Five Electric Luxury SUVs That’ll Get the Gas Monkey Off Your Back
These five electric SUVs are changing the way we think about the segmentby Kirby Garlitos, on
Electric vehicles have come a long way in the last few years. There once was a time not too long ago when cars running on pure electricity were seen as novelties or quirky creations that were developed to showcase alternative ways to get us from point A to B. Fast forward a few years later and here we are.
There’s something to be said for the legitimacy of electric vehicles, and how far they’ve come to get to this point. We can go into the minutiae of how they’ve evolved in recent years, but instead, we’ll simply shine a light on how EVs have reshaped our own lives, opening doors we didn’t know existed as recently as a few years ago. It’s no wonder then that when we’re talking about cars these days, no conversation means anything without talking about electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are taking the world by storm, and no more is that evident than in the sizzling hot SUV market. With the exception of a few holdouts who, presumably, have yet to see the light, just about every automaker that’s worth its salt has an electric SUV. Some already have theirs populating the roads while others are still in development. Electric SUVs have become more than just novelties; they’ve become industry standards. So as it is, we’re going to take a look at five electric SUVs and tell you why they’re leading the electric SUV revolution in the auto industry.
Jaguar’s new pride and joy, the I-Pace electric SUV, is all set to light the electric SUV world on fire. Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the I-Pace is a good model to introduce yourselves to the world of all-electric SUVs. It looks like a proper Jaguar, has a luxurious, five-seat interior that underscores its British roots, and is loaded on the tech front, thanks mainly to having Amazon Alexa connectivity, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and 6 USB ports for device support.
More than that, the I-PAce also features a 90-kWh battery pack that’s made up of 432 individual lithium-ion battery modules, the same type of battery that’s currently powering your mobile phones at the moment. The pack is combined with a pair of electric motors, and together, they generate an output of 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque, enough power to propel the I-Pace from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds before hitting a top speed of 124 mph. Its expected range of 298 miles puts right on the cusp of having one of the best in its segment. It also takes a half day (12 hours) to get a full charge from a standard plug, though if you use a DC quick-charger outlet, you can get 80 percent charging capacity in as fast as 40 minutes. Pricing for the I-Pace starts at $69,500, excluding the $995 destination charge.
Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.
BMW is still developing its first all-electric SUV, but we did get a solid preview at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show with the unveiling of the iX3 Concept. Using Bimmer’s new eDrive electric drive system, the iX3 Concept gives us a good idea of what to expect when the production model arrives sometime in the next few years.
There’s a lot to expect out of the iX3, even though we still don’t know Bimmer’s plans for the production model. The concept was presented with a 70-kWh battery pack, which is slightly lower than the one powering the Jaguar I-Pace. The smaller pack could mean that the iX3 will be down on power compared to the I-Pace, but BMW is already touting it as having “more than 270 horsepower.” It’s also expected to have a range in the 250-mile area, though there’s a good chance that a more powerful model could have more in that department. Once the iX3 hits the streets - likely around 2019 or 2020 — expect the entry-level unit to be priced in the $60,000 range on account of the likelihood that it’s going to have more powerful versions on the horizon. Perhaps an M-badged version is in the works, too?
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW iX3.
Audi is calling its shot with the e-Tron Quattro electric SUV. Not only is it leaving behind the Jaguar I-Pace and the BMW iX3 behind, but it’s also going to venture into the world of the Tesla Model X with hopes of taking down the segment heavyweight. It’s a ballsy move on Audi’s part, but it could also be a calculated one.
The production model of the e-Tron Quattro hasn’t arrived, though, it is scheduled to be unveiled at the Audi Summit on August 30, 2018, and is expected to go on sale in 2019. From what we’ve gathered about the model, Audi is going to put a 95 kWh battery in the electric SUV, putting in the vicinity of the 100-kWh-powered Model X P100D. Output has been tipped at 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, which, again, is right in line with the Model X P100D’s output of 503-horsepower and 487 pound-feet. 310 miles on a single charge is the range figure that’s being floated around, though we won’t know the charging time for the SUV until the production model arrives. We do know that Audi’s not charging peanuts for this model. The automaker announced back in March 2018 that the production e-Tron Quattro will have a price that starts at €80,000, which converts to just under $100,000 based on current exchange rates.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Audi E-Tron Quattro.
Mercedes-Benz’s all-electric SUV is called the EQC, and, like the BMW iX3 and Audi e-Tron Quattro above, the production model has yet to be revealed. That shouldn’t be an issue in determining the merits of the soon-to-arrive model because Mercedes has already divulged a few nuggets about its model.
Based on what we’ve gathered, the EQC will get a 70 kWh battery pack that will work in concert with a pair of electric motors to produce a variety of power figures, the highest of which sits at 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Less powerful versions are in the pipeline with outputs ranging from 200 to 300 horsepower. Evidently, the 402-horsepower version would sit at the top of the range. From a performance perspective, the SUV is tipped to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in less than five seconds, an impressive number for an all-electric model. Top speed should fall in the vicinity of 155 mph, which would be near segment standards. More important than any of that, though, is the SUV’s range. Mercedes indicated that the EQC will have a range of 310 miles, which would be a solid number for a range-topper. Lower-end models won’t have as much, but should still hover at around 240 miles of range, right around what BMW and Audi are expecting from their own entry-level, all-electric SUVs. There’s no mention of price for the EQC, but expect it to have a similar tiered structure once it arrives in 2019. The base model could cost around $60,000 while a range-topping unit could follow at a later date with a price of around $90,000.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQ SUV
Volvo already has one of the best-looking SUVs in the market. Now, it’s planning to give one of those models — the XC40 — the all-electric treatment. An all-electric XC40 would be another gem for the revitalized Swedish automaker.
Volvo has yet to give a concrete timetable on when we can expect the all-electric XC40, but if it does happen, it could arrive sometime in 2020 with an eye towards a 2021 launch date. At this point, reports have said that the EV XC40 will have a range of 310 miles, which would vault it on the top of the list of EV SUVs with the longest range. Of course, if Volvo is looking at that kind of range, it’s going to need a big battery pack to do it. The automaker has been coy in that department, but with that kind of reach, anything less than a 90 kWh battery pack would be implausible. If Volvo goes that route, output could max out around 400 horsepower with even more torque at its disposal. That would be a good option because it also opens the possibility for a more powerful version — perhaps an all-electric XC90? — to slot above the EV XC40 with a bigger 100 kWh battery pack that could give Tesla and the Model X a serious run for its money.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo XC40.
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