Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, and this year will see the largest ever number of offerings from European carmakers. Many of these will attract discerning motorists with their intoxicating concoction of eye-catching design, accelerative performance, driving fun and pampering features. Add these electric cars from Europe to the ones from Asian brands such as BYD, Kia, Hyundai, MG and Nissan and the automotive landscape in Singapore is beginning to look very… electrifying.
Arrival in Singapore: Q2/Q3 2020
Arguably the most eagerly awaited of all the electric vehicles coming to our shores, the Porsche Taycan is the company’s first electric sportscar.
The first models of this four-door sports saloon to arrive in Singapore will be the Taycan Turbo S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan 4S. The two “Turbo” cars are among the most powerful production models that Porsche currently has in its product range.
The flagship Turbo S variant generates up to 761hp of overboost power in combination with Launch Control and the Turbo produces up to 680hp. In comparison, the 4S has a “mere” 530hp. As you would expect, the performance figures are jaw-dropping. The Turbo accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, while the Turbo S obliterates the same sprint in 2.8 seconds. The 4S is no slouch either, with a time of four seconds flat.
Despite the obvious supercar performance, the maximum ranges of these cars are just as excellent. The Turbo S can travel for up to 412km on a single, full charge while the Turbo is more efficient – its maximum range is 450km. The top speed of both all-wheel drive models is 260km/h. In comparison, the 4S manages 407km. Interestingly, the slippery silhouette of the car (drag coefficient value of 0.22) makes a significant contribution to low energy consumption and thus longer range.
The Porsche Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars. This gives Taycan owners a distinct advantage while driving – in just five minutes, the battery can be recharged for a range of up to 100 km using a high-power DC charging network. You can also comfortably charge the Taycan using any AC outlet at home.
With its clean and minimalist design, the Taycan signals the beginning of a new era. However, there are still elements of Porsche design DNA. The sleek cabin, drawn-in C-pillars and prominent shoulders of the wings result in an accentuated rear, typical of the brand. From the front, it looks wide and flat while the downward sloping roofline enhances the car’s overall shape. One noteworthy exterior feature is the innovative, glass-effect Porsche logo that has been integrated into the light bar at the rear.
The cabin sports a completely new architecture. The “floating”, curved instrument cluster sits at the highest point of the dashboard while a central, 10.9-inch infotainment display and passenger display (optional) combine to create an integrated glass band in black panel look. In keeping with the minimalist exterior, the number of switches and buttons has been greatly reduced. Instead, control is intelligent and intuitive. With the Taycan, an entirely leather-free interior is offered for the first time. For luggage, two compartments are available – the front unit has a capacity of 81 litres while the one at the rear has 366 litres.
The Turbo S, Turbo and 4S have two exceptionally efficient electric motors, one on the front axle and the other on the rear axle, thus making them all-wheel drive. The two-speed transmission mounted on the rear axle is an innovation developed by Porsche. First gear affords more acceleration from a standing start, while the second gear’s long gear ratio ensures optimum efficiency and commensurately high power reserves.
Working in tandem with the all-wheel drive is the integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control which analyses and constantly synchronises all chassis systems. These systems include adaptive air suspension with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) electronic damper control as well as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electromechanical roll stabilisation system with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus).
Like all other Porsche models, the different, selectable driving modes follow the same philosophy. Supplementing each are special settings that take advantage of the Taycan’s purely electric drive. Four driving modes are available – Range, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In addition, you can customise how you want the car to perform via the Individual mode.
Arrival in Singapore: On sale now
Audi’s range of SUVs is well known, and well liked. Hence, it’s no surprise that the German carmaker chooses an SUV for its first-ever, fully electric production vehicle.
The Audi e-tron sports a distinctive SUV silhouette complemented by e-tron specific details, such as light grey Singleframe grille, rear diffuser without exhaust tailpipes, logos and orange brake calipers (optional).
A great deal of effort has been spent in the aerodynamics and aeroacoustics as evidenced by the low drag coefficient of 0.27 with the virtual exterior mirrors installed and low wind and intrusive noise contributing to a serenely quiet cabin. And while we are on the subject of the cabin, it’s elegantly designed, seats five and easily stows up to 600 litres of personal effects at the rear.
The e-tron is powered by one electric motor at each of the axles for a combined system output of 300kW (402hp) and 664Nm. In boost mode, the 0 to 100km/h sprint is accomplished in a time that is on a par with a sports car – 5.7 seconds.
With its all-wheel drive system, adaptive air suspension which allows the ride height to be adjusted by up to 76mm, and low and centrally located battery, the e-tron is a hoot to drive on winding roads where it handles more like a hatch than an SUV.
Claimed range per battery charge is over 400km. Energy is recovered when coasting and braking, and there are three levels of recuperation which are selectable by the driver. Charging can be carried out with DC at up to 150kW of power or at home with AC at 11 or 22kW (with optional second integrated charger). With the myAudi app, remote management charging and pre-entry climate control can be done via a smartphone.
MINI COOPER SE
Arrival in Singapore: Q3 2020
Cute and cuddly it may be, the hallmark of any Mini Cooper must be how fun and enjoyable it is to drive. With the Mini Cooper SE, the brand’s first fully electric model, Mini has combined sustainable mobility with pure driving fun and expressive design.
Propelled by an electric motor with 135kW (184hp), this front-wheel drive hatchback zips from 0 to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds. More importantly, its 0 to 60km/h timing of 3.9 seconds and wheel-slip limiting feature means that it’ll be a hoot to pilot within the largely crammed confines of our urban city-state. Mini says the Cooper SE has “go-kart feeling” – this sums up its agility, perfectly.
With a range of 235 to 270km from its model-specific lithium-ion battery, it can go for days without charging while energy recuperation during driving can be configured at two levels for one-pedal feeling. When the time comes for a top- up, it can be charged at a household socket, wall box or public charging station. Swift, direct-current charging is possible at up to 50kW. As the high-voltage battery is situated deep in the car’s floor, the three-door Cooper SE has about the same luggage compartment volume as the petrol- powered Mini 3 Door hatchback.
Arrival in Singapore: On sale now
The all-electric I-Pace is one of the most handsome crossovers around. Its sleek, coupe-like design is inspired by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar. With a low bonnet, aero- optimised roof and squared-off rump, complemented by a cab-forward silhouette, drag coefficient is a mere 0.29. Yet, it is still able to accommodate five adults and a decent amount of luggage with relative ease, thanks to its 656-litre rear compartment.
Any performance crossover worth its salt must be equipped with all-wheel drive and the I-Pace’s system is headlined by two electric motors, one at each axle. At maximum outputs of 400PS (394hp) and 696Nm, the century sprint is accomplished in 4.8 seconds. And if it must traverse a body of water, its wading depth of up to 500mm is more than what most of its competitors can handle.
Equipped with a 90kWh lithium-ion battery, the I-Pace can travel up to 470km on a full charge, while the intelligent navigation system ensures routes are calculated to eliminate range anxiety. Where rapid public charging of 100V DC is available, it takes 40 minutes to charge the battery from zero to 80 per cent. If you are in a rush, a mere 15-minute charge will enable 100km of motoring. Home charging with an AC wall box (7kW) will achieve 80 per cent of charge in just over 10 hours – ideal for overnight charging.
The I-Pace’s engineering team left no stone unturned in their quest to make the SUV as sporty as possible – a meticulously tuned soundtrack works in harmony with the natural sound of the two electric motors, thus enriching the driving experience. In Dynamic mode the sound becomes richer still.
BMW I3S (120 AH)
Arrival in Singapore: On sale now
The i3 was one of the first electric vehicles to be offered here when it was introduced back in 2013.
Fast forward to the present and the current model, the i3s (120 Ah), which was launched in mid-2019, features a new generation, higher voltage battery that enables the fully electric hatchback to travel further. The “120 Ah” in its name refers to 120 ampere hours – the capacity of the battery cell. Compared to the first model, range has increased by 100km. When fully charged, the i3s (120 Ah) can scoot around for up to 260km.
With 184hp on tap, the i3s (120 Ah) completes the century sprint in 6.9 seconds, while an acceleration time of just 4.3 seconds from 80 to 120km/h shows off just how swift this iconic hatchback is in real-world motoring.
The standard charging cable is designed to be plugged into an industrial socket and a full charge takes 13 hours with a charging capacity of 3.7kW (0 to 80 per cent in approximately 10 hours). When connected to the BMW i Wallbox Plus (with 11kW charging), rapid three-phase charging is available and all that’s required to achieve a 100 per cent charge is four hours and 20 minutes. The battery can also be used in conjunction with quick-charging stations that run on DC power, and it reaches 80 per cent of its total power in just 45 minutes.
Aside from the new battery, buyers of the i3s (120 Ah) can upgrade the hatchback with optional features, such as a new body finish and adaptive LED headlights with matrix function for the high beam.