Everyone who follows the auto industry knew that Tesla’s Model S would eventually get knocked from its first-place sales pedestal in the mid-size electric luxury sedan segment (which is actually a thing…
Everyone who follows the auto industry knew that Tesla’s Model S would eventually get knocked from its first-place sales pedestal in the mid-size electric luxury sedan segment (which is actually a thing now), but some might’ve expected the upstart EV replacing it at the top to be from some all-new brand like Lucid. As we all now know it was Porsche’s Taycan that took best-selling honours in this category last year, let alone every month since.
To be fair to Tesla, its flagship four-door has been with us mostly unchanged for a decade, which is a surprisingly long stint for any car and certainly testament to how advanced the original was when it came on the market in 2012. Then again, one glance at the Taycan and the Model S looks downright frumpy, which was no doubt part of Porsche’s plan when penning the now three-year old BEV.
Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition commemorates 90 years of famed racetrack
So, how should Porsche celebrate this monumental occasion? Once again breaking the track record at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife might be a good idea, especially since the only car to do so was a preproduction Taycan Turbo back in 2019 that, while achieving a pretty impressive lap time of 7:42.34 minutes and therefore making Tesla’s four-year old 8:50-minute lap of a Model S P85D look as if it was merely cruising along in “chill” mode, got walloped by an updated 2021 Model S that ran the ring in just 7:35.579 last fall, no doubt in Plaid track mode.
Thus far Porsche hasn’t taken the bait, but they’ve nevertheless conjured up a new special edition that pays tribute to 90 years of motorsport on Germany’s second-most famous race course, the Hockenheimring, and while only available in Europe and therefore somewhat useless information for any Canadian that doesn’t also own a hunting cabin in the Black Forest or ski lodge in Chamonix, it’s a worthy racetrack to commemorate and a nicely dressed up Taycan to boot.
Hockenheimring has a long history of notable winners
The Hockenheimring, located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, hosted Formula 1 as recently as 2019, but was a regular haunt of motorsport’s supreme series from 1977 to 2006, except for 1985 when the German Grand Prix was held at a reconfigured Nürburgring circuit, which had lost F1 in 1976 due to safety concerns.
The great Michael Schumacher achieved four Formula 1 victories at the Hockenheimring, while plenty of other racing greats have competed in DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), a.k.a. the German Touring Car championship, World RX (rallycross), EuroNASCAR, and the World Endurance (Sportscar) Championship, in which Porsche has run away with many class victories and championships.
Stunning Stone Grey beige earth-tone joined by beautiful Bronzite highlights
No doubt the new 2022 Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition’s most eye-catching feature is its Stone Grey exterior paint, which we dare you to call beige. As if a car that can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds could ever be considered beige, let alone one that looks as dramatic as any Taycan, but it’s also a bit browner than grey, so we’ll have to accept that Porsche used some creative license when positioning this hue within their “Heritage” colour palette’s nomenclature and leave it there.
It’s part of Porsche’s Paint to Sample program, as is Bronzite that gets used for the five twinned spokes of this unique Taycan’s 21-inch Mission E Design alloy wheels, the rims painted in Stone Grey to match the car’s bodywork. Bronzite also adorns the car’s side skirts, rear diffuser, and Taycan badges.
Island Green highlights combine with Paldao hardwood inside
The Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition’s cabin is slightly more subtle in execution than its sheet metal, much due to black leather being used throughout, except for a thin strip of Island Green leather found atop the steering wheel as a centre marking. Island Green stitching gets used in all the right places too, while Paldao hardwood inlays dress up key areas and yet more Bronzite can be found where satin-silver might otherwise be, including the steering wheel spokes, gear lever and surrounding area, HVAC vent slats, and even the rim around each cupholder.
Additionally, the Hockenheimring Edition’s carpeted floor mats get yet more Island Green highlights, while a Hockenheimring track map and special logo get embossed into the leather-clad centre armrest, as does the key fob, illuminated door sills, and projector LEDs that light up the ground below the doors. Capping this special model off, Porsche fixed a special badge with the same logo and track layout to the outer B pillars.
New Hockenheimring Edition built on ultra-quick Taycan GTS underpinnings
The new Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition, which is only available as a sedan, makes 590 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, which means that along with its aforementioned 3.7-second run from standstill to 100 km/h, it can manage a terminal velocity of 250 km/h, while GTS trim also provides the longest WLTP-estimated range of any other Taycan trim, at 504 km.
Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition. Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur (1:36) (Note: this video is in German):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
If you’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 EV or sister company Kia’s equally impressive EV6, you’ll already know they provide near-luxury levels of features, refinement…
If you’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 EV or sister company Kia’s equally impressive EV6, you’ll already know they provide near-luxury levels of features, refinement and performance, not to mention styling in spades, so it’s going to take a lot for the Korean automaker’s premium Genesis division to top these two standout battery electrics.
Yet despite the daunting task, Genesis has stepped up with a uniquely attractive design, even more standard features including some industry-first technologies, plus a much higher level of luxury than the two more mainstream volume-branded BEVs, as well as even stronger straight-line performance in its top trim level, that also provides even more EV range.
“We are thrilled to begin our momentous journey towards full electrification with the launch of the GV60,” said Lawrence Hamilton, executive director of Genesis Motors Canada. “We are excited that our Canadian guests will be able to experience the innovative technologies, bold design, and extensive suite of Genesis Connected Services offered in this distinctive vehicle.”
Priced competitively against premium rivals
Pricing for the all-new 2023 Genesis GV60 starts at $71,000 (including delivery), which while a sizeable monetary leap from the entry-level trims of its two sub-$45k underlings, is nevertheless reasonable for the premium class. Tesla’s Model Y, for instance, starts at $82,100, which is more than $10k dearer than the GV60, whereas Jaguar’s I-Pace will set you back a cool $99,800 (for the difference you could park a new Hyundai Tucson in your driveway next to the GV60 and have change left over). Still, Audi’s Q4 E-Tron starts at a very reasonable $59,950, but it’s important to compare apples to apples, and to that end the new Genesis stacks up very well.
For starters, the GV60 is larger than all of the above. In fact, while smaller than most mid-size luxury crossover SUVs, it provides more passenger volume and cargo capacity than the compact luxury crossovers just mentioned. Before delving into such details, however, let’s see how the GV60 lines up against the smaller Audi Q4 E-Tron dollar-for-dollar.
GV60 vs Q4 E-Tron
The most basic 2023 GV60 Advanced AWD comes standard with 20-inch alloy wheels (only 19s for the Q4 E-Tron), LED headlights and rear combination lamps (Audi’s Matrix LEDs are part of an $8,400 package), supple Nappa leather upholstery (just regular leather for the base Audi), a heatable steering wheel rim (for both), three-way heated and ventilated front seats plus heated rear outboard positions (no standard cooled or rear warmers for the Q4 E-Tron), a panoramic Vision Roof with a powered sunshade (same for both), Fingerprint Authentication and Face Connect (nope), a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster (just a 10.25-inch driver’s display for the German SUV), a head-up display system (part of that aforementioned $8,400 package on the Audi), integrated navigation (part of a lesser $5,400 package with the Q4 E-Tron), and vehicle-to-load charging capability.
Additionally, a full suite of safety and convenience features is included standard with the GV60, such as adaptive cruise control with stop and go (a $750 option or part of the $8,400 package with the Q4 E-Tron), high beam assist (part of a $1,600 Tech pack or included in the same $8,400 one), and Genesis’ list goes on with Highway Driving Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Remote Smart Parking Assist, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, etcetera.
All said, the partially-loaded Q4 E-Tron Technic (that’s the $8,400 package) will set its owner back $68,350 before adding on $890 metallic paint, a smaller set of 20-inch alloys, and a $1,600 Tech package (that includes a head-up display and Audi Connect Plus), as well as $2,700 in freight and PDI costs, resulting in a final total of $74,540, or $3,540 more than the GV60. And that’s before factoring in that Audi’s base mid-size E-Tron, which is dimensionally closer to the GV60 inside, starts at $89,600 including destination.
Industry-first features set the GV60 apart from all competitors
The new GV60 will also be available with some auto industry-first technologies, including Face Connect, Fingerprint Authentication, and Genesis’ exclusive Crystal Sphere. The first two of these features have been available on smartphones for some time, making it somewhat surprising that it took an automaker this long to adapt. Nevertheless, Genesis will be first to offer facial recognition via a deep learning-capable Near Infra-Red (NIR) camera in the B-pillar that automatically unlocks or locks the GV60’s doors without the need for a key.
Face Connect links to two individual driver profiles, causing the head-up display, powered driver’s seat, power steering column, side mirrors, and multimedia settings to adjust automatically once a driver’s personal preferences are chosen.
In the same way, Genesis’ Fingerprint Authentication System lets drivers start and drive their GV60 without a key.
The Crystal Sphere, on the other hand, is a beautiful translucent orb that acts as a glowing ambient light when the GV60 is turned off, yet upon turning the ignition on it rotates around to provide a shift-by-wire dial for selecting gears. Gimmicky? Maybe. But is it cool? For sure.
Performance is impressive throughout the GV60 lineup
Genesis Canada’s entry-level GV60 Advanced AWD trim features a strong power unit with 314 horsepower (234 kW) and 446 lb-ft of immediate torque, while the top-line GV60 Performance AWD, which incidentally starts at $79,000, adds a more potent 160kW front electric motor that combines with the rear motor for an impressive 429 horsepower (320 kW) and the same 446 lb-ft of torque when in Sport Mode, or alternatively 483 horsepower (360 kW) and 516 lb-ft of torque in Boost Mode, which is accessible by pressing a green button on the steering wheel.
Boost mode is kind of a like the “push to pass” system used in Indy Car racing, or nitrous-oxide found on dragsters, as it only provides a short 10-second boost. Still, the result is a rather stimulating 4.0-second sprint from standstill to 100 km/h, which should be good enough for the GV60’s luxury crowd. Then again, Kia’s EV6 GT reportedly does the deed in just 3.5 seconds, due to a whopping 576 horsepower “under the hood”.
Drift Mode and other features set GV60 Performance trim apart
An industry-first feature not yet covered is the GV60’s Drift Mode, an unusually welcome function that’s ripe for future parking lot testing sessions. According to Genesis, Drift Mode uses the braking system along with rear-motor torque in order to break traction at the rear wheels to cause oversteer, after which the crossover’s significant heft should carry the power slide through. There’s no word on whether the feature further utilizes the GV60’s stability management system to “catch” the slide before a spin, this normally requiring opposite lock steering along with driver skill to accomplish.
The Performance package also adds an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (E-LSD), plus an Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview, and Active Noise Cancellation, while additional features include an Ergo Motion massaging driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, surround view and blind spot view monitors, alloy pedals, and larger 21-inch alloy wheels.
Range matters most for EV buyers
Genesis has yet to announce EV range specifics, but Canada’s all-wheel drive-only variant should be capable of about 400 km (249 mi), or about the same as the two Hyundai and Kia AWD models that are also based on Hyundai group’s E-GMP platform—the U.S. rear-drive version can supposedly eke out another 50 or so km (30 mi). Unlike Tesla’s performance models, however, which provide more range with added go-fast goodness (as long as that performance isn’t used), the GV60 Performance model is said to get 368 km (229 mi) of range between charges. Of course, these estimates may differ when calculated to Environment Canada’s requirements, but the just-noted Korean-specs should be in the ballpark.
A Hyundai-first (but unfortunately not an industry-first), the GV60 will be able to fill the cabin with faux engine/exhaust noise via the audio system. New electric-Active Sound Design (e-ASD) recreates such familiar noises based on the GV60’s speed and given driving mode, not to mention the level of pressure on the throttle.
More importantly, Genesis Connected Services will allow drivers to find a charging station (or their vehicle), remotely adjust the climate control system, remotely monitor their GV60, plus keep track of its average range and battery status, while it also has the ability to start a charge, schedule a future charge (when the price of electricity might be lower), or stop charging completely. Additionally, over-the-air (OTA) software updates allow the GV60 to keep its features up-to-date without the need of downloading updates to a USB and loading them on manually, or visiting a Genesis dealership.
Size is critically important in the crossover SUV camp
Back to the GV60’s size, Genesis chose to make it a bit shorter overall than its volume-branded siblings, which makes it somewhat less accommodating inside in most configurations. The entire car measures 4,515 millimetres (177.7 inches) from nose to tail, while its 2,900-mm (114.2-in) wheelbase is 100 mm (3.9 in) shorter than the Ioniq 5’s and identical to the EV6, but passenger volume is good at 2,863 litres (101.1 cu ft), making it only 153 litres (5.4 cu ft) smaller than the Ioniq 5 and just 54 litres (1.9 cu ft) shy of the EV6.
Likewise, the GV60’s cargo capacity is generous at 680 litres (24.0 cu ft) behind the second row and 1,549 litres (54.7 cu ft) when those rear seats are folded flat, resulting in a downgrade of 90 litres (3.2 cu ft) from the Ioniq 5’s dedicated cargo volume and merely 11 litres (0.4 cu ft) when compared to the EV6, whereas maximum cargo capacity is off by 130 litres (4.6 cu ft) in Hyundai’s variant, while it actually grows by 127 litres (4.5 cu ft) over the Kia.
For those wanting more space, a Genesis SUV will likely ride on the back of Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 7, the latter being a much larger three-row crossover EV.
If the new 2023 GV60 sounds like a good fit for you and your family, Genesis Canada will start taking orders this week, while new examples will already start arriving at Genesis dealerships by the end of this month.
Of note, the new GV60 will be followed up by the launch of Genesis’ Electrified G80 mid-size sport-luxury sedan, while all new Genesis models will be fully-electrified by 2025, with a goal of 100-percent electrification across the entire range by 2030, five years before the brand plans to achieve carbon neutrality.
The First-Ever Genesis GV60 | Genesis Canada (0.47):
The All-Electric Genesis GV60 | Senses | Genesis USA (0:40):
Story credit: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Genesis
Land Rover has just pulled the wraps off its third-generation Range Rover Sport (compare it to the current Range Rover Sport here), and while its styling is purely evolutionary to the point that nobody…
Land Rover has just pulled the wraps off its third-generation Range Rover Sport (compare it to the current Range Rover Sport here), and while its styling is purely evolutionary to the point that nobody could possibly mistake it for anything other than a more aerodynamically refined Range Rover, it certainly looks good, while exterior improvements, including flush glazing and powered pop-out door handles, a hidden waist rail finisher, and a laser-welded roof, help deliver a slick drag coefficient of just 0.29.
“The exceptional New Range Rover Sport sets new standards as the ultimate sporting luxury SUV, building on seventeen years of unique customer appeal,” said Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover. “It is the latest embodiment of our vision to create the world’s most desirable modern luxury vehicles, effortlessly blending new levels of sustainability with the signature qualities that have made Range Rover Sport so popular.”
New mixed-metal platform architecture makes body structure 35 percent stiffer
Under the Sport’s sleek skin is an all-new rear-wheel drive-biased MLA-Flex mixed-metal platform architecture that provides up to 35 percent more torsional rigidity than the previous model.
“Land Rover’s pioneering flexible MLA architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver the highest levels of dynamism we’ve ever seen on Range Rover Sport,” said Nick Collins, Executive Director Vehicle Programmes, Jaguar Land Rover. “Integrated Chassis Control governs the comprehensive suite of innovations, co-ordinating everything from the latest switchable-volume air suspension system to our Dynamic Response Pro electronic active roll control. The result is the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever.”
Upgraded air suspension joins all-wheel steering for best-ever handling
The new platform aids cornering capability, high-speed stability and overall handling feel, plus all trims feature Dynamic Response Pro, which minimizes roll thanks to a 48-volt electronic active roll control system that’s capable of applying up to 1,400 Nm of torque across each axle, whereas the standard Dynamic Air Suspension system, with switchable volume air springs, provides twin-valve active dampers for “ultimate agility, control and composure,” says Land Rover in their press release.
What’s more, a Stormer Handling Pack combines Dynamic Response Pro, All-Wheel Steering, and an Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and Configurable Programs. Thanks to as much as 7.3 degrees of rear-wheel steering, the all-wheel steering system promises a compact car-like turning circle as well as the type of on-road agility normally found in a much smaller vehicle.
No shortage of conventional and hybrid power units available globally
Such agility and stability will be important considering all the power available in top-tier trims, but Land Rover has yet to announce exactly which powertrains will be available to the Canadian market.
Globally, the Sport will be offered with a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder Ingenium engine in four states of tune. Both entry-level versions, dubbed P360 and P400, boast 48-volt mild-hybrid designs, and while we can’t be sure if either will make it across the Atlantic to our port of entry, we can be certain that all three mild-hybrid six-cylinder diesel engines, named D250, D300 and D350, won’t be sold here.
Two plug-in hybrid drivetrains provide up to 113 km of EV range
A more likely base engine in our market is the P440e, which incorporates an electric motor powered by a 38.2-kWh battery for a total of 434 net horsepower and a claimed zero to 100 km/h acceleration time of 5.8 seconds. Alternatively, or possibly offered as an option, a higher output version of the same engine gets the P510e moniker due to its larger 105kW electric motor, which along with the same 38.2-kWh battery provides net output of 503 horsepower and a standstill to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.4 seconds.
Both full-hybrid power units provide up to 113 kilometres (70 miles) of zero local emissions EV range in optimal conditions, or an expected real-world range of 88 km (54 miles), which, says Land Rover, is “enough for most owners to complete up to 75 percent of journeys on electric power.” Additionally, the two plug-in hybrid power units allow for up to 740 km (460 miles) of combined gasoline and electric range, making long uninterrupted road trips easier, plus you’ll be doing less damage to the environment than the previous model (and many competitors) thanks to CO2 emissions rated at just 18g per km.
Ultimate performance is still available by opting for a twin-turbo V8 or upcoming EV
If you like your Range Rover Sport with unadulterated V8 power, rest assured the redesigned gen-3 version won’t disappoint. This said the current model’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 will not be available any longer, instead replaced by a new 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged mill that promises even stronger performance in non-SVR trim.
As it is, Land Rover’s press release gave no mention of the Sport’s SVR upgrade package, so it will most likely be a late arrival. Instead, the only V8 mentioned makes 523 horsepower, which is up 5 hp from the current blown V8’s 518 ponies, and capable of a spirited 4.3-second dash from standstill to 100 km/h when launch control is engaged.
Of course, these output and performance numbers are still shy of the SVR’s 575-horsepower engine, so only time will tell if a more potent version of the twin-turbo V8 makes the cut for the top-line SVR variant, or possibly if the all-electric model, set to arrive for model-year 2024, receives the revered designation.
Range Rover Sport’s off-road capability second to none
All powertrains come standard with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive featuring Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response, the latter now incorporating a road-focused Dynamic Mode alongside an updated Configurable Terrain Response system designed to tackle all types of off-road conditions, plus an innovative new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control system designed to improve off-road capability while reducing driver fatigue when on the trail.
“New Range Rover Sport’s advanced chassis dynamics feed into its immense capability away from the tarmac, utilizing its hardware and software to full effect,” said Rory O’Murchu, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover. “It is the first vehicle to feature our new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control, which has been engineered to help drivers focus on steering the vehicle by providing consistent and comfortable progress across rough terrain.”
New Range Rover Sport to improve interior beyond the current model
While some might find it hard to fathom a higher quality, more refined mid-size luxury utility than today’s Range Rover Sport, Land Rover promises improvements at every level.
While materials are said to upgraded, the focus has been more toward environmental friendliness than perceived quality. Its sustainable alternatives to leather, for instance, are dubbed Ultrafabrics and made from recycled polyurethane, plus finished in new Duo Tone colourways. Land Rover also makes available a unique textile trim option, which extends to the dashboard and door detailing. This said, Premium grained Windsor or even more supple Semi-Aniline leathers will still be on the menu, as will hardwoods, aluminum accents and more, but special Moonlight Chrome interior trim is new.
Land Rover goes big with digital displays
Ahead of the driver is a very sizeable 13.7-inch digital driver’s display, while the similarly large and curved Pivi Pro infotainment system incorporates standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a 3D surround overhead camera. Both systems also come with standard Software Over The Air updates, while Alexa is now part of the standard setup in all Land Rover vehicles.
“Living with the New Range Rover Sport couldn’t be easier thanks to its suite of connected technologies,” said Alex Heslop, Director of Electrical Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover. “Our award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment is at the heart of the experience and its haptic, curved floating touchscreen provides intuitive control of the vehicle systems. To help drivers maintain their focus, embedded Amazon Alexa voice AI is on hand, so customers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while doing anything from setting the navigation and placing calls to selecting media sources.”
Additional standard Range Rover Sport features include a new set of high-performance Digital LED Headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting for seeing around corners, while new Low Speed Manoeuvring Lights improve visibility in parking lots and other closed, confined areas.
All Range Rover Sports also include deployable door handles with proximity sensing, soft door close and the ability to unlock when approaching, while Automated Walkaway Lock is also part of the standard package.
Plenty of features set the Range Rover Sport apart from competitors
Back inside, unique Range Rover Sport highlights include a Cabin Air Purification Pro system to clean the cabin environment, featuring PM2.5 filtration and nanoe X technology that goes so far as to reduce odours, bacteria and allergens, even airborne viruses as small as SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a separate nanoe X unit gets fitted to the second row to provide more consistent air quality in both seating areas. An advanced CO2 Management function lets occupants purify the cabin ahead of a journey too, or alternatively while on the way.
The new Range Rover Sport’s Meridian Signature Sound System, on the other hand, incorporates the latest in Active Noise Cancellation technologies, plus up to 29 integrated audio speakers provide superb sound quality, some of which are hidden behind the textile of the rear doors and four others cloaked within the headrests to allow for “personal sound zones,” says Land Rover. The system incorporates a new subwoofer too, powered by a 1,430-watt amp.
Advanced driver safety also includes off-roading features
Standard advanced driver safety and convenience features include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, a driver-attention monitor and adaptive cruise control, while front and rear parking sensors are also included. Unique to Land Rover, a special Wade Sensing feature helps when fording rivers, plus ClearSight Ground View and Manoeuvring Lights further enhance the Range Rover Sport’s off-road experience.
On the options list are 22-way power-adjustable, heatable and ventilated memory seats up front, featuring massage function and winged headrests. These flagship seats also provide a 31-mm increase in legroom and 20 mm of extra knee clearance, improving comfort and support whether on the road or trail.
Later this year, Land Rover will start producing the new 2023 Range Rover Sport at its Solihull manufacturing plant in the UK. By that time, or shortly before, we can expect an announcement about Canadian-market features, trims and pricing information, plus the ability to pre-order.
Globally, the new Range Rover Sport will be available in S, SE, HSE and Autobiography trims, plus a First Edition trim will be offered through its first year of production, boasting a “specially curated specification,” said Land Rover.
New Range Rover Sport Revealed (0:59):
New Range Rover Sport (15:14):
New Range Rover Sport Challenge with Jessica Hawkins (1:57):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Land Rover
When the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq arrives this fall, it will be price below $70k, including destination fees, which will make it a serious competitor to other mid-size premium electric crossover SUVs, particularly…
In fact, there will only be a $10k or so spread between Hyundai’ new Ioniq 5 (that also gets creative with the “q”) and Kia’s even fresher EV6 when either of the two Korean’s are fully loaded, which could cause some to move upmarket to a more luxuriously appointed alternative, although Hyundai’s Genesis brand appears to have that covered with its soon-to-arrive GV60, despite these Asian models being shorter and narrower than their European and American counterparts.
Lyriq to undercut most competitors when it arrives this fall
Of course, there are some additional all-electric mid-size SUVs either currently for sale or shortly on the way, supply chain bottlenecks and battery components permitting. Those already selling up a storm include Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Tesla’s Model X, albeit the latter has seen deliveries wane somewhat after the smaller and much more affordable Model Y debuted, whereas Jaguar’s I-Pace suffers from the same difficult-to-understand malady all Jaguars do, lack of interest. The more compact SUV’s $99,800 base price might have something to do with the tepid market response it’s received, however, especially challenging when factoring in the $81,700 base price of the aforementioned Model Y.
Size matters to families looking for the most accommodating luxury SUV
How much larger is the Lyriq than its competitors? From the outside it measures 4,996 mm (196.7 in) long with a 3,094-mm (121.8-in) wheelbase, while its width spans 1,976 mm (77.8 in) and its height reaches 1,623 mm (63.9 in). This makes it 95 mm (3.7 in) longer than the E-Tron, albeit with a 166-mm (6.5-in) greater wheelbase, plus it’s 41 mm (1.6 in) wider and 7 mm (0.3 in) taller.
Similarly, the Lyriq is 43 mm (1.7 in) longer than BMW’s iX, with a 97-mm (3.8-in) longer wheelbase, plus it’s 9 mm (0.4 in) wider and 73 mm (2.9 in) shorter, whereas the as-noted I-Pace is dwarfed by Cadillac’s new offering, due to 314 mm (12.4 in) less length and a 104-mm (4.1-in) shorter wheelbase, plus 81 fewer mm (-3.2 in) of width, and 58 mm (2.3 in) less height. The upcoming GV60 will be smaller than the I-Pace and Ioniq 5/EV6, incidentally, so probably no direct competition to families looking for the most accommodating luxury EV.
Of course, usable space matters more, with the Lyriq providing up to 2,973 litres (105.0 cu ft) of total passenger volume in the cabin, along with 793 litres (28.0 cu ft) of dedicated cargo space behind its second row, plus 1,722 litres (60.8 cu ft) when the split-folding rear compartment is stowed away. When compared to the E-Tron, the Lyriq’s exterior size appears to benefit with 85 litres (3.0 cu ft) more passenger volume and 122 litres (4.3 cu ft) more total cargo space, but the electrified Audi does beat the Caddy EV in dedicated luggage capacity behind the rear seats, albeit just by 14 litres (0.5 cu ft).
Cadillac’s low roof height looks sleek yet cuts into interior space
As for BMW’s iX, its greater height provides 198 litres (7.0 cu ft) of added passenger volume, while the Bavarian model’s dedicated cargo space increases by 212 litres (7.5 cu ft) and maximum gear-toting capability goes up by 484 litres (17.1 cu ft), or about the size of a compact car’s trunk.
Comparatively, the I-Pace does pretty well for its exterior dimensions with 716 litres (25.3 cu ft) of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 1,444 litres (51 cu ft) with its rear seats folded, while Genesis had yet to publish interior specifications for its GV60 at the time of writing, but being that its 2,900-mm (114.2-in) wheelbase is 100 mm (3.9 in) shorter than the Ioniq 5’s, we shouldn’t expect the same level of interior roominess either.
Still, the Ioniq 5 provides 42.5 litres (1.5 cu ft) more passenger volume than the Lyriq, plus only 22.5 litres (0.8 cu ft) less dedicated cargo space and just 42.5 litres (1.5 cu ft) less luggage capacity with its rear seats folded, so the GV60 could measure up fairly well.
Of course, the Genesis SUV destined to ride on the back of Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 7 will be much larger, so let’s wait and see how this luxury crossover EV sector grows out in the near future before judging.
All said, there’s always more to purchasing within the premium sector than mere practicalities, and nothing about the Lyriq’s interior dimensions should turn off would-be buyers.
Performance should live up to Cadillac’s “V” legacy
Blisteringly quick off-the-line acceleration will be nothing new to EV buyers, but the all-wheel drive-equipped Lyriq’s 500-horsepower total output might even cause a few V8-powered Caddy diehards to requestion their dedication to high-octane gasoline power.
The AWD model will receive a dual-motor setup with one driving the front wheels and the other powering the rears, nothing new here, but more importantly this power unit puts the crested-wreath brand in the same ballpark as competitors like Ford’s 480-horsepower Mach-E GT and BMW’s 516-horsepower iX xDrive50. While no torque numbers have surfaced for AWD trim, it should be more than the 340-hp two-wheel drive Lyriq’s twist, which puts 325 lb-ft down to the rear wheels, while the four-wheel drive model will reportedly be capable of up to 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg) of towing capacity.
EV range capable of matching and beating industry leaders
LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen ft. Chef Jordan Kahn & Niki Nakayama | Cadillac (6:18):
Chef Jordan Kahn shares inspiration for the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen | Cadillac (1:00):
Chef Niki Nakayama shares inspiration for LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen | Cadillac LYRIQ (1:00):
Introducing the All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Cadillac estimated 300+ Mile Range | Cadillac (0:15):
The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Lighting the Way | Cadillac (0:30):
The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Lighting the Way | Cadillac (1:00):
Reserve the All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Cadillac (0:15):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Cadillac
With electric-only mobility ranging from 30 to 50 kilometres, most plug-in hybrid buyers won’t be expecting to use their EV modes much, unless their commutes or errand runs are confined to short distances,…
With electric-only mobility ranging from 30 to 50 kilometres, most plug-in hybrid buyers won’t be expecting to use their EV modes much, unless their commutes or errand runs are confined to short distances, but extending that range up to 80 km could make a PHEV viable for those with lengthier daily drives.
No doubt, Porsche is thinking along these lines with a recent announcement of up to 80 km of electric range for their future Cayenne and Panamera plug-in E-Hybrid models. When the new extended-range PHEVs arrive for 2024, they’ll offer one of the most competitive EV ranges in the industry, making these models ideal bridges to fully electric options, as they were always meant to be. Ideal for traveling long distances without the need to stop and wait while recharging, a long-range plug-in hybrid would provide a nice best-of-both-worlds alternative.
Future 911 hybrid to likely come with extended electric-only range too
As mentioned in a previous Porsche news story, the quintessential sports car brand will soon offer a hybridized version of its legendary 911 model, which should benefit from similarly long EV capability.
The upcoming 911 hybrid, scheduled to arrive in 2025, actually pulls its electric tech from the Stuttgart, Germany-based brand’s motorsport division, as well as its 919 Hybrid supercar, giving it street and track cred that few sports car competitors could even hope to match, and that’s even before factoring in that it’s a 911, one of the most celebrated road and track cars ever created.
Porsche sees EV is profits due to 42,000 Taycans sold in 2021
Worldwide Taycan sales soared to 42,000 units in 2021, making the sporty four-door EV profitable according to Lutz Meschke, Porsche’s Chief Financial Officer. What’s more, Porsche’s Macan EV will arrive in just two years, so the brand is on track to attract an entirely new eco-focused clientele.
The Macan EV will utilize the same Porsche- and Audi-designed PPE architecture that underpins the Taycan and E-Tron GT, plus the upcoming 718 Cayman and Boxster EV sports cars that will be 100-percent electric by 2025 (check out our previous Porsche story). All new Porsche BEVs boast 800-volt fast-charging capability, making them as convenient as they’re clean and responsive.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Like it or lump it, both 718 models’ horizontally opposed “lumps” are getting tossed when the two sports cars’ fifth generation debuts in three years. According to Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, the…
No announcements about powertrain specifics are available, but Porsche’s entry-level sports cars are being designed to keep their lightweight DNA intact, while plenty of lessons learned from building the all-electric Porsche Taycan, as well as the upcoming 2024 Macan EV (that we covered previously), should aid development of the two-place performance duet.
Tech from LMP1 Le Mans racer and 919 hypercar expected for 911 hybrid power unit
Additionally, Porsche’s 911 will continue forward with a lineup of internal combustion engines for the unforeseen future, but take note that its powertrain choices will expand to include a hybrid-electric option for 2025. Blume stated this electrified 911 will even source its tech from the brand’s multi-championship-winning motorsports division, with a nod to the LMP1 Le Mans race-spec power unit, which was also used in the phenomenal 919 hybrid supercar. Blume went further to suggest that a future 911 GT3 would receive a version of new hybrid powerplant.
Hybrids in mind, could F1 be in Porsche’s future? While we wouldn’t want to guess, Blume did tease that more surprises could be expected in the near future.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
With the world’s automotive sector quickly transitioning from internal combustion engines and interim hybrid-electric models to fully-electric battery-powered vehicles, some of the automotive industry’s…
With the world’s automotive sector quickly transitioning from internal combustion engines and interim hybrid-electric models to fully-electric battery-powered vehicles, some of the automotive industry’s most cherished styling elements have not only become redundant, but in fact detrimental to an electric vehicle’s efficiency.
First and foremost is the front grille, which was previously necessary to cool the engine, yet now impedes aerodynamics. Certainly, some cooling is needed, particularly for the battery, but battery-builders and automakers are resolving such issues with every new generation, which means frontal openings are now only needed for cabin airflow and possibly brake cooling on performance models.
Balancing aerodynamics with design character
The issue for designers comes down to character. If automakers simply removed their cars’ grilles to enhance aerodynamic efficiencies, every new car would look faceless, like a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. Like others in the industry, such as Volvo and its Recharge EV models, new Genesis X Speedium Coupe Concept deals with this challenge by creating a frontal grille outline filled a body panel, but the creative way it extends its unique signature “Two Lines” headlamp/side marker lighting elements around that grille in a “V” shape, similar to the equally gorgeous Genesis X Coupe Concept that came before, is innovative.
Anyone guessing whether the new Speedium is destined to be a personal luxury coupe or something with serious performance credentials only needs to look at the aggressive fender flairs and windswept Kamm tail that juts up out of the rear deck lid as if it came straight off a Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe. Yellow/green-painted brake calipers further hint at the Speedium’s go-fast personality, not to mention the massive rims and wafer-thin rubber surrounding them.
Could a four-door coupe be in the cards?
Back to personal luxury, an unusual greenhouse design shows this coupe is at the very least a 2+2, but more likely as accommodating inside as today’s four-door luxury coupes, and could very much receive rear doors, like Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s E-Tron RS, and others before it heads to production, but it’s nice to believe a two-door variant might get the nod as well, so it could offer a potent BEV alternative to Mercedes’ S-Class Coupe, BMW’s 8 Series Coupe, Lexus’ LC, or, a bit further down the pecking order, Infiniti’s Q60.
The side profile and rear design pays a great deal of respect to the aforementioned X Concept, and being that Genesis hasn’t shown any interior images of the new Speedium, some shots of its predecessor were added to the gallery for your perusal. It’s a stunning interior, which places a visual priority on the driver via camel brown-tanned hides and equally earthy composites, compared to stark anthracite grey elsewhere. Photos of the previous concept have been included in the gallery as well, as well as videos below, just so you can see the transitional differences and similarities.
Genesis has yet to announce a production version of either the Concept X or X Speedium Coupe Concept, but we expect something bold from the Korean brand in this segment soon.
The Genesis X Concept Reveal | Genesis (1:43):
The Genesis X Concept Reveal Event in LA | X Concept | Future Vehicles | Genesis USA (17:31):
The Genesis X California Film | X Concept | Future Vehicles | Genesis USA (1:31):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Genesis
Good news! The VW van is actually coming back, and it looks like this visual blast from the past design might also be one of the most practical competitors in the all-electric space. But before delving…
Good news! The VW van is actually coming back, and it looks like this visual blast from the past design might also be one of the most practical competitors in the all-electric space. But before delving into the details, some history.
The original 1949–2013 Volkswagen Van, as it was simply called in our market (specifically the old-school version with the rounded edges, otherwise known as the T1 and T2), was also dubbed the Kombi in Brazil, where it was produced from 1957 until finally being put to rest in 2013. Additionally, it was called the Bulli at home in Germany, where it ruled the family roost until the larger, squarer Vanagon (T3) arrived in 1979, and has been on the comeback trail at least as long as this journalist has been covering the automotive sector.
The Transporter wasn’t just a Jason Statham movie franchise
Before too much confusion transpires, Volkswagen didn’t stop building its T (Transporter) series of vans when the T3 departed. After that incredibly accommodating model enjoyed a reasonably popular run as a family conveyance here in North America, it was replaced by the front-engine, water-cooled T4 in 1990, which also graced our roads with the Eurovan nameplate. After a fairly long stint on our side of the Atlantic, VW Canada discontinued the Eurovan in place of the embarrassingly rebadged Dodge Caravan dubbed Routan (2009–2014) that the automaker probably hopes we’ll forever forget (sorry, VW).
No doubt, many T series-faithful, that never accepted DaimlerChrysler’s watered-down facsimile of the real deal, would love to get their hands on the all-new 2022 Multivan T7 that debuted last June, but we most likely won’t see that sizeable model unless Volkswagen decides to enter something larger in our commercial sector (can you imagine how the RV aftermarket would go wild with this near full-size family hauler?).
VW microbus has been the comeback kid for decades
Back to the comeback, a very enticing Microbus concept debuted in 2001, causing everyone already in love with the New Beetle to salivate over the possibility of a much more accommodating retro alternative, but alas it never materialized. A decade later the 2011 Bulli electric concept arrived to less fanfare. It probably would’ve hit the EV market too soon to have had any serious sales success if produced anyway, although the all-electric BUDD-e van that showed up in 2016 might’ve found more traction. None of that matters now that the ID. Buzz, introduced last month, has been slated for production this year as a 2023 model, in Europe at least.
The ID. Buzz looks more like that 2001 Microbus than any concept since, although it houses front lighting elements similar to those found on the current all-electric ID.4 compact SUV, even including a thin LED light strip that connects the two headlamps. The taillight cluster is one single unit too, but the circular “VW” badge isn’t integrated within the centre reflector strip on the Buzz like with the 4, instead positioned on its own just below in traditional microvan fashion.
Only one 201 hp rear-drive version has been shown so far
This said, the ID. Buzz we’re looking at is a European version, so our variant may see some slight changes. The 82 kWh (net) base battery pack, which doesn’t use cobalt, and the entry-level power unit shouldn’t change, however, as its 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque should be enough for budget-conscious families, although it’s possible VW will leave this powertrain in Europe where an EV’s ability to travel long distances isn’t quite as critical. On that note, VW hasn’t announced any range estimates for this new power unit, only saying it’ll propel the ID. Buzz up to an electronically limited top speed of 145 km/h (90 mph). Fortunately, Volkswagen promises powertrain upgrades for both markets, which will likely include all-wheel drive. That model should be popular here, so stay tuned.
As for underpinnings, the ID. Buzz utilizes the same MEB platform architecture as the ID.4. In its Buzz application, it will be offered with two wheelbases, the longer for a seven-seat option, although VW only shared wheelbase measurements of the standard model that spans 2,988 mm (117.6 in). This makes the Buzz’ shortest wheelbase a significant 223 mm (8.8 in) longer than the ID.4’s wheelbase, while the new van stretches 4,712 mm (185.5 in) from nose to tail no matter which wheelbase is chosen, which is 128 mm (5.0 in) greater than VW’s crossover EV.
ID. Buzz Cargo van might make an ideal camper
Additionally, both ID. Buzz body styles measure 1,985 mm (78.1 in) wide without the side mirrors, while the new van is also 1,937 mm (76.3 in) tall. Of note, just like T series vans, an ID. Buzz Cargo van will be offered as well. It will be fractionally taller at 1,938 mm, thanks to a heavier duty chassis.
Volkswagen claims up to 1,121 litres (39.5 cu ft) of cargo capacity behind the rear seats of the two-row version, or 3,900 litres (137.7 cu ft) behind the first row with the passenger van’s rear seats removed, or you’re filling up the cargo van. The latter, incidentally, gets a front bench seat for up to three abreast, just like the original.
Could a modern-day VW “Westfalia” be in the cards? We can only hope. The ability to tread softly into the woods or desert with AWD via an all-electric powertrain is tantalizing, although we’d recommend a potent solar charging unit on top.
ID. Buzz interior looks positively appetizing
Inside, the ID. Buzz cargo van is more business-like, with mostly muted grey tones other than the very colourful and large digital displays (the standard digital cockpit measures 10 inches diagonally, while the centre-mounted infotainment system is 10 inches in base trim and up to 12 inches, with navigation, optionally), whereas the passenger van carries the exterior’s “organically based” colour scheme into the cabin.
Yummy looking lemony Lime Yellow and downright festive Energetic Orange interiors were chosen for the press photos, with both looked totally “fab” thanks in part to all the cream-coloured surfaces surrounding the body-colour dash and door trim. Bay Leaf Green and Candy White (the only non-metallic base colour) are on the “menu” too, as are Mono Silver and Starlight Blue (also available in two-tone) amongst metallics, plus Deep Black featuring a pearl effect.
The colourful door panels continue rearward to the side-sliders, while the seat upholstery is shown in a cream recycled leatherette, in the yellow model, and burnt orange cloth made from reclaimed and recycled plastics in the orange model.
Gear selection in the original vans was done from a classic stick on the floor, but the new model utilizes a column shifter in order to free up space on the modular centre console. In the ID. Buzz’ press release, VW expends a lot of ink describing the various USB ports and cupholders, which are aplenty due to its family orientation, but safety is a key selling point in this sector as well.
Safety and convenience are key in the family class
To that end, VW promises all the usual driver assist and safety systems, of course, including an updated version of the brand’s Travel Assist, now featuring automated lane changes at highway speed, plus the ability to manage autonomous driving on country roads without centre markings.
Both ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo models will be built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, German, with production on target to start during the first half of 2022, advanced sales taking place in May, and European deliveries beginning in the third quarter of this year. The North American debut of the long-wheelbase Buzz will occur sometime next year, with sales following in 2024. The long-wheelbase van will also be offered in Europe, but so far VW has said nothing about offering the regular-wheelbase, five- (and also six-) person model here.
Now, check out the World Premiere of the ID. Buzz, with actor Ewan McGregor sharing his love of the Beetle and impressions of the new ID. Buzz: