feel like I'm in a device, as opposed to a luxury vehicle. I would love to see the (eventual, I hope) Alpina version of the iX, one that's generously slathered in leather. The xDrive50 is slick and high-tech, but there's a Tesla-like sparseness that doesn't connect with me. Plus, the spot that's normally a drivetrain tunnel is simply empty space. Like in a cargo van. Now, maybe that was the design team's intention? Maybe they said, "Look, Tesla is dominating the EV space, and we need to be more like it." If that's the case, then BMW really has succeeded in going minimum. Some customers might even dig it. Call it the Tesla Syndrome. But for my large hunk of cash, I'd like some more wood, metal, and leather. To me, the Tesla aesthetic doesn't work here.

As for driving on curvy, fun Bavarian roads, it's fine. The iX drives at least as well as the Tesla Model X, and now that I'm thinking about it, quite similarly. That impression makes sense as both weigh about the same, have said weight located in the same spots, and make about the same power. To be clear, I'm talking about the last Model X I drove back in 2016 when the 90D version of the electric three-row SUV produced 518 horsepower from its two motors. For 2022 you now choose between 670 Long Range or 1,020 ponies in the Plaid. Like the equally heavy Tesla, the iX is betrayed by physics. This might be part of why this EV SUV doesn't necessarily feel premium. There's a minivan quality that's hard to get past. I'm not feeling the ultimate driving machine. I'm not feeling BMW as a brand in the way it tackles a road. It's quite like how I felt about the i3. Interesting car, interesting concept, but doesn't feel the way a BMW should feel when I close my eyes. The iX just feels like… an electric thing. That said, the noise the motors make (or is that coming from the speakers?) is quite cool.

Let's Talk Range

As far as range goes, I left the hotel at 96 percent charge, and 20 kilometers later the battery was still at 96 percent. I had been in Eco Pro mode most of the time and was pointing downhill. But still, that's impressive. Six km later, the battery was still reading 96 percent. Wanting to burn a little juice, I switched out of the efficient mode and into Comfort. In 4 km, it was still showing 96 percent. I was starting to think the computer was broken. Also, the range was telling me I didn't have to charge for 565 km (351 miles) and that I would arrive at my first destination in 28 km with 89 percent of the battery left. When I started, the computer said I'd make it with 88 percent remaining. The computer therefore doesn't account for downhill driving or elevation changes in the range estimates, so keep that in mind as I'm sure the opposite would be true going uphill. I made it to the first stop having consumed just 1 percent of the battery's juice. Not bad. As mentioned, the iX will probably be rated right around 300 miles of range in the U.S. Based on my driving experience, I predict BMW is going to have a Porsche Taycan situation on its hands, where the EPA rated the Turbo S version at 192 miles of range, but it's actually capable of over 250.

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 16

After my first stop, it was time for some freeway. Let me be the first to say that the bmw ix whips ass on the autobahn. This is a seriously quick EV, especially accelerating from about 75 mph to 105 mph. Let me be the billionth person to say, God bless unrestricted sections of autobahn. I took the iX up to its top speed of 124 mph (200 kph) just to check things out, and you can feel the computer shutting down the fun right when you nudge past 120 mph. However, I set the cruise at 170 kph (about 106 mph) and had a couple of realizations. The first is that moving this quickly in absolute silence (I had it in Eco Pro mode) is quite cool. There's hardly any wind noise—it's like being in a private jet. Second, the iX is aerodynamic enough (0.25 claimed Cd) that even well into the triple digits the range isn't affected too negatively. I travelled 30 km (about 19 miles) at 170 kph and used only 4 percent of the battery. Moreover, the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist work as well as anything, save for Cadillac's impossibly good Supercruise. Once you're moving in a high-speed, straight line, the iX drives great.

Conclusion

The 2022 bmw ix previews many things coming down the automotive pike. Not only is it a glimpse into BMW's sustainable, electric, carbon-neutral future, but this type of machine—an electric carlike SUV-sized people mover—will become the dominant mode of first-world personal transportation within the decade. As a signpost pointing toward the future, I feel confident concluding that we're in good shape vis-à-vis the driving world to come. But as a BMW? I'm struggling here. For whatever reason, I want and expect all BMWs to drive better than other machines, or at least most other machines. This is probably an unreasonable expectation, but dammit, all BMWs used to have an X factor. I can still remember driving an ex's E39 540i two decades ago. The relationship went nowhere, but I got a memory that will last a lifetime. As for the all-new bmw ix when it arrives in Q1 of 2022, we Americans will have a fast, powerful, efficient, tech-laden yet minimalist SUV in a segment with few serious competitors. I just wish the iX were a bit more memorable.

(https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2022-bmw-ix-xdrive50-first-drive-review/)

Toyota Prius Plug-In review

Though it's been around a while, PHEV Prius still returns impressive numbers

 PROS

  • Potential low running costs
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Quiet and relaxed at a cruise

 CONS

  • Extremely shallow boot
  • Not as good to drive as more modern rivals
  • Underwhelming performance

Is the Toyota Prius Plug-in any good?

The Toyota Prius is the archetypal hybrid car, and its plug-in sibling aims to expand the range’s appeal by offering a meaningful amount of all-electric miles that mean drivers can cover their commute or local trips without ever resorting to the petrol engine.

The engine, meanwhile, stays in reserve for longer trips, meaning the Toyota Prius Plug-in can still cross continents without needing to stop and charge like a fully electric car would.

When the Prius Plug-in launched it didn’t have too many rivals – five years on, that’s no longer the case. To make the most of generous company car tax breaks for plug-in hybrids, there’s a smorgasbord of PHEVs to choose from in 2021, from sporty hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf GTE to large family SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - side profile
 
The Prius’ age also counts against it in a few key areas – how it drives, how it’s packaged, and some of the tech inside. Yet despite this, it remains one of the more efficient plug-in hybrid cars you can buy. So if low running costs matter to you more than anything else, the Prius Plug-in could still be in with a chance of getting your approval.

What’s it like inside?

The interior of the Prius Plug-in looks pretty high tech, with its striking use of different coloured plastics and unconventional instruments. Instead of traditional gauges, you get a pair of 4.2-inch screens closer to the centre of the dashboard that deal with all your driving data.

This is an arrangement that harks back to the first Prius, and it does work quite well – the screens are clear and easy to read and you can keep a look at your speed through the corner of your eye instead of having to move your head totally. However, it does look a little basic in comparison to some of the digital dashboards we’ve seen in rival models.

Even if the gauge cluster is a bit too far to look, there’s a head-up display that projects important information directly into your eyeline. There’s also an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, but this feels particularly slow and unresponsive, especially compared to rivals. For a long time it wasn’t even available with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, though this has happily been remedied for the latest models.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - interior
 
Some might complain about the driving position. There’s plenty of adjustability in the seat, but the steering wheel despite moving for both rake and reach doesn’t have a great range of motion. Another oddity is the foot-operated parking brake, which is a real throwback in the age of electronic alternatives.

Quality is at least a strong point – while some of the plastics are rather hard and unyielding, everything is put together solidly with the quality feel you’d expect from a Toyota. It is, however, rather dark inside on most models – optionally available for Business Edition cars is a lighter trim package that really brightens things up.

What’s it like to drive?

The Prius Plug-in uses a 1.8-litre petrol engine, just like the standard hybrid – but it has an extra boost in power from twin electric motors. That doesn’t manifest itself in particularly sparkling performance – 0-62mph takes more than 11 seconds, but more pertinent is that the electric boost gives it strong acceleration around town, and the extra grunt makes it better than its sibling at overtaking or joining faster-moving traffic.

Compare the Prius to a more modern hybrid, though, even one of its siblings such as the RAV4 SUV, and it’s not as impressive. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a habit of sending the engine revs spiralling at the merest flex of your right foot, which is noisy and unpleasant. It also suffers from rubber-banding, which is the rather nasty sensation where the engine speed seems unrelated to the speed of the vehicle.

Cars such as the Skoda Octavia iV, with its six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, feel more natural to drive, while even PHEVs that retain CVTs such as the Ford Kuga PHEV have engineered out most of this dynamic weakness.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - front driving
 
It’s not all bad – the Prius’ slippery shape and narrow tyres mean once the engine’s settled down, there’s very little wind or road noise to worry about, and the ride on the motorway is comfortable.

Thanks to standard-fit 15-inch alloy wheels (which are tiny by today’s standards) there’s plenty of tyre sidewall to absorb potholes, too. However, the soft suspension and additional weight of the batteries mean the Prius Plug-in rolls about a lot in corners and doesn’t grip particularly well.

As for driving on pure electric mode, a careful driver will be able to eke out around 30 miles of range from a full charge – the official figure is 34 miles. That’s not bad at all, and plenty for a commute. Top speed in EV mode is 84mph, and engine noise obviously disappears improving refinement further.

Charging up will take around four hours from a three-pin socket, or 2.5 from a domestic wallbox.

How much space is there?

Space in the passenger cabin is good – there’s a reason Uber taxi drivers love the Prius so much, and you’ll find space for four six-foot adults in a relatively compact space. You can find more room in a PHEV, but the Prius cabin is well judged, with good legroom in the back if slightly limited headroom.

Storage space is an issue, though. The boot is officially only 191 litres in capacity – there are convertibles on the market with more space than that. That’s due to the very high floor, as Toyota’s placed the larger battery pack under there.  It makes the boot extremely shallow under the parcel shelf, though if you don’t mind reducing the already-rubbish rear visibility you could potentially load up higher.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - boot
 
It is useful, though, that there’s a dedicated underfloor storage area for the charging cables, which keeps things tidy.

Fold the back seats down and you’ll see the space increase to 1,204 litres, which is better but still less than even a supermini can muster. Certainly, the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV or Skoda Octavia iV provide much more space in the boot.

What models and trims are available?

It’s easy to pick a Prius Plug-in – there are only two trim levels and a minimal options list, and of course both have an identical powertrain.

The entry-level model is known as the Business Edition and comes well-enough equipped that most should be satisfied. Keyless go, a wireless phone charger, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, blind-spot monitor, heated front seats and head-up display is an excellent standard equipment list.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - infotainment
 
Stepping up to Excel grade gives you all-round parking sensors, a 10-speaker JBL sound system, navigation for the infotainment, automatic parking assist and, perhaps crucially if you’re looking to use the Prius Plug-in as a taxi, leather upholstery that’s more hardwearing and wipe-clean than fabric.

How much does it cost to run?

As with any plug-in hybrid, charging habits and journey type are key. The Prius Plug-in will respond best to a majority of short journeys with a fully-charged battery. Plug in at home and get used to setting off well-charged and you might find your own fuel economy figures approach the official 217mpg that the Prius Plug-in achieved during WLTP testing.

Toyota Prius Plug-in - charging
 
No matter how you drive the Prius Plug-in, you’ll benefit from its low official CO2 figures of just 28g/km. That means a low first year VED bill and super-low company car tax.

Other running costs should be minimal. Toyota’s reliability record is excellent, and the firm recently introduced a warranty policy that offers up to 10 years of cover if serviced at Toyota garages. That’s the longest warranty in the business and shows serious confidence in both the brand’s cars and its service centres.

Should you buy a Toyota Prius Plug-in?

There are more modern plug-in hybrids, there are more practical ones, and there are certainly better ones to drive – the Prius Plug-in has been around for quite a while and in several key areas it’s been surpassed by its competition.

For company car users, cars like the Skoda Octavia iV or BMW 330e aren’t as fuel efficient but are far better to drive and more spacious. As an alternative, several fully-electric models can be had for a similar price to the Prius Plug-in – such as the Skoda Enyaq iV or Kia e-Niro.

In isolation, though, the Prius Plug-in’s low running costs and strong reliability record could still be enough to sway some into going for it.

(parkers.co.uk)

New Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV prototype review

We hit the road in a prototype version of the all-electric Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV 80

 Verdict

Almost as practical and as clever as ever, it appears the Skoda Enyaq Coupe will offer few drawbacks over its conventional counterpart. Skoda has never been one for compromise, and on this evidence, that trend looks set to continue long into the future.

Skoda has dabbled with coupes in the past, but most recently it’s come to be known for its humble family hatchbacks, cavernous estate models and spacious SUVs rather than anything you’d conventionally call stylish, or fashionable.

But not one to get left behind, the Czech maker is gearing up to launch a coupe version of its pure-electric Enyaq SUV later this year. Set to be revealed in December, the Enyaq Coupe iV will go on sale in the UK in January next year, with first customer cars arriving in early summer 2022.

It’ll get all the same battery and motor combinations as the existing Enyaq SUV, meaning a choice of iV 60 (58kWh battery, 177bhp) and iV 80 (77kWh, 201bhp) models, plus a range-topping iV 80X with all-wheel drive and 261bhp. A performance-focused vRS version is planned for later.

To get a taste of what’s in store, we were given the chance to try a camouflaged version of the 4.65m-long Skoda SUV on European roads. Identical from nose to B-pillar, the Coupe’s smoother, more rakish roofline and the subsequent changes inside are the big news here.

These tweaks are arguably best sampled from the rear seat, then. Every version gets a fixed, full-length panoramic roof, but thanks to special heat reflecting glass, the car doesn’t require a roller blind. This frees up space in the back, where only those over six foot will find their heads brushing the roof; knee room is particularly generous, while the MEB platform’s flat floor means even those in the middle can get comfortable.

The boot shrinks, but only marginally – from 585 litres in the standard Enyaq, to 570 litres in the Coupe. It’s a decent shape, and unless you’re regularly loading the car to the roof you’re unlikely to notice the slightly smaller capacity; there’s a big, deep well under the floor that’s perfect for storing the car’s charging cables, too.

Speaking of which, Skoda says that developments in battery technology mean that the Enyaq Coupe will launch with brand-new ‘ME3’ software enabling not only faster peak charging, but a flatter charging curve. While bosses couldn’t confirm charge times at this stage, we can expect the Coupe to better the current flagship Enyaq’s 125kW maximum, as well as slightly reducing the 10-80 per cent charge time of 34 minutes.

In terms of range, a more favourable drag coefficient means the Enyaq Coupe is, Skoda says, capable of “10 to 15km” (6-9 miles) more than the conventional car on a single charge. That should mean, for this iV 80 model, somewhere in the region of 340 miles – versus 331 in the normal Enyaq. The figures haven’t yet been homologated, but in any case, the difference is likely to be negligible in real-world driving.

From behind the wheel, the Coupe is near-enough indistinguishable from any Enyaq we’ve driven to date. Refinement is excellent, tyre noise is non-existent, and wind noise was barely noticeable. This is largely true of the standard SUV too, of course, despite its boxier shape. 

The suspension and chassis feel stiff, but never uncomfortable – aided by smooth roads, the smallest 19-inch wheels, and our Enyaq’s adaptive dampers. The steering is on the weightier side compared with rivals, but lacks the finesse or sharpness found on a Ford Mustang Mach-E, for example.

On-paper, performance is little more than satisfactory alongside, say, a Tesla Model 3, although that doesn’t dent its appeal. You still get that shove of instant torque, but without constantly having to watch your throttle inputs or your speed via the standard-fit digital instrument cluster. Figures haven’t been confirmed, but we expect 0-62mph in around eight seconds and a top speed of around 100mph.

We mentioned that the Enyaq Coupe is visually identical to its standard sibling from the B-pillar forwards – and it’s the same story inside. The cabin is finished in high-grade materials, customisable via Skoda’s range of Loft, Suite, Lounge, EcoSuite and Sportline trims. The overall layout feels familiar, but the climate controls remain hidden in the central infotainment display – frustrating if you want to adjust the temperature or fan speed on the move.

Prices and specs will be revealed alongside the full production car in December, but we expect the Coupe iV to command a circa-five per cent premium over the standard SUV, with prices from around £33,500.

Model:

Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV 80
Price: TBC
Engine:  77kWh battery, single electric motor
Power/torque:  201bhp/310Nm
Transmission:  Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph:  8.0 seconds (est)
Top speed:  100mph (est)
Range/CO2:  340 miles (est), 0g/km
Charging:  10-80% @ 125kW+ in 30 minutes (est)
On sale:  January 2022

(autoexpress.co.uk)

Electric Mercedes EQG at the Munich Motor Show

It has been known for some time that Mercedes-Benz is working on a fully electric version of the G-Class, a model that CEO Ola Kallenius described as inevitable.

As things stand now, the future electric EQG will be presented in concept form as early as next month at the Munich Motor Show.

Rumors of such a G-Class began in October 2020 when Mercedes confirmed its plans to make the G-Class its own brand. The EQG will arrive at the Munich fair in the form of a concept, but it should be close to the serial version.

Leaked documents from April 2021 indicated that the electric G-Class would be given the name EQG, which corresponds to the other fully electric members of the EQ. The same documents revealed that the car will be available in two versions - EQG 560 and EQG 580.

The EQG will have standard all-wheel drive. Judging by the EQS 580 sedan's propulsion system, the EQG 580 will likely have two electric motors (one on each axle) with a combined power of 385 kW / 523hp and 828 Nm of torque. The 108 KWh batteries will offer a range of about 500 km, despite the weight and size of the car. Although there is no information on the EQG 560 version, it will probably be a weaker variant that will retain the off-road capabilities of the EQG 580.

The EQG is expected to retain similarity to the G-Class. The square body, classic off-road proportions, large ground clearance and minimal overhangs will be transferred, while the more aerodynamic front end with a covered mask will be in the forefront in design changes, with refined lights and a new wheel design.

For the interior, digital screens and the latest Mercedes MBUX infotainment system are provided, as well as the highest quality materials and rich equipment.

Although we will see the EQG concept in Munich between September 7 and 12, 2021, the serial version will follow later, perhaps in 2023 or only in 2024.

Demystify: Electric cars

There was a time when it was easy to make fun of electric vehicles, while most of them looked like overgrown golf carts or some twisted orthopedic aid. If they seemed normal - they weren't, because they tore everything from the standard models that made them cars and loaded them with clumsy batteries that took up the entire trunk and moved the center of gravity of such a four-wheeler where it didn't belong. With all these shortcomings and ridiculous autonomy, global warming was just a small compromise that we were all somehow ready for.

Today, when the polar copper needs to swim between two icebergs longer than our government needs to form after the elections, such vehicles suddenly seem much less funny and significantly more tempting. Hand on heart, the image of electric cars has experienced a positive turn in the last ten years, and mostly thanks to the company Tesla, which managed to prove how electric vehicles, with the already obvious environmental advantage, can be fast, attractive and practical. At the same time, stricter regulations make cars with internal combustion engines less fun every day, but also less reliable. the house runs out of OHO glue. Sometimes, if we are lucky, a flag with a badly loaded carburetor would fall apart, so the whole street would collectively hallucinate for several hours. Unfortunately, everything that is nice lasts a short time, so the carburetors were replaced by electric and then direct injection, various euro and euro standards were introduced that choked the engine so that it would not choke us, lambda probes, catalysts, EGR, DPF and what not. When we reached Euro 6 somewhere, the air started to come out fresher than the one in Pancevo on a clear day, and I sensed that the end was near.


While the traditional auto industry is struggling to death, throwing out all the "greener" SUS engines, new companies are sprouting like flowers on the grave of everything that has developed in the last two centuries. And what they produce and offer makes more and more sense, and now it has already become clear to everyone, even the biggest skeptics, including myself, that the future is electric. For God's sake, Dacia has launched an electric car at a price of under 20,000 euros! What can we talk about next !? The big players have finally joined the game and started designing cars like this from scratch, keeping in mind that they will not have an engine, a typical gearbox, a differential, a fuel tank and much more. The result is vehicles of perfectly distributed mass, incredibly aerodynamic and unrealistically practical, often with two trunks (one standard in the rear, the other in the front). The absence of many classic components makes them simple, reliable and cheap to maintain while designers live their wet dreams free of functional requirements that would prevent them from doing so.

Battery technology is advancing, so you no longer have to charge your car once when you go to the store and the second time when you return from it. You drive practically for free, especially if you keep the four-wheeler on the charger at night when the TA stove, because then electricity is cheaper. You don't pollute nature with sound, let alone exhaust gases, and you enjoy maximum torque from zero rpm thanks to the very nature of electric motors. with speed it directly and linearly pulls your pet to maximum speed without losing momentum, only to return some of the energy expended a second later by regenerative braking back to the batteries. Although most of these things are heard from the media and friendly pub discussions, it seems to me that there are still a lot of unknowns related to this type of car, so why not search each of them individually:

Characteristics

Companies still have a problem agreeing on how to calculate the power and torque of their electrically powered products, and you will often come across different figures from site to site. What you need to know is that one or more electric motors of a certain type are in charge of starting one such vehicle, which are usually arranged on axles, although there are rare examples where the wheels have their own motor. The power and torque of all motors cannot be easily summed up, and the same motor combination can give different maximum values ​​depending on the battery power that powers them. The advice, then, would be to ignore the features and focus on performance.

Performance

Electric cars are known for their unrealistically good acceleration, enough to embarrass even examples of famous sports pedigree brands. However, when it comes to top speed they are not at the level of their sooty competitors and most will struggle to reach the magic number of 200km / h on their fancy digital command tables. The fact that they have only one speed means that this limit is directly related to the maximum number of revolutions of the drive motors, but also that they go as fast as possible - they are almost linearly less economical.

Economy

Consumption per 100 kilometers is expressed by our small electrical friends in the same way as with a washing machine, ie in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This should not surprise us because they are driven by almost the same things as that irreplaceable piece of white goods, and even their sound is relatively similar and, in my opinion, extremely uninspiring. When the capacity of the batteries is divided (also expressed in kWh), autonomy, ie range, is obtained with that consumption. Much like they fabricate, not to say lie, for average fuel consumption, manufacturers publish rather unrealistic figures when it comes to range because they know it’s one of the main trump cards that will attract potential buyers. At the same time, the information is often schizophrenic because there are several agencies that perform tests and publish figures (NEDC, WLTP, EPA), but the reality is usually much worse than anything that can be found online or in a mega-fancy brochure. Whichever way we turn, the electric car charges more often and for longer than it drives.

Charging

This is perhaps the most obscure segment of coexistence with a single electric vehicle, but let's simplify: Most of them can be charged on a regular 220-volt shock socket, with it taking 24 to 72 hours to reach 100% battery capacity. This is meaningless, so companies supply different types of chargers with their electric cars, which shorten this painful process to some 6 to 12 hours. Depending on the manufacturer, there are far better (and therefore more expensive) solutions, so some of them advertise that charging from 10 to 90% takes only an hour or two. The trick is that the last 10% lasts the longest and that is why the length of the battery charge often refers to 80% of the capacity. In the best case, with the purchased vehicle, you get a lifetime permit for access to fast chargers provided by the manufacturer, and then that is one big concern less. All this, of course, makes far more sense in countries such as Norway, where you can you fill up in the best parking lot in the mall, while the Viking girls feed you grapes and whisper in your ear how wonderful you are to take care of polar honey. We in the Balkans will wait for that for a while, and even then, not everything will be so romantic. Rather, it will only raise the tax on internal combustion vehicles so much that, unlike the price of registration, you will be able to order one Norwegian woman and a couple of crates of grapes online. In doing so, knowing the infrastructure in these areas of ours, you will have to travel zigzag wherever you go, just to connect all the points on the map where the chargers for electric vehicles are, hoping that you will not catch fire in the process.

Not to mention the real benefits for the environment. It is okay to think that an electric car does not emit harmful gases, but only if the electricity it charges is produced by renewable sources, hydroelectric power plants, windmills, burning methane that belches cows in abnormal quantities and the like. If we make electricity by burning coal or fuel oil, and then we talk about how we take care of Mother Nature, Meda will think that we are hypocrites and, what is worst, she will be right. At the same time, no matter how difficult it is to calculate, there is a coefficient that European countries have established regarding the ratio of the price of fuel and electricity. That ratio is currently 5.1, which means that a car that consumes an average of 15.3 kWh per 100 kilometers traveled costs the owner the equivalent of a diesel that swallows an average of 3 liters of this precious liquid. Very little, but not zero.

Another big problem and topic that many from this fast-growing branch of industry avoid is the production of batteries, ie limited stocks of lithium in the world on the one hand, and pollution and energy consumption in the process of such production on the other. To make matters worse, batteries have their own lifespan, just like in mobile phones and laptops, they weaken over time and require more frequent recharging. Even if this problem is solved, there are objective obstacles in the significant progress of increasing the capacity in a somewhat compact package, which means that the damn range that is so important to us will not progress significantly in the foreseeable future.

And that brings me to my biggest concern and the reason why I won't be buying some EVs in the near future ... If it happens that a Swabian strikes from the west or some radiation from the east, fanatical migrants from the south or a deadly virus from the north ... If for any reason we have to evacuate and flee, I will not be able to fill five canisters of electricity and transport my family 3,000 kilometers away from here, buying illegally bottles of electricity from the hood of a Moldovan of dubious morals. I will curse the day when I ran out of my diesel with which I could go to the end of the world, but that is why at least the polar honey will enjoy a wide range of floating icebergs for lounging.

2022 Audi e-tron GT and RS GT Make Us Forget They're EVs

Audi's new e-tron GT Quattro and RS e-tron GT are great sports sedans first and electric cars second.

In conventional automobiles, the tall top gears of modern automatic transmissions largely silence the combustion events happening under the hood. So, when an EV hushes along at 85 mph or so and unfurls the lonesome two-lane expanses of the West, the fact that it's motivated by electricity instead of gasoline doesn't seem terribly relevant. It does become a bit more important if the battery is depleted and you lack a solid recharging plan. If you're range anxious about finding somewhere to recharge, the e-tron GT is rated for 238 miles and the 590-hp (637 in overboost) RS e-tron GT model is good for 232 miles, both of which are far short of the Tesla Model S's EPA range.

 
 
 
2022 audi etron gt
 

Stand on the GT's accelerator and you're instantly reminded that there are electric motors at play. The torque delivery is akin to the feeling you get when you hold a regular car in gear right at its engine's torque peak. Hit it, and boom, instant shove. An upshift from the rear-mounted two-speed gearbox happens at about 60 mph, which will remind some readers of an old three-speed automatic's one-two shift. Audi claims a 3.9-second run to 60 mph for the GT and 3.1 seconds for the RS GT. As with the Audi's platform-mate, the Porsche Taycan, those acceleration times are repeatable, provided you know the launch-control code—Dynamic mode, hard on the brake, accelerator to the floor. A whoosh accompanies the shove into the leather seat. (A vinyl- and microsuede-covered interior, marketed as being leather free, is standard.)

The mass of the battery tips the GT's curb weight past 5000 pounds, but since the pack is in the floor, the center of gravity is low. Imagine a 4947-pound Audi RS7 with a keel and you get the idea. At 55.0-inches tall, the largely aluminum-bodied e-tron GT is low for a modern sedan and nearly two inches lower than the RS7. Without gears to choose, the GT and RS twins remain at the ready for whatever the Angeles Crest and Forest highways throw at them.

2022 audi etron gt

Go for the RS version and you get summer tires, but even on the e-tron GT's all-season rubber, the standard three-chamber air springs keep the body flat and the handling secure without being boring. Although the steering is accurate and gets the nose pointed with unerring precision—and the many drive modes can adjust the effort—not a lot of feedback comes through the wheel. Sure, the regular GT's all-seasons howl in protest when they begin to understeer but add power and the system sends torque rearward and divides it as necessary to the left or right wheels to cancel the mild push in corners. What you feel, besides confidence, is a return to your intended path around an apex. The RS performs the same trick, but its summer tires provide more grip with a bit less squeal.

Provided you shut off the stability control, the rear end's ability to send power to the left and right will also indulge the aggressive driver by setting up an easy-to-control, power-on drift. Being (mostly) prudent adults, we kept such experimentation to the airstrip that Audi rented for us to safely experience the RS's zero-to-100-mph acceleration. Hauling these Audis down from speed are 14.2-inch front brake rotors on the regular GT and 16.1-inch tungsten carbide-coated units on the RS. Should that not be enough, the RS offers 16.5-inch carbon-ceramic jobs up front. Strong and fade-free, a couple of downhill sections in the canyons required a harder push on the brake pedal, a reminder that quickly decelerating 5000 pounds requires a lot of force.

2022 audi etron gt

Using the brakes in the GT and RS GT is something you'll do a lot. Unlike some competitors, Audi doesn't offer a one-pedal driving mode. The maximum regeneration mode (activated by the left "shift" paddle on the steering column) doesn't slow the car down much. Audi proffers that coasting is more efficient than maximizing regeneration. The net effect is that you drive the two e-tron sedans more like a conventional gas-powered car, another reason it's easy to ignore what's propelling you when you're behind the wheel.

Designers put a lot of thought into making the most of Audi's (and Porsche's) EV platform. Not only is the roofline low, but the cockpit and greenhouse are narrower than the body. It's a visual trick used by the Porsche 911 that results in a balance of elegance and aggression. Wide rear fenders flow rearward to A7-like taillights. Wheel sizes start at 20 inches; RS models offer a 21-inch option.

2022 audi etron gt

The relatively narrow cockpit is obvious when you're inside. Front-seat space is generous, but the roof looms close and the glass area is small for a sedan. The view out the back is restricted, but after a few miles you adjust to it. If you're thinking it's as bad as a Chevrolet Camaro, it's not. Rear-seat space also is in short supply, and the smallish door openings and low body make getting in and out a little more difficult than it is in an RS7.

An RS7 also sounds considerably better than both the e-tron GT and RS. Audi engineers did try various devices—including a didgeridoo—to give their electric sedans a soundtrack. Under hard acceleration there's a hushed roar and the volume increases in the most aggressive Dynamic mode, but it pales next to how the roar of the RS7's twin-turbo V-8 fires the synapses in your lizard brain.

2022 audi etron gt

Choosing between Audi's new electric sedans and its 591-hp RS7 is made even more difficult by how the pricing sandwiches the $115,545 gas car between the two. Before any incentives or tax credits, the e-tron GT starts at $100,945 and the RS opens at $140,945. Even though the e-tron GT is so good that we briefly forgot it was an electric, as new internal-combustion cars become rarer sights we're still going to pick them until we can't. As far as comparing it to the ridiculously quick, 1020-hp Model S Plaid, we'd love to answer that nagging question too. As soon as we get a Plaid to test, we'll let you know.

(caranddriver.com)

Tesla Model Y SUV review

"The Tesla Model Y takes what makes the Model 3 great and adds SUV practicality"

Pros

  • Fast and efficient
  • Spacious interior
  • Hatchback boot

Cons

  • Delayed for the UK
  • Patchy build quality
  • Limited model lineup

The Tesla Model Y has all the ingredients to be a hit when it eventually arrives on UK shores. The Tesla Model 3 has already struck a chord with buyers, appearing in the list of top-selling cars during 2021 and scoring well in our Driver Power owners satisfaction survey. Adding SUV style and space is only likely to make the recipe more desirable.

There's certainly enough hype around the brand but Tesla does risk missing the boat. Instead of arriving as a trailblazer, the Model Y will find itself competing against the Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Audi Q4 e-tron, Mercedes EQA and Ioniq 5. In other words, just about every mainstream manufacturer has realised it needs to sell an electric SUV and many of them are already available.

Part of the reason for the delay is Tesla CEO Elon Musk's desire for European examples of the Model Y to be built at a new Tesla Gigafactory in Germany, the completion of which has faced significant hold ups. The Y began arriving with the first American customers in March 2020. 

When the Model Y does arrive here, there's likely to be a Long Range and Performance model, sticking closely to the Model 3 on which the car is based. Both versions offer impressive acceleration and four-wheel drive but it's the Performance that's likely to be faster than any rival, with 0-60mph taking around 3.5 seconds.

The Long Range will be capable of around 314 miles between charges, thanks to its smaller wheels and slightly reduced performance, while the Performance will have a range of around 298 miles. These are impressive numbers but according to official figures, they're no longer class-leading, with the Mustang Mach-E capable of up to 379 miles in its most efficient specification.

Inside, the Model Y has the same minimalist interior and technology as the Model 3, focused around a high-res 15-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. Air vents have been replaced by a narrow slot and leather by vegan-friendly materials. It works well once you get used to its controls but quality isn't on the same level as the top European manufacturers.

A taller roof means there's more space and headroom inside the Model Y than the Model 3, while its hatchback boot is much more useful for loading luggage or sports equipment. However, the Enyaq's boxy shape makes it even more accommodating.

We'll need to spend time behind the wheel of a Tesla Model Y in the UK to deliver our final verdict but we suspect fans of the brand and families alike will love the Model Y even more than the 3. Tesla should be worried, however, that the market for electric SUVs is getting significantly more crowded as the wait for the Model Y continues. 

MPG, running costs & CO2

 Tesla's small SUV has an impressive range and charges quickly

When the Model Y arrives, it's likely to be in Long Range and Performance versions, both of which have the same size battery. Thanks to smaller, 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels and less power from its electric motors, the Long Range is expected to have a range of around 314 miles. Step up to the Performance version, and 22-inch alloy wheels and more power reduce range to just under 300 miles.

Both the Long Range and Performance models take just under 12 hours to charge from empty to 100% using a 7.4kW wallbox, while a rapid charge at 250kW can take the battery from 10 to 80% in just 19 minutes. Another draw is the Tesla Supercharger network of public chargers, which won our 2020 Best chargepoint providers survey, coming top in every category. 

As with all EVs, the Model Y is exempt from VED (road tax) but the biggest savings will be for business users, thanks to very low Benefit-in-Kind liability. This can save company-car drivers hundreds or even thousands per month compared with petrol and diesel models.

Engines, drive & performance

 Lots of power and assured handling makes the Model Y fun to drive

While Tesla hasn't revealed the exact power of the Model Y destined for the UK market as yet, the Performance version is expected to get the same 455bhp as the Tesla Model 3 Performance. Nobody is ever likely to describe it as lacking in speed, with a 0-60mph time in the region of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 150mph. There's instant acceleration when you press the throttle, followed by sustained acceleration that a Mercedes-AMG C63 or BMW M3 would struggle to match. 

The Long Range version isn't quite as unhinged, with around 345bhp getting it from 0-60mph in just under five seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph; step out of the Model Y Performance and it almost feels slow. The car feels taller than the low-slung Model 3 but there's still almost no body lean in corners, thanks to the low centre of gravity of the battery pack beneath your feet. There's some feel of the wheels and road through the steering too, keeping the driver in touch with what the Model Y is doing. 

Regenerative braking as you release the accelerator can be adjusted and in its maximum setting, it slows the Model Y noticeably, negating the need to use the brake pedal in most circumstances. It takes a bit of getting used to when first making the switch from a petrol or diesel model but quickly makes sense and can become rather addictive as energy is put back into the battery to improve range.

Interior & comfort

 Clever tech abounds but not everyone will like the minimalist design

The Model Y's interior is virtually identical to the Model 3, although you will notice the extra headroom. The raised seating position also makes getting in and out easier, and the extra space helps the Model Y feel airier inside, especially for those in the back seats, who also get to enjoy a larger panoramic roof.

The dashboard is the epitome of minimalism, with just a large central touchscreen; if you look through the steering wheel there are no dials or screens . Everything from the media system to the climate control and wipers are controlled either by the screen, controls on the steering wheel or column stalks. The 15-inch display is impressive, with Tesla's own software that works well and is frequently updated. It also has some pretty unique features, including the ability to show streaming entertainment like Netflix while parked up or play console-style computer games.

It's not perfect, however, and material quality is still off the pace of rivals like the Audi Q4 e-tron, Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace. It's also likely that trim options will be limited for the Model Y when it arrives in the UK, with far fewer ways to add features or personalise the interior than those offered by manufacturers like Audi.

Practicality & boot space

 A taller roofline and hatchback boot help boost practicality

We've mentioned that the Model Y's taller roof means passengers have more headroom than in the Model 3, which makes it possible for adults to sit comfortably in the back seats. The electric 'skateboard' under the car helps here because there's less intrusion into the interior, resulting in a flat floor and a longer interior than that of a traditional SUV of a similar size. 

Along with its SUV looks and raised seating position, most buyers will choose a Model Y for its improved practicality. Along with its frunk (storage space under the bonnet), a hatchback tailgate is likely to appeal to UK buyers more than the Model 3's saloon version, creating a much bigger opening to load in bulky items. Its three-part rear bench also folds down electronically. Tesla has also hinted that a third row will be available to make the Model Y a seven-seater but this hasn't been confirmed yet, and it also doesn't look like there'll be much space, so they're likely to be limited to children. 

Reliability & safety

 Safety is excellent but the Model Y's build quality feels patchy compared with rivals

While the Model Y hasn't appeared in our Driver Power reliability survey yet, the Model 3 came 18th out of the top 75 models. However, strong scores in other areas offset a poor performance for exterior and interior build quality. It scored very highly for running costs and gained a category win for its powertrain, while practicality also impressed - an area in which the Model Y should do even better.

It's a similar story for safety, where the Model 3 has been crash-tested but it's unlikely the Model Y will be scrutinised by Euro NCAP just yet. The Model 3 scored an impressive 96% for adult occupant protection, along with a very high 94% rating in the Safety Assist category.  

The Model Y also gets the same Autopilot semi-autonomous driver aids, so it's covered in numerous sensors and cameras that can help the driver avoid collisions and take over some driving tasks on well-marked roads. 

(carbayer.co.uk)

By 2025, every Mercedes model will have an electric version

Daimler plans to invest more than 40 billion euros between 2022 and 2030 in the development of fully electric vehicles, but unlike other manufacturers, they did not want to announce the exact year when they will eliminate internal combustion engines from their offer. However, they announced that Mercedes-Benz will be ready to become a fully electric brand by the end of this decade, where market conditions allow it.

Daimler, which also operates Mercedes-Benz, expects that by 2025, half of the Stuttgart-based manufacturers' offer will be electric and hybrid cars, slightly earlier than their previous prediction that this would happen by 2030.

In line with accelerated electrification, Mercedes will introduce in 2025 three new platforms designed exclusively for electric vehicles. The MB.EA platform will be in charge of medium and slightly larger cars and will be the basis for the future range of electric vehicles. The AMG.EA platform will be exclusively developed for high-performance AMG models, while the VAN.EA will be the basis for light commercial vehicles and passenger vans.

According to the announcements of the German company, 6 new electric models will be presented by 2023, while two years after that, each model in the Mercedes-Benz range will have an electric version.

As part of its electrification strategy, the company announced that it would open a battery recycling plant in Germany in 2023. In addition, Daimler will buy the British company YASA Ltd. which will help them develop high-performance electric motors.

Daimler's announcement came just a week after the European Union proposed a ban on the sale of new cars with SUS engines from 2035. This decision forced car manufacturers to invest more in electrification, so the Stellantis Group announced that it will develop electric cars in the coming years. four years to invest $ 30 billion.

New Mercedes EQS prototype review

From behind the wheel, the late prototype version of the Mercedes EQS reveals the tech-packed EV’s quiet and refined character

Verdict

The Mercedes EQS is the kind of car where you don’t miss a combustion engine. It’s all about refinement, which it seriously delivers. It’s surprisingly agile given its size and weight, while performance is strong.

This is our first chance to sample the new Mercedes EQS – the company’s all-electric flagship – ahead of its world premiere, and from our experience of this late-stage prototype, the technology is certainly something impressive.

Mercedes recently revealed more EQS specifications, with an EQS 450+ and an EQS 580 4MATIC available from launch. It’s the latter we’re testing here, and with 516bhp and 855Nm of torque, even for a 2.5-tonne car the EQS pulls powerfully and smoothly. The thrust on offer is considerable, but it’s superbly relaxing.

Electric cars with the longest range
That’s thanks to the incredible refinement the car offers. The pair of electric motors give four-wheel drive and very little whine, so cruising along in the EQS is hushed, helped by an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.2Cd, so the experience fits perfectly with the luxury demands of this electric limousine.

Adaptive air suspension is standard, and again, despite the weight due to the big battery (two battery sizes will be offered from launch, a 90kWh unit and a 108kWh pack, which offers up to 478 miles of range), the EQS drives with a light touch.It smooths bad surfaces and filters out the worst the road can throw at it.

However, you’re not completely decoupled from the driving experience, even if the car packs plenty of driver-assistance systems. Instead, the air suspension removes the bad elements, yet still offers a degree of connection between driver and machine, which is certainly refreshing.

The steering is light, but for a 5.2-metre-long car the EQS is surprisingly nimble, too. Rear-axle steering is fitted to help boost agility and give a feeling that the EQS is smaller and lighter than it actually is. It definitely helps manoeuvrability in built-up areas, and out of town the Mercedes corners well for a range-topping saloon, with great traction and strong punch out of bends thanks to that huge torque being supplied to all four wheels. The brake regeneration is great too and allows for easy one-pedal driving in its strongest setting, while there’s also an adaptive auto mode.

There are some sound and ambient light programmes designed to inject a bit more emotion into the driving experience, but we’d say you don’t need them.

There are some drawbacks. Given the location of the battery in the car’s floor, you sit quite high, so headroom might be a little limited if you’re tall. From the driver’s seat you also can’t see the bonnet – although you soon get used to placing the car on the road. It’s partly due to the high dashboard that features the EQS’s party piece: the 55.5-inch curved Hyperscreen infotainment system, which is beautifully crisp and clear.

autoexpress.co.uk

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