Shifting Gears: The Electric Revolution of EVs

There’s no denying that the future of mobility will be focused on new technologies as the automotive industry undergoes an era of change.
by Ellfian Rahim

BMW iX M60

With the shift towards sustainability, we take a look at some of the electrifying models in the market today.

Volvo XC40 & C40 EV 

Rear-wheel drive, more range and faster charging for fully electric Volvo C40 and XC40 models

Volvo’s two all-electric models actually outsold many rivals worldwide, besting the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in numerous markets. Here, they’re also quite popular, with the C40 the more recent of the pair to be launched in Malaysia. It boasts a coupe-like roofline that meets with a dual-element roof spoiler, an integrated tailgate wing and LED taillights with a distinctive signature featuring dashed lines.

The sleek shape also enables more range, as the C40 provides up to 450 km on a single charge due to better aerodynamics. Meanwhile, the XC40 offers just 438 km. Both are equipped with a lithium-ion battery offering a gross energy capacity of 78kWh, which powers tandem electric motors with a total system output of 408PS (300kW) and 660Nm of torque.

Rear-wheel drive, more range and faster charging for fully electric Volvo C40 and XC40 models

But the C40 is quicker from 0-100km/h, taking just 4.7 seconds compared to the XC40’s 4.9 seconds. While there are differences in terms of range and acceleration times, the pair share the same charging times: 7.5 hours with an AC input(Type 2) of 11kW or 28 minutes with DC fast charging (CCS2) up to 150 kW.

Audi RS e-tron GT 

This car is perhaps proof that if you’re going to enter a new era, then you should do it with a bang. Thus, this long, low five-door super-coupe is not only the most powerful Audi electric vehicle ever built, it’s the most powerful Audi production car of all time…period.

But then, many out there will also know that the E-tron and the Porsche Taycan are based on the same J1/PPE platform and share much of their technical make-up. Yet Audi tries hard to be original with its RS e-tron GT exterior signatures that include 21-inch alloy wheels, black exterior styling for bits like mirror caps, a filled in EV version of the Audi singleframe grille in body colour and red brake callipers. 

Inside, there’s also Nappa leather interior trimmings, inlays in carbon fibre, colour ambient lighting, illuminated door sills and an alarm that provides push notifications.

The RS also produces 440 kW and 830 Nm of torque, but is capable of producing up to 475kW with boost mode. This allows it to slingshot from 0-100km/h in just 3.3 seconds, with a top speed rated at 250km/h. The car’s 800-volt architecture means it supports DC fast charging of up to 270kW and also 22kW AC charging. With the DC fast charger, the Audi can be juiced up to 80 percent in just 22.5 minutes. Meanwhile, a mere five minute charge will return up to 100 km of driving range. Beat that!

Ferrari 296 GTS 

This mid-rear-engine two-seater Berlinetta Spider open top derivative of the 296 GTB plug-in hybrid definitely offers punters a different visual perspective, courtesy of its retractable hard top. Sure, its lightweight folding roof offers the car a silhouette very similar to that of the 296 GTB when it’s up, but transforms that car’s silhouette so dramatically once it’s down. 

Styling revisions include redesigned buttresses and the incorporation of a signature ‘aero bridge’ as well as the introduction of a window in the rear section of the engine cover in place of the composite unit on the GTB.

The spider’s F163 engine offers 654hp on tap from the 120° twin-turbo V6. This is backed by an electric motor delivering 122kW (164 hp). Total output is 818h at 8,000rpm and 740Nm at 6,250rpm. Despite weighing 70kg more at 1,540kg compared to the GTB, the GTS has the same 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds, and is only three-tenths slower to 200km/h from standstill, taking 7.6 seconds to do so compared to the 7.3 seconds of the hard top. Maximum speed is also identical at more than 330 km/h. 

BMW iX M60 

It’s not difficult to see why some consider the iX M60 as one of the ultimate performance-luxury SUVs right now. After all, this luxuriously appointed and extremely potent electric SUV actually hits 100km/h from standstill in a ridiculous 3.8 seconds! What’s more, it is also the first BMW ‘M’ vehicle designed as an EV from the ground up. 

This new iX also gets a dual-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain with peak outputs of 619PS (455 kW) and 1,100Nm. But remember, these intimidating figures are only available when the car is placed in ‘Launch’ mode. This enables the 2.5 tonne Sports Utility Vehicle to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds. And yes, it will continue accelerating to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. 

The M60 is also the first BMW EV in Malaysia to come with a 22-kW onboard AC charger. So, AC charging is much quicker enabling a full charge from 0-100 percent in just 5.5 hours. As for DC fast charging with a maximum input support of 195 kW, a 0-80 percent state of charge is possible in just 35 minutes.

Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo 

Truth be told, Porsche has delivered the world’s first electric station wagon with this new offering. Essentially it’s the wagon version of the Taycan that has been designed with ruggedness in mind with three variants are available here: The base Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo and the range-topping Taycan Turbo Cross Curismo. 

The Taycan 4 is available with a 280kW electric motor that can overboost for launch control up to 350kW. This translated to an acceleration figure of 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, and tops out at 220km/h, while offering a range of 437km. The Taycan 4S, meanwhile, gets 360kW, with overboost power for launch control of up to 420kW. Zero to 100km/h is done in  4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 240km/h and maximum range of 436km.

The most powerful Turbo Cross Turismo offers an awesome 460kW and an overboost power with Launch Control of 500kW. This enables a 0-100km’h time of just 3.3 seconds, to a top speed of 250km/h and a 425km max range.

All variants of the Taycan Cross Turismo will be available with a battery size of 93.4kWh, high-tech chassis with all-wheel drive system, and adaptive air suspension. This help increase the ground clearance of the Taycan Cross Turismo to up to 20mm compare to the Taycan sedan. 

Polestar 2 

Looks like Volvo’s electric-car offshoot Polestar has updated its Tesla Model 3 rival now with even more power and driving range. This mainly comprises of new drive motors, more powerful batteries, and the introduction of rear-wheel-drive for the first time in a Polestar EV.

Power and torque outputs have been increased with this update, to as much as 220kW (299PS) for the Long Range Single Motor variant, and 490Nm of torque, up from the previous Long Range Single Motor outputs of 231PS and 330Nm. Meanwhile, the output of the Standard Range Single Motor also gets a step up to 200kW and the same 490Nm of torque. Finally, the flagship dual-motor AWD variants get new drive motors for the front and rear, bringing a higher total system output of 476PS and 740Nm in Performance Pack specification, up from the first iteration‘s 408PS and 660Nm of torque.

Other new and very significant standard features include a plethora of Driver Awareness features such as the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with steering support, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and Rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, and these are joined by the 360-degree surround view camera and automatic dimming exterior mirrors.

Tesla Model Y 

If there’s one thing car buyers can’t seem to get enough of these days are SUVs. And after its ground-breaking successes with the earlier Roadster sports car way back in 2008, the Model S sedan in 2012, and the Model X SUV in 2015, it looks like Elon Musk’s outfit has unleashed another big boy. 

Yes, the Y is longer, wider and taller than its sister, the Model 3. The one launched in Malaysia also gets an improved suspension, and is priced from RM199,000 making it pretty hard to ignore. There’s also a black a vegan leather upholstery, panoramic glass roof, 15-inch central touchscreen display, dual wireless chargers and a 13-speaker audio system and power-adjustable front seats as standard fitting to consider. 

Even in the base, the single motor SR rear-wheel drive version is far from sluggish, posting a zero to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds, on to a top speed of 217km/h. Its LFP battery enables a maximum range of 455km (WLTP cycle). Best of all, it looks great with standard 19-inch Gemini rims, but 20-inch Induction wheels are available as a RM10,000 option should you need to ‘bling’ it up a notch. 

This story was first published in The Peak Magazine’s February 2024 Issue.

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