Fast Lane: Mercedes-Benz's electric E-class, VW's budget EV

In terms of external dimensions, the Mercedes-Benz EQE is comparable with the CLS.
In terms of external dimensions, the Mercedes-Benz EQE is comparable with the CLS.PHOTO: MERCEDES

Electric E-class with 3.1m wheelbase

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its electric E-class. The EQE features a four-door coupe shape, with retractable door handles, a climate control system with Hepa filter, real wood veneer and a range of 660km. The wheelbase stretches 3,120mm, which is 181mm longer than the current E-class'. In terms of external dimensions, it is comparable with the CLS.

It has no tailgate but instead has a fixed rear window and boot lid. The boot capacity is slightly smaller at 430 litres. Cost options include a pillar-to-pillar digital touchscreen and rear-wheel steering. It could arrive next year.

Toyota to spend US$13.6 billion on electric car batteries

Toyota says it will invest US$13.6 billion (S$18.3 billion) in batteries for electric and hybrid cars by 2030, as the world's biggest automaker pushes to make its production carbon-neutral, reported Agence France-Presse.

The Japanese car giant also said in a presentation on Tuesday that it aims to cut battery costs by half per car by 2030. It said in June it aimed to make its production carbon-neutral by 2035, replacing the previous target date of 2050.

Toyota is a pioneer of petrol-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. It is stepping up its development of battery-powered electric vehicles.

Battery-powered G-class with four motors


The Mercedes-Benz EQG will offer unique driving characteristics both on- and off-road. PHOTO: MERCEDES

Mercedes-Benz has also unveiled an electric G-class concept which looks to be production-ready. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer says the Concept EQG off-roader has four electric motors close to the wheels which are individually controllable.

It says the car will offer unique driving characteristics both on- and off-road. As with any real 4x4, the Concept EQG's off-road reduction can be activated via a shiftable two-speed gearbox in order to meet the high "G-specific" off-road requirements.

The EQG will be tested at the 1,445m-high Schockl mountain in Graz at the end of its development. With gradients of up to 60 degrees, the 5.6km route has always been regarded as one of the toughest.

The EQG's batteries are integrated into its ladder frame to ensure lower centre of gravity.

VW's budget EV


The Volkswagen ID Life looks stylish, with a removable textile roof. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen's ID Life may be the brand's first electric car that is priced similarly to combustion-engined subcompacts.

Expected to retail at around €20,000 (or S$31,800 before taxes), the front-wheel-drive ID Life is powered by a 172kW electric motor and accelerates from zero to 100kmh in 6.9 seconds. Its 57kWh high-voltage battery enables a range of some 400km.

The car looks stylish, with a removable textile roof.

BMW EV made entirely of recycled materials


BMW's current EVs already boast less rare metals. PHOTO: BMW

BMW is furthering its ambition to become the most sustainable electric vehicle-maker with the i Vision Circular.

The four-seater concept offers a generous amount of interior space within its 4m body. It is designed according to circular economy principles, made entirely of recycled materials and is 100 per cent recyclable.

BMW's current EVs already boast less rare metals, with motors made without permanent magnets and batteries designed for easy recycling.

Audi's lounge-like limo concept


Audi's Grandsphere concept is a 5.35m saloon with Level 4 autonomy. PHOTO
: AUDI

Audi's Grandsphere concept is a 5.35m saloon with Level 4 autonomy. In auto mode, the interior turns into "a spacious sphere of experience" without a steering wheel, pedals or displays. And the front seats become a first-class lounge with maximum space, freer views and easy access to all functions.

The doors are reversed and there is no B-pillar to obstruct access. It boasts large glass surfaces, an expansive windscreen and a transparent ceiling.

Porsche's electric racer equals 911 GT3 Cup lap time

Porsche has unveiled a GT3-class electric racer. The Mission R concept is made from natural fibre-reinforced plastics and powered by two newly developed electric motors delivering 800kW.

Its battery has a capacity of around 80kWh. The all-wheel-drive car hits 100kmh in less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 300kmh. On the race track, it achieves the same lap time as the current Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

With oil-cooled motors and battery, the car can maintain a constant output of 500kW in race mode. Thanks to advanced 900-volt charging technology, the battery takes merely 15 minutes to go from 5 to 80 per cent full.

Cupra EV concept with battery behind the cockpit


The Cupra Tavascan Extreme E Concept hints at the design direction of the brand's future SUVs. PHOTO: CUPRA

Cupra, the hived-off performance arm of Seat, has unveiled a wild competition sport utility vehicle (SUV) concept.

The Tavascan Extreme E Concept is made of flax fibres, with 3D-printed parts to streamline construction, improve adaptability and make the all-electric car easier to repair.

The concept hints at the design direction of the brand's future SUVs. It is equipped with a 54kWh battery, placed behind the cockpit to optimise rear weight distribution. The car can go from 0 to 100kmh in about 4 seconds.