The automotive world is a rapidly evolving landscape which has been further enhanced by the introduction of all-electric and hybrid vehicles to the luxury market. Previously, electric vehicles were limited to small consumer cars like the Prius. But today, more than ever before, the affluent consumer can choose whether they drive gas-powered or electric vehicles and not worry about a reduction in performance or comfort. In fact, some high-end EVs and hybrids actually have better performance ratings than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Outrageous 0 to 60 times and jaw-dropping horsepower are the new norm in the electric vehicle segment, along with comfortable and spacious interior design and smart technology like driving/parking assists, sensors and intuitive displays. Heading into a new decade, we preview five of the top luxury electric and hybrid vehicles to drive in 2020.
The Taycan is Porsche’s first all-electric sports sedan. A testament to Porsche’s engineering brilliance is the staggering performance of the new Taycan, which lives up to the brand’s reputation. Porsche really considered every detail with the Taycan, from the aggressive styling, precision handling, head snapping acceleration, and energy efficiency.
There are three versions of the Taycan, the Turbo, with 670 horsepower, the Turbo S, with 750 horsepower, and the new Taycan 4S, which Porsche announced recently. The Taycan 4S is a tad slower than the Turbo and the Turbo S, but the upside is that it is considerably cheaper to buy. All models feature all-wheel drive that is powered by front and rear-mounted electric motors. The Turbo S has a combined range of 241 – 256 miles, which is quite impressive given the high horsepower figure. This alone is a testament to the high level of engineering that has gone into the development of this car.
To live up to its heritage, Porsche equipped the Taycan with sports car like handling that enables it to corner at impressive speeds and still remain planted. The lithium-ion battery pack lowers the center of gravity and increases the Taycan’s cornering speed. With a few changes to the settings on the 16.8-inch display you can set the air suspension settings to comfort mode and enjoy the calm and quiet in the cabin. The Taycan is quite a dynamic car and an indication that electric vehicles can be engaging and fun to drive.
The Jaguar I-Pace presents Jaguar’s hand in the all-electric luxury vehicle market segment. Fully electric vehicles are becoming quite popular and the I-Pace represents one of the best looking EVs. Jaguar decided to take quite a leap in developing this SUV, an effort that has turned out to be well worth the risk.
The exterior design of the I-Pace carries on the tradition of the ‘Jag’ as many prefer to call it. It looks like a Jaguar, which is quite important since consumers will be able to recognize the I-Pace and associate it with the Jaguar brand. The practicality of the I-Pace is its key selling point. It can seat five, has decent storage space and has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
With a combined range of 292 miles, the I-Pace is ideal for daily commutes as well as the occasional road trip. The interior is quite spacious and is equipped with all the right gadgets to enhance your driving experience. Base models have decent power and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Jaguar has set the benchmark for performance electric SUVs with the I-Pace.
Audi developed the e-tron series as part of its efforts to join the electric movement. The vehicle has maintained typical Audi styling in its exterior and throughout the interior. Being an Audi, the interior is laden with numerous features and driving aids such as collision warnings, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and semi-autonomous driving, which makes the e-tron one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the market. In terms of performance, the e-tron is no slouch with an acceleration time of 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Karma Revero Gt
The Karma Revero GT is a premium plug-in hybrid sedan developed by Karma. The sedan is powered by a hybrid power unit that features a three-cylinder 1.5L BMW engine. It also features dual electric motors that raise the power output to an impressive 535 horsepower. The powertrain borrows heavily from the BMW i8, which is an indicator that the Karma Revero GT will perform superbly and reliably. Handling is improved, allowing the driver to tackle winding roads at speed. The throttle response is almost instantaneous thanks to the electric motor, and the exterior design envelopes the driver in a cockpit-like environment.
Mercedes-Benz kicked off its electric future with the EQC model. The EQC also introduces a new look to Mercedes-Benz’s lineup, while sharing the same platform with the proven GLC-Class. The exterior design of the EQC stands out from the crowd. It manages to attract attention and allude that it’s an electric vehicle. The interior follows the theme at Mercedes-Benz of functionality and minimalism. As a result, you get a pair of 10.2-inch touch screens for set up atop the dashboard. The powertrain comprises front and rear mounted motors paired to an 80kWh battery with a range of 258 miles.