The new EVs we’re most excited about – Roadshow

Audi/Ford/Nissan/Rivian

More and more electric cars are coming. Today, there may only be a baker's dozen on sale, but over the next few years, the choices will grow tremendously. It's a big switch from the traditional internal-combustion engine, but honestly, we're excited for some great new cars that happen to run on battery power.

To prove it, in this list, each of our editors picks the electric car they're most excited about and explains why. We left it open to EVs already announced but awaiting launch, EVs we know only slivers of info about and some that are already sale today that await new variants. Be sure to let us know what EVs get you excited in the comments, too.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Yes, in spite of a slew of sexy and high-power electric performance cars on the horizon, the EV launch I'm most excited about really is a minivan. But not just any minivan, I'm amped for the production version of the Volkswagen ID Buzz, the battery-powered revival of the brand's legendary Type 2 Microbus.

Due in 2022, VW's electric Bus revival will hopefully get a better name, but even if it doesn't, this charismatic-looking thing promises to provide guilt-free performance, flexible seating configurations and more utility than most SUVs.

The ID Buzz is slated to be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, riding atop VW's MEB platform. Packing available all-wheel drive, gobs of tech, plenty of range (well over 300 miles) and wrapped in nostalgia-soaked looks, VW's ID Buzz doesn't just look like a winner, it has the potential to create a new vehicle category all by its lonesome.

-- Chris Paukert

Ford

Ford Mustang Mach-E

The upcoming electric vehicle I'm anticipating most is the Mustang Mach-E. Yeah, I get it, this is pretty low-hanging fruit, but hear me out. Not only is this vehicle a fashion-forward SUV, it has available all-wheel drive, should offer potent performance and is far more versatile than any vehicle that Ford's ever put the Mustang name on before. It has the potential to be a truly groundbreaking new product and transform this hallowed nameplate in the 21st Century.

As Tesla's proven, there is a market for upscale, feature-rich EVs, something mainstream automakers have taken nearly a decade to figure out. Instead of building another boring hatchback with kidney bean-like proportions and utterly forgettable features, designers and engineers in Dearborn decided to do something different, to build an aspirational electric car. Like various Tesla models, the Mach-E is intended to show that battery-powered vehicles can be sporty, fun and interesting. One look at the specs sheet and it sure looks like they've succeeded. 

Another reason I'm excited about the Mach-E launch is because I want to see how the Mustang community reacts to such an "imposter." Diehard fans were quick to decry this EV when it was unveiled late last year, and I'm sure their disdain has only grown during COVID-19 quarantine. Keep a bowl of popcorn handy, because once this thing starts showing up at dealerships and your local cars and coffee, there will be some heated discussions and likely a few epic tantrums.

-- Craig Cole

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Polestar 2

From a pure aesthetics standpoint, it's hard for me to not be drawn in by the look of the Polestar 2. It's handsome and simple, and while I wish it had more of a proper hatch on the back, inside and out it has the clean vibe that I've come to love about modern Volvos. It's one of the few EVs that genuinely makes me look twice, and that's doubly so thanks to the interior. It's like slotting into a cool, relaxing cabin.

Beyond aesthetics, that interior also is the first on the road to feature Android Automotive, which takes many of the concepts of Android Auto and effectively expands that to control the entire car's interface. No more need to pair your phone, it's Android all the way -- maybe a little concerning if you're not into Google, which I appreciate, but if you are, it's amazing to just sign in to the car and have everything already there.

But most importantly, this is just a great car. I've been lucky enough to spend a day in one and it's quick, fun, comfortable, smooth and, of course, quiet. 275 miles of range is plenty for me. My only concern? The price. $60,000 is a little rich for my blood right now. Not to say that it's not worth it, of course.

-- Tim Stevens

Hyundai

Hyundai Ioniq 6

The Hyundai Prophecy EV concept has the look. Now, the Korean automaker has me hyped after announcing the Prophecy will indeed enter production as part of its spun-off Ioniq sub-brand. This sexy design will become the Ioniq 6, scheduled for launch in 2022. Crappy name, great-looking car.

I'm basing my excitement on the hopes Hyundai designers find a way to keep the lovely bodywork just as stunning for production, but if recent Hyundai designs are any indicator, I think they'll be successful. There's just something refreshing about the Prophecy's looks. Perhaps it's the utter shunning of jagged angles and angry, slanted headlights. The Prophecy looks friendly, curvy and sort of like a 993-generation Porsche 911. It just looks good. I don't know squat about the powertrain other than it will be totally electric. That was the only major criteria for this list.

What's even cooler, if Hyundai manages it, is that the Ioniq 6 should have suicide doors. This is actually a sedan, and the concept sports some killer doors that reveal a plaid-laden cockpit. If Hyundai wants its upcoming Ioniq division to snap some necks, I think the 6 is going to accomplish the mission with ease. Just don't screw it up, please.

-- Sean Szymkowski

Rivian

Rivian R1T

The Rivian R1T is the first truck to get the full-EV treatment. What's even better, the thing looks to be more than just a grocery getter with a bed. The biggest 180-kilowatt-hour battery is allegedly good for 400 miles of range and it boasts some fairly impressive off-road numbers.

Ground clearance is a remarkable 14 and a half inches while approach and departure angles are 34.8 degrees and 30.5 degrees, respectively. Further, it can ford 42.7 inches of water. For those keeping score, those numbers beat the dirt-slaying Ford F-150 Raptor and its challenger the Ram 1500 TRX.

While it still remains to be seen how the R1T will perform in the real world, its range should be enough for day trips into the wild. The design is pretty boss, too, with some cool pass-through storage behind the rear seats and a spare tire that hides neatly in the bed. It won't go on sale until 2021 due to a coronavirus shutdown, but the company assures me it's working to bring the R1T to consumers as soon as possible.

-- Emme Hall

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

I love the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. Like, really love it. So when news broke that an electric version of the G would be coming within the next few years I got extremely excited. All the best parts of the G-Class without the horrible gas mileage? Sign me up.

Sure, part of the G's appeal is the burbly V8 and side-exit exhaust, but I think the SUV's character will lend itself really well to EV power. A large battery pack should be a benefit to the G's center of gravity too, thus making it a little less tippy in corners. 

While I don't know any powertrain details yet, the electric G is sure to be as immensely good off-road as the normal one, and it will probably be the quickest version, as well. And if going electric can allow the G to continue on for decades to come, we should all be grateful.

-- Daniel Golson

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Porsche Macan

The Porsche Macan is an outstanding midsize SUV. Porsche has already proven its EV prowess with the Taycan. It stands to reason, then, that a combination of the two should be pretty freakin' righteous.

While there's still a whole lot I don't know about the forthcoming Macan EV, I do know that it's already in the works, and that it should arrive within the next year or two as part of the Macan's generational overhaul.

Moving the Macan to an electrified platform will be quite interesting for the segment as a whole. Will there be notable holdouts who continue to cater to gas-guzzling buyers, or will Porsche become a pioneer and set the course that everyone else follows? It'll be an interesting few years to come.

-- Andrew Krok

Rivian

Rivian R1S

The R1S brings back the undeniably cool aesthetics of the Range Rover Classic with a modern twist and that's a good thing. It's also a reasonable size and the interior (at least on the prototype) is sensible and looks hard-wearing. That sensible thing is a big part of the attraction to Rivian, at least for me. There's not much in the way of kooky concept stuff going on. It's all practical and I could easily imagine living with one on a day-to-day basis.

The R1S (and its R1T sibling) are exciting from an engineering standpoint. The way that Rivian has designed the battery pack and its enclosure as well as its ability to tank turn, etc., make it look like a beast off-road and also well-suited for bragging in the Whole Foods parking lot.

-- Kyle Hyatt

Audi

Audi E-Tron GT

Though we've only seen the Audi E-Tron GT in concept form, it's supposed to go into production by the end of 2020. The four-door sedan has quite a bit in common with the Porsche Taycan, which is a good thing, packing some slick looks and good dollop of performance.

With a 90-kWh battery and pair of electric motors on each axle, Audi says the GT will pack a not-shabby-at-all 590 hp, capable of getting the four-door to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds. It'll have wireless and 800-volt charging capabilities. When hooked up to the latter, it means adding 200 miles of range after just 20 minutes of charge time.

And yes, I like the GT's looks. The front end isn't as rounded off as its Porsche counterpart with more defined lines. It's hunkered down with a fast roofline and high beltline. The chunky taillights, meanwhile, have the Roadshow staff split. I personally think it looks all right but will reserve judgment until I see it in production form. 

-- Jon Wong

Volvo

Volvo XC40 Recharge

A compact SUV makes a lot of sense as an electric vehicle. It allows for better battery packaging without sacrificing passenger or cargo space. And as far as small SUVs go, the Volvo XC40 is definitely my favorite. That's why I'm stoked about the upcoming XC40 Recharge.

The XC40 Recharge will share a lot with its platform-sharing corporate sibling, the Polestar 2, and that's no bad thing. It should be relatively quick, able to accelerate to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, and with a low center of gravity and Volvo's already-great chassis and steering tuning, hopefully pretty nice to drive. Plus, it'll have the same modern, high-quality interior as the standard XC40, not to mention Google's new Android Automotive infotainment system, which is some seriously sweet tech.

No, it won't have crazy driving range -- I'm guessing low-to-mid-200-mile stuff -- but that'll be plenty for most buyers. More importantly, it takes solid EV tech and puts it in a usable, stylish, premium package. I could totally see myself in one of these as a daily driver.

-- Steven Ewing

Nissan

Nissan Ariya

One look at the original Leaf tells you everything you need to know about Nissan's EV designers: they're insane. And they're at it again with the upcoming Nissan Ariya. The electric SUV seamlessly blends angular and organic elements to create a look that is sure to polarize. Then again, the best designs often do. Personally, I love that there are so many weird and smart details to discover around the body. Meanwhile, the cabin is deceptively simple with a minimalist dashboard and illuminated buttons that disappear when deactivated.

With optional all-wheel drive, a low center of mass due to its battery pack and 50:50 weight distribution, Nissan has a pretty good jumping off point for tuning the EV's ride and performance. Two battery sizes will be offered -- 63 and 87 kWh -- with the larger good for an impressive 300 estimated miles per charge.

EV shoppers will soon be spoiled for choice with a number of compact electric SUVs hitting the market in the around-$40,000 range in 2021, including the Volkswagen ID 4, Ford's Mach E, Audi's Q4 E-Tron and more. More choice and competition for affordable EVs can only be a good thing for consumers and for pushing electric cars into the mainstream. The Ariya will arrive to the party with very competitive range and style that certainly stands far apart from the rest of the pack when it begins production in late 2021.

-- Antuan Goodwin

Now playing: Watch this: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD: Powersliding the mold-shattering...

6:29

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Comments are closed.