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Audi e-tron S and Sportback Audi e-tron S coming to Australia in 2021 with 973Nm

Audi has detailed the e-tron S Quattro, the brands first ever performance-oriented electric vehicle; it promises a whopping 973Nm of torque and a top speed of 210km/h.

Outside the S won’t be mistaken for the cooking e-tron either, with swollen guards broadening its stance by 46mm, the e-tron S sits squat on the road like the blistered RS6.

While we think the wagon-bodied e-tron S looks stunning in practical wagon-body, it’s difficult to deny the appeal of that slinky Sportback body-style. Luckily, Audi gives customers the power to choose.

Audi e-tron S Sportback Rear
Slinky Sportback or practical wagon?

Naturally, the maximum range is down on the regular e-tron, but not by much. Audi claims the S reached 364km in the WLTP test, however, expect that to fall when driven with gusto.

Audi will launch the e-tron S in Germany in the third quarter of this year priced from €91,435 for the wagon-bodied vehicle, which equates to around AUD$149,000 at the current exchange rate.

So what do you get for the extra outlay? Well for a start, an additional motor. Audi was keen to point out that the e-tron S will be the first EV to market that employs three electric motors. It should give the big e-tron an advantage in the corners where the system will be able to vary torque levels between wheels infinitely.

Audi e-tron S Rolling
Dual rear motors, a first for a production car.

Audi claims this system creates less drivetrain drag and allows torque distribution within milliseconds, faster than a mechanical differential and with less wear than a brake-based torque-vectoring system.

That third motor adds some oomph too, the combined system power is now 370kW, up by 70kW compared to the e-tron 55. The torque figure is now truly monstrous, Audi claims a maximum twisting force of 973Nm for up to four seconds. If you’re wondering, that’s 313Nm more than the regular e-tron.

The front motor of the e-tron S is the rear motor of the e-tron 55 Quattro. All that adds up to a standard sprint time of just 4.5 seconds which we reckon is pretty respectable for a 2.5-tonne monster, though still adrift of the 3.4 second Tesla Model 3 Performance.

Audi e-tron S Sportback Front
Either way, the body is broader by 46mm

Battery capacity is rated at 86kWh usable from a total of 95kWh total. Charging won’t be too onerous thanks to fast-charging speeds of up to 150kW.

Putting that power to the ground is a set of 285-series tyres which nestle those flared guards – they’re 23mm broader on each side if you were wondering. Audi also claims they are optimised for aerodynamic flow, resulting in a drag coefficient of just 0.26 for the Sportback.

There is also a more advanced adaptive air suspension system in the e-tron S. In sport mode the vehicles reads the road ahead and can adjust its height by up to 76mm depending on the situation and cornering loads.

Audi e-tron S rear
The e-tron can vary its ride height by 76mm.

Standard wheel size is pretty generous at 20-inches, though 21-inch alloys are optional and pictured here. Audi says that massive 22-inch items will be an option down the track. These hide six-piston front callipers underneath them which are operated by a brake by wire system, allowing braking force to be applied in just 150 milliseconds.

Naturally, regen braking is present to recharge the battery, with three levels of aggressiveness from which to choose. The most powerful should allow for one-pedal driving maximum braking force around 0.3g, while the other two more closely simulate engine braking of an ICE car for highway use.

The cabin will be familiar to those who have spent time in contemporary Audis with dual MMI touchscreens – the top for infotainment and the bottom for cabin comfort setting like air conditioning. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display with integrated navigation.

Audi e-tron S Sportback Profile
The e-tron S will join the e-tron 50 Quattro in Australia by 2021

The e-tron S will go on sale in Europe soon, with Australian vehicles arriving in 2021.

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2021 Skoda Enyaq iV Lead Skoda Enyaq iV charges into EV market with up to 510km of range

Skoda’s first EV is coming; it’s called the Enyaq iV and sits on the same MEB platform that will underpin the entire Volkswagen ID range.

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Skoda, was very excited about the Enyaq’s launch. “The ENYAQ iV sees the start of a new era for ŠKODA. This is our first all-electric vehicle… we are making E-Mobility Simply Clever – with long ranges, quick charging, ease of operation and affordable prices.”

Initial pictures suggest the Enyaq will be a great looking vehicle if perhaps a little pragmatic. It’s different to the out-there VW ID range; instead, it adopts current Skoda design language. There is undoubtedly hints of Scala and Octavia in the design, but the Enyaq has much shorter overhangs than either.

2021 Skoda Enyaq iV Profile
Octavia meets Scala? Maybe? It’s definitely a Skoda, though.

Dimensions of the Enyaq are somewhat similar to the Octavia, it’s 10mm shorter at 4,649mm, but 65mm wider (1,879mm) and Skoda class it as an SUV, hence it 1,616mm height. The Czech brand claims an impressive 585L of boot space on offer, too.

That is, naturally, down to its EV underpinnings. When Enyaqs begin arriving with customers, Skoda says they will offer five powertrain combinations with a maximum range of 510km. 

To reach the impressive 510km figure, you’ll need the Enyaq 80 powered with the largest 77kWh battery pack. In rear-drive configuration, the 80 touts outputs of 150kW and 310Nm from a rear-mounted electric motor.

2021 Skoda Enyaq iV charging
510km WLTP range and 125kW fast-charging are possible with the Enyaq 80.

Less powerful options are available, starting with the entry-level 109kW Enyaq 50 which claims 52kWh of usable battery capacity, rear-wheel-drive and a V-Max of 160km/h. That equates to WLTP certified range of 340km.

The more potent Enyaq 60 offers beefier outputs of 132kW and 310Nm and 58kWh of battery capacity which the brand says is enough for a 390km range. There’s also an 80x variant on offer with the 77kWh battery, but all-wheel-drive power and torque figures sit at 195kW and 425Nm, and the claimed range is 460km.

Those looking for Octavia RS rivalling performance may find themselves looking to the RS, a more athletic variant with all-wheel-drive – courtesy of dual motors – and outputs of 225kW and 460Nm. Although the range drops to 460km, the RS will complete the standard sprint in just 6.2 seconds.

2021 Skoda Enyaq iV badging
The RS can tow up to 1,400kg and get to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

A bonus of the most powerful Enyaq RS is its ability to tow a 1,400kg load with a retractable tow-bar offered as an option on the most expensive variant.

The Enyaq 50 is limited to 50kW fast-charging, while the 60 can charge at 100kW. The three variants equipped with the 77kWh battery can be charged at up to 125kW.

Inside Skoda has employed sustainable materials everywhere, with many recycled and ethically sourced substances available. We particularly like the pictured tan almost houndstooth fabric on this founders edition.

2021 Skoda Enyaq iV Interior
The interior employs recycled and sustainably sourced materials.

The design is contemporary without being overwhelming, the digital driver’s display and large 13.0-inch centrally mounted touchscreen will make it easy to understand for newcomers. The centre console is split-levelled, too, allowing for tidy item storage.

Images suggest that the cabin will be an airy place to spend time, though we hope to confirm that as soon as possible.

The Founders edition is limited to 1,895 units, a reference to the brand’s 125th anniversary and deliveries will start in the second quarter of 2021. The limited-edition boasts an illuminated front grille, a choice of two colours, 21-inch alloy wheels and more aggressive designs for the front and rear bumpers.

2021 Skoda Enyaq iV Girlle
And the grille glows with the light of 140 LEDS (on upper-trim models only).

In typical Skoda fashion, there are plenty of practical touches to this EV with cleverly divided pockets under the boot floor to store charging cables, charging socket cap and extra storage, too.

Skoda is taking pre-orders for the limited Enyaq Founders Edition now, though exact Australian details are yet to be confirmed.

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2021 Ioniq EVs LEAD Hyundai announces Ioniq, EV-exclusive brand to challenge VW ID

The Hyundai Ioniq was a small sedan that spearheaded the Korean brand’s drive for lower emissions, while offering the unique choice of hybrid, PHEV and fully electric variants in Australia.

Now that nameplate – a blend of “iconic” and “unique” – has expanded into a whole new brand. As Genesis is the luxury arm of Hyundai, Ioniq will now be the green branch with three new fully electric vehicles slated in the next four years.

First to break onto the market will be a compact crossover which, Hyundai says, will be reminiscent of the 45 concept car and should arrive sometime in 2021, named the Ioniq 5.

2021 Ioniq 5 side
The concept car that will inform the future of Ioniq.

Designers say it harks back to the ItalDesign Pony Concept of 1974 but reimagined through parametric design algorithms. This is fast becoming technique a synonymous with Hyundai styling, and one that has notably informed the many details of the Genesis GV80.

As for the following models, the brand has decided that even numbers will represent traditional saloons, a la the Ioniq 6, with a larger SUV dubbed the Ioniq 7 to follow.

The brand’s current raft of EVs including the Kona Electric and aforementioned Ioniq small sedan will, for now, remain housed under the Hyundai name. However, it sounds like they will be quickly superseded by these all-new electric vehicles.

2021 Ioniq Design sketch
Can you spot the resemblance between the Pony and the 45 concept?

While the Kona Electric currently has around 450km of real-world range, though it sits on the same underpinnings as the regular Kona and as such has to work around packaging compromises.

Like Volkswagen has done with the ID.3, the new Ioniq brand has been developing an EV only platform dubbed the E-GMP. The brand claims this will allow “fast-charging and plentiful driving range”. Naturally, potential battery size and exact capabilities will be revealed in time, but expect the new platform to house more than the Kona’s 64kWh of charge. 

The all-new platform is also said to provide ever-more freedom for designers who will be able to craft interiors of future Ioniqs into “smart living spaces” to offer maximum relaxation for operators. 

2021 Ioniq Prophecy/6 rear
Ioniq’s second model – the 6 – will be a sedan based on Hyundai’s Prophecy concept.

Hyundai says the recently teased Prophecy concept gives a glimpse into the Ioniq’s second model, a sedan dubbed the ‘6’, all we see is the exterior possibilities.

Images from inside the 45 concept demonstrate an open-plan cockpit-style that will presumably influence the final product. The dual-width touchscreen in the render isn’t too far-fetched, we’ve seen a similar thing in the production-ready production-ready Honda E.

However, the “projection beam interface” for the passenger seems like a novel idea. Without a transmission tunnel to get in the way, though, the interior can truly become open-plan with extended leg-room possibilities and hugely increased modularity for all occupants.

2021 Ioniq 5 Interior
Open-plan modernist interiors? Yes please.

Hyundai’s vision of future-mobility is quickly becoming a reality. With these three Ioniq vehicles emerging over the next four years the brand is keen to become a leader in the EV segment, with the target of over one million BEV sales by 2025.

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2021 Hummer EV Lead 2021 GMC Hummer EV promises 200kWh battery, 745kW and 16,000Nm

American brand GMC has teased their vision of the future of work-trucks with the Hummer EV, the brand labelling it as “the world’s first super-truck”, with the full reveal to take place before the end of 2020.

It’s a pretty clear shot at Tesla’s coming Cybertruck, though that vehicle’s design language makes what we’ve seen of the Hummer EV look rather tame in comparison.

While the prospect of an electric Hummer is exciting to some, it’s doubtful the big American brute will make it to our shores, though GMC expects vehicles to be rolling off the production line in a little over a year.

2021 Hummer EV Production
A Hummer EV mock-up at GMC HQ.

While the super-truck label is out there, it’s not the most out-there figure about the Hummer EV, with GMC claiming 745kW (1,000hp) and a 0-100km/h sprint of around 3 seconds.

Rounding out the insanity is the torque figure, with the spec sheet claiming a gargantuan 11,500ft lb of twisting force, or 16,000Nm to us Australians.

That number does seem insane, equal to more than ten Bugatti Veyrons, or about 96 times what a Kia Picanto GT puts out. It seems unlikely, that the Hummer’s torque figure is measured from the engine.

2021 Hummer EV SUV
It’s a familiar silhouette.

Instead, the quoted torque figure was probably measured at the wheel. That is after the twisting force has been through the transmission and multiplied. But if it really can produce that much torque, GMC has got some weapons-grade technology on their hands.

While the original Hummer H1 was a decidedly military vehicle, the civilian H2 wasn’t much cop. It was thirsty, heavy, and by all accounts acted better as a fashion accessory than as transport.

However, the new electric Hummer is very much shaping up as a lifestyle vehicle, adopting the ability to shed the roof with modular sky panels – like the Jeep Gladiator – with ‘ultra-vision cameras’ to assist in technical off-road driving.

2021 Hummer EV Roof
As a lifestyle vehicle, the Hummer EV will be jam-packed with tech.

Further helping owners into the wilderness will be a crab mode, details are again, sparse, though the Hummer might utilise a low-range gear for deft manoeuvring. For scaring passengers, there will be adrenaline mode, while GMC is touting updated super-cruise capabilities with some amount of autonomy. 

If those power claims are correct, then the new Hummer EV will be a step in the right direction for the nameplate.

The teaser images GMC has released so far show the Hummer is shaping up to be a very desirable vehicle, we assume there will be plenty of road-presence courtesy of the full-width LED light signature. There appear to be the ability to choose between tray or wagon-body, too. 

2021 Hummer EV Ute
Also available as a ute.

GMC hasn’t made claims about range, but GM’s “Ultium” Lithium-Ion battery technology is touted. The brand says this new battery system has 200kWh of capacity, and that it is good for about 650km between charges.  

Super-fast charging capability will be part-and-parcel for the Hummer with GM’s battery capable of 350kW inputs.

While the range isn’t hugely impressive – cars like the Kona Electric tout 400km of range from just 64kWh capacity – though the 350kW fast-charging is right up there with the speed of Tesla’s Super Charger system.

As a more direct range comparison, Tesla’s Model S Performance achieves a standard sprint of 2.6-seconds and 670km of range from the 100kWh capacity battery. though it is lighter and almost certainly more aerodynamic than the Hummer

GMC says the preorders for the Hummer EV will start this spring (Autumn in the US) before vehicles begin rolling off the production line later in 2021.

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2021 Nissan Ariya lead 2021 Nissan Ariya: a futuristic electric SUV with 610km of range

Nissan has detailed the all-new Ariya EV following the concept car’s reveal at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Visually, most of the details, surfaces and design language remain in-tact which, we think, is pretty impressive.

Furthermore, the stylish electric SUV boasts a near market-leading 610km of WLTP certified range in its longest-range guise. The Ariya symbolises a fresh direction for Nissan, too, being the first vehicle to debut the brand’s updated logo.

The Japanese manufacturer says this Ariya is just one of the 12 new models we’ll be seeing over the next 18 months, with more SUVs and even a traditional sports car – the 400Z – likely.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 4
The Nissan Ariya signals a new direction.

With cutting-edge technology, striking design language and a serious look at future mobility, it surprised us to hear that Ariyas should arrive in their home market by 2021 priced at around 5 million yen which currently equates to AU$66,600.

If that price-point remains accurate, then the Ariya is poised to seriously scare the American start-up’s affordable Model 3. And if the tech works as well as promised, other brands will need to pay serious attention.

Underpinning the Ariya is an all-new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance-developed EV-only platform, and you can be confident this won’t be the last time the platform is used.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 1
A new direction inside and out, that is.

Nissan designers say this all-electric platform allowed them more freedom of experimentation with the body’s shapes, something sorely missing from the brand’s dowdy Leaf EV.

Modularity means the Ariya will be packing options when it arrives in 2021. Kicking off the range is the 65kWh (63kWh usable) battery pack. In two-wheel-drive guise, the single motor provides adequate outputs of 160kW/300Nm, and around 450km of range.

Nissan will offer a dual-motor set-up with higher power outputs of 250kW/560Nm, though the all-wheel-drive system will see the estimated range drop to 430km.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 5
In two or all-wheel-drive.

A larger 90kWh (87kWh usable) battery makes up the long-range variant – the headline 610km of range will be available for those who opt for the single-motor 178kW/300Nm two-wheel-drive Ariya.

Rounding out the four powertrain options is the larger battery combined with dual-motors, which Nissan claim will be good for outputs of 290kW/560Nm and a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds.

That range-topping Ariya will also be equipped with Nissan’s all-new Pro PILOT 2.0 safety suite that uses seven cameras, five radar sensors, and 12 ultrasonic sensors to allow no-hand single-lane driving and automated lane-changes. The vehicle even has the potential to follow a pre-programmed satnav route with minimal human input.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 7
Behind the “shield” motif is a host of sensors for the impressive autonomous kit.

With Japan’s fast-charging network, the Ariya will be able to juice-up at a rate of 130kW which equates to 375km of added range in 30 minutes. It’s okay, but not quite up to scratch with Tesla’s latest Superchargers.

Ideal 50:50 weight distribution is made easy with the EV packaging, and the all-wheel-drive Ariyas debut Nissan’s e-4orce system the brand claims is “The spiritual offspring of the GT-R‘s Attessa ET-S AWD system and the Patrol’s 4×4 system”.

As mentioned before, the all-new EV-only architecture drastically frees-up design constraints of ICE vehicles. Debuted on the Ariya concept, the “shield”, which hides the active safety tech gubbins, has remained mostly as the concept – the grille-like design detail will, and is surrounded by thin LED lights and boasts classy sequential indicators.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 6
Nissan’s new logo appears first on the Ariya EV.

As for size, the Ariya will be a mid-size competitor, meaningfully smaller than the BMW iX3. In terms of Nissan SUVs, the Ariya will sit betwixt the compact Qashqai and family-friendly X-Trail.

Not unlike the Volkswagen ID.3 did for the German brand, the Ariya debuts the updated cleaner and more futuristic Nissan logo.

Perhaps inside is where the flat-floor can be put to use best in future design, Nissan claims it allowed them to open up space inside, and create an “Interior akin to a sleek cafe lounge on a starship”.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 3
Haptic AC controls will be built into the wood-grain interior details. Cool.

While it’s great to see forward-thinking – like AC controls built into the dash with haptic feedback, a slide-out picnic table and an adjustable centre console – the Ariya’s cockpit retains a familiar ‘car-like’ lay-out, for better or worse.

Mounted high on the dashboard in an organic “wave-like” motif is a pair of dual 12.3-inch displays which split their tasks between all the usual driving info – range, speed, essential vehicle information – and the control of the infotainment system.

One rather futuristic touch is the haptic feedback ‘gear’ shifter designed to sit comfortably in the driver’s palm, encouraging a more relaxed driving style.

2021 Nissan Ariya - 2
As for the shifter – Nissan say it’s designed to help you relax.

And relaxed the Ariya claims to be – there’s advanced multi-language voice control for many functions, and Nissan has integrated Amazon’s Alexa service for external tasks – a different direction from Mercedes-Benz’s full in-house software.

Naturally, there’s a Nissan smartphone app which will allow charge to be checked remotely, it also integrates a route planner with a departure-time reminder making trips more comfortable than ever. Remote updates will be automated and take place over wifi.

Australian details are yet to be confirmed, though we’ll learn more closer to the Ariya’s global launch in 2021.

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