One of the most anticipated and talked-about cars is the Porsche Taycan. Porsche’s first four-door EV and one that has had tongues wagging since its reveal. The Taycan sticks to Porsche’s philosophy with ‘performance’ at its core. The numbers are just breathtaking even by Porsche standards. The Taycan will be using an 800V battery capable of charging at 350kW, which means 100km of range in just around 5 minutes. No range anxiety here, is there? Slot in the rapid charging, and the Taycan can charge its batteries from 5 percent to 80 percent in just 20 mins! In India, we will get the Taycan in three variants – the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S. Powering it will be two electric motors with a combined output of 616bhp and 850Nm good enough for a 0-100kph time of 3.2secs. And should you choose the Turbo S, you are looking at a mighty 750bhp with 1050Nm, and no, that is not a typo. It also has an overboost mode which will fling you to 100kph from a standstill in just 2.8secs. Prices will be supercar levels given the supercar performance, but you pay for the science and technology behind it. But more for that head-shoving acceleration.
Now, this is an EV like nothing else. The Mercedes-Benz EQS is the S-Class of EVs, and that isn’t just a bold claim. The design right off that bat is svelte and plush. The front is unmistakably Mercedes with the massive three-pointed star logo. However, thanks to it being an EV, the grille is now a panel with tiny stars replicating the logo. Then is the clamshell bonnet, which means there is no storage here. Even the wiper washer fluid has a separate slot on the left fender that flips open. The profile gives away the cab-forward design, and the fact that it is larger than the new S-Class in terms of dimensions says a lot about its road presence. The wheels are stunning, and then is the overall profile which features a ‘one-bow roofline’. It is this characteristic that gives it a sloping appeal and helps it achieve a stunning drag coefficient. The interior, too, is equally stunning, with the dashboard dominated by a single-piece glass panel that features three screens. The driver instrument cluster, the centre infotainment system and a third one for the passenger as well. In terms of performance, the EQS will be available in two variants – EQS 450 and EQS 580. The former will feature a rear-mounted electric motor pumping out 330bhp, while the latter will have one electric motor on each of its axels and will churn out a healthy 516bhp. All said and done, it will claim a range of over 700km on a single charge, and that is pretty much the best range figure on an EV in India
VW’s upcoming blockbuster is the mid-size SUV Taigun. It might be a bit late to the party, but it does bring along a lot of anticipation and excitement. The design is true to VW, with straight lines and creases on the body. A rather no-nonsense look VW fans will appreciate. The interior is as modern as it can get, but again, it will carry forward the VW traits like the solid build quality and tough appeal. The Taigun will also feature a segment-best wheelbase that attracts many customers and will also be available in two trim levels. A standard and a GT variant will get a more powerful 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine making 158bhp and mated to DSG automatic gearbox. There will also be an option of a 6-speed manual gearbox. The standard engine, though, will be a three-cylinder turbo-petrol unit with 113bhp and an automatic gearbox. In terms of features, the Taigun will have a long list consisting of a fully digital instrument cluster, the 10-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple and Android connectivity, along with the My Volkswagen Connect app support. The seats too are nice and broad along with ventilated function and a sunroof as well. The safety features too will be offered in plenty. ABS with EBD, hill-hold control, ISOFIX mounts, TPMS, ESP, six airbags, it is all there.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Following the EV trend is Volvo’s baby SUV. The XC40 Recharge was recently unveiled, and while it wasn’t groundbreaking in any particular area, it sure is one of the more accessible and desirable EVs out there. The biggest reason for this is the price which is by far the cheapest amongst luxury EVs. It is expected to be priced around Rs 60 lakh, and that will make it the cheapest luxury EV on sale. It will be a standard XC40 apart from what will hide underneath it. A 78kWh battery with two motors capable of 402bhp gives it a 0-100kph time of just 4.9 secs and a top speed of 180kph. These are some exciting numbers and help the XC40 stand out from the crowd. The claimed range is 418km, which again is quite impressive as it is more than the expensive Mercedes-Benz EQC. The only design changes are the sealed front-end and ‘Recharge’ badging on the body. The interior too will be vastly similar; however, the infotainment system will be based on Google’s Android OS and will also get Volvo On Call, which is Volvo’s connected tech with voice assistant.
Audi E-Tron GT
This is a long shot, but we sure hope and pray that it makes it to our shores. The Audi e-tron GT is the equally bonkers cousin to the Porsche Taycan. If anything, it is more wild thanks to the design that looks like it’s part of the Avengers set. What is crazier is that there is even an RS e-tron GT in the pipes, and we can only imagine what a rocketship will be. Still, the standard e-tron GT will have a drag coefficient of just 0.24, and that means it will be nothing short of ballistic on the road. Powering it will be two electric motors making 350kW (469bhp) from its 85 kWh battery and a claimed range of 487km. The numbers are even crazier for the RS model, which is expected to churn out 590bhp and 813Nm! The recharging is expected to be super-fast thanks to it being capable of DC charging with an output of up to 270kW. Then is the handling and dynamics, which, thanks to the low ride height, all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, will be nothing short of a track-bred race car.
The Audi Q3 will also be part of the rather bonkers line-up of Audi’s incoming. The Q3 might be the more docile one of the lot, but it can steal the market share and dominate. The Q3 is an all-new generation, so expectations are high. The previous version was a big hit, and with competition getting fierce, only the best is expected of it. In terms of design, the Q3 will stick to the familiar silhouette that is recognisable, but everything else has been updated. The design is a lot more sharp, modern and features new-age tech as well. It might not be a whole lot bigger than the smaller Q2, but it surely is the more modern one of the two. The interior will feature the virtual cockpit and a big infotainment screen, and powering it will be a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to a 7-speed DSG gearbox. In international markets, the Q3 gets a host of features like adaptive dampers etc., but to keep the pricing competitive, expect many of it to be missing on the Indian version.
VW is set to go all out this year with four SUVs in its portfolio. A portfolio that at one point had just a sedan and a hatchback. The updated Tiguan will also be making it to India, and this time around, it will be more modern and up to date. The design changed are subtle and almost invisible to the untrained eye, but look closely, and you will notice stuff like the revamped headlamp design and the new grille. What is also new is the new VW logo that will take a good chunk of real estate on the chrome-laden front grille. The highlight here will be the MATRIX LED headlamps that offer stunning visibility and are quite intelligent. On the inside, expect revamped interior with a newer infotainment system and some features as well. However, as this is just a facelift, the dimensions will be similar to before. Powering the Tiguan will be a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine also seen on the Allspace and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. The Tiguan never really set the sales charts ablaze, but this time it will be giving the rivals a more challenging time than before.
Ford Ranger Raptor
One of the most awaited and anticipated SUVs, or shall I say pickups, is the Ford Ranger Raptor. Based on the Ford Endeavour, the Raptor is the performance variant of the Ranger pickup and will be coming to India via the CBU route. Now, of course, this means the pricing will be steep, but you will have an incredible amount of exclusivity and street cred as well. No man or woman shall dare try to squeeze you in traffic. Powering it will be the same 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine as on the Endeavour, only on the Raptor, it will have two turbos slapped onto it. That means a power output of 210bhp and 500Nm. Mated to it will be the 10-speed automatic gearbox as well. The Raptor will also get goodies like a six-mode terrain management system and long-travel suspension with Fox dampers. Also, thanks to 4WD and high-range and low-range options, the Raptor can be taken where few SUVs go.