Posts with «author_name|roberto baldwin» label

BMW’s CE 02 electric scooter sets sights on urban mobility

BMW is expanding its electric motorcycle lineup — well, really, its electric scooter lineup. The new CE 02 is smaller than the recently available CE 04 and targets a younger buyer.

In fact, BMW doesn't even want to call it a scooter. Instead, it’s calling it a eParkourer. Yes it’s a mouthful and yes it’s mostly just marketing shenanigans, but the CE 02 looks like a classier version of the Honda Rukus with an EV powertrain inside.

BMW says it has a range of over 55 miles for the 11kW version and a top speed of about 59 miles per hour. So it’s definitely built as an around-town source of transportation. Unfortunately, we don’t have any idea what it’ll cost. The larger, most powerful, and longer-range CE 04 starts at $12,700 just to help set some expectations.

BMW also showed off Motorrad companion smartglasses that display speed, speed limit, gear (for gas bikes), and turn-turn-directions. The glasses work with any of the company’s current crop of bikes that use the Motorrad app, and again don't have a price yet.

The CE 02 will be available in the spring of 2024, while the smart glasses will be available this summer. Watch the video below for the full story.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Audi's updated Q8 E-Tron focuses on luxury over performance

Audi's original E-Tron was really just an electric Q8. Now that it uses the E-Tron moniker as a label for all of its EVs, the carmaker has rebadged the updated E-Tron as the Q8 E-Tron. Yet this is more than just a facelift. Instead, Audi took the opportunity to make the vehicle better based on what it's learned over the past few years as an EV builder.

The biggest difference from the offset is the increased range. The previous E-Tron had a range of 204 miles at launch. This new Q8 E-Tron manages a more impressive 285 miles on a single charge, which should appease most people looking to buy an EV.

Behind the wheel, the new Audi is just a better driving vehicle than the original E-Tron. It's less performance-centric than you would expect from a brand like Audi, instead the automaker has targeted a luxury ride and frankly, it's nailed it. It's a good example of automakers taking what they've learned while building EVs over the past few years and evolving their platform. For the full story, check out our video below.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Kia EV9 first drive: Adding a third row to the EV market

It makes sense that a majority of EVs are crossovers. It's a market segment that does well. Sure, they're essentially raised hatchbacks, but they offer enough cargo space and seating for a couple or small family. On the other hand, if you have a large brood or need to transport a lot of supplies, gear, or groceries, the electrification of a three-row vehicle has been slow. Fortunately, the Kia EV9 is here with seating for up to seven and a cavernous cargo space.

We had a chance to take the Korean-spec EV9 for a first drive in Korea and while the suspension was a bit softer than what we're used to in the United States and there's a good chance that the acceleration will be tweaked to deliver more zip, it delivered the electric vehicle experience we expect from the automaker.

With a targeted range of up to 300 miles and DC fast charging that Kia says will take the 99.8kWh capacity battery from 10 percent to 80 percent in about 24 minutes, the automaker has something that should appeal to families looking for a road trip SUV. For more details on the EV9 and how it fared on the road, check out the video below.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Vinfast's first EV is almost ready for the world

If you want to lose a lot of money, become an automaker. Cars are incredibly difficult to build and scaling manufacturing is nearly impossible. It took Tesla years to get the Model 3 to market after bringing the Model S and Model X to the road. So Vietnam's VinFast decision to become an EV automaker after it spent a few years building vehicles based on BMW's platform is sort of insane. And yet, this week we had the opportunity to drive the VF 8, the first VinFast EV to land in the United States.

Driving the VF 8 in San Diego was a stark reminder of the difficulty of building a vehicle. While we were impressed with what the company has done, we also have to report that the VF 8 electric SUV needs work if it's going to truly compete with the rest of the US EV market.

Oddly, VinFast had us drive the lease-only California edition that's actually only available in the Golden State. It has a shorter range than its competitors and the standard version of the vehicle that's hitting US shores right now.

Overall though, we found the car needs a few more months of tweaks (most of which are software) to battle it out in the increasingly competitive mid-size electric SUV market. But don't count them out: VinFast has the foundation to be a major player sooner than you think. Watch our first drive video below for the full story.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Mercedes' EQS 680 SUV Maybach is all about back-seat luxury

Mercedes has a history of building wonderful luxury vehicles, so much so that the S-Class may as well be the official car of CEOs being driven around town. Yet, Mercedes aims higher with the Maybach lineup, taking the S-Class and kicking it up a notch. (If you watch the HBO drama Succession, you’ve likely seen a Maybach ferrying the patriarch Logan Roy as he destroys the will of his children.) 

Today, Mercedes is giving its EQS SUV the Maybach treatment. The EQS 680 SUV Maybach takes the electric Mercedes and fills it with all the opulence found in other Maybachs to create a luxury car that is a bit kinder to the environment. We got a chance to see the vehicle ahead of today’s unveiling. It has everything you’d expect from a Maybach, from the two-tone paint job through to a fridge for bubbly and specially-built cup holders for champagne flutes.

Mercedes isn't letting anyone drive the EQS SUV Maybach yet, and it also doesn’t have an EPA range estimate or battery capacity to share. But if you’re riding in the back of this SUV, that’s really none of your concern. Check out our video to see just how lavish an electric Maybach can be.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Mercedes EQE SUV first drive: Big luxury in a smaller SUV

Mercedes has a very clear plan. Its EQ lineup will continue to grow as it works towards parity with its gas vehicles, and the automaker will eventually transform its consumer cars to those running on electrons. The latest part of that scheme is the EQE SUV, the larger, taller version of the EQE sedan. Both are eco-friendly cousins to the E-Class and both bring what we like (and don’t like) about the EQS to a broader audience.

Starting at $77,900, the EQE SUV won’t wow you if you’ve been behind the wheel of literally any other Mercedes EV. Instead, the mid-seized luxury EV is a piece of a larger puzzle. That’s not to say that the vehicle doesn’t deliver on the Mercedes-Benz promise of a luxury vehicle. It does this without the buyer having to break the $100,000 mark for an electric SUV.

It has a comfortable cabin, smooth ride, tight but agreeable steering and of course the MBUX infotainment system with in-car voice control that actually works. All three trim levels have ranges above 250 miles and rear-wheel steering is an option that’s definitely worth the money. That said, we’re still not fans of the brakes and to us, the Hyperscreen still feels like a lot of hype although we were able to watch a movie while riding shotgun through Portugal on the passenger screen. For more insight into our first drive of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, check out the video below.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 is a value-packed EV sedan

Hyundai has built itself a reputation for delivering vehicles that offer a luxury feel at regular person prices. The latest EV from the automaker takes that up a notch by not just competing with the Tesla Model 3 but also the more high-end Polestar 2. The 2023 Ioniq 6 starts at $41,600 with two battery and drivetrain options. The various combinations of battery packs and either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive result in range numbers from 240 miles to 361 miles. It gives potential buyers the ability to determine which electric sedan works best for their situation.

Beyond the range numbers, the vehicle ships with a new and improved version of Hyundai’s driver assistance system, incredibly smooth acceleration mapping and a suspension system that – while not built as a sports sedan – is far more capable than anticipated while hitting the hills above Phoenix, Arizona. The biggest issue with the vehicle is headroom for tall drivers and passengers. The desire to reduce drag has brought the roof down that could be an issue for basketball players.

For more details, check out our first drive video below, where we found the Ioniq 6 to be one of our favorite EVs on the road.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The EQS SUV is the height of Mercedes EV luxury

Mercedes isn’t tip-toeing into electrification. The automaker put together an aggressive plan and it shows no sign of slowing down. That’s why every few months it seems like there’s another Mercedes-Benz EV being announced.

In all this removal of gas-powered engines, Mercedes still needs to make sure to build vehicles that exude the luxury customers have come to expect from the automaker. It started with the EQS as the electric version of the S-Class sedan and followed that up with the EQS SUV. A taller vehicle with more headroom, off-road capabilities and the number one feature wanted by the US market: it’s an SUV.

While the parity of tech features between the EQS and EQS SUV is impressive, the one thing that S-Class owners moving to an electric luxury vehicle will notice is the increased headroom in the EQS SUV. There’s also the design, which looks better on the SUV, and if you opt for all-wheel-drive the off-roading capabilities are there for when the second home happens to be up a dirt road.

Still, we put the EQS SUV to the test and found that overall it’s an impressive entry into the luxury EV SUV market, even with its weird regenerative brake pedal. Watch the video below for the full story.

Kia’s EV6 GT crams performance into a great EV

The Kia EV6 is an outstanding EV based on the Hyundai Motor Group's E-GMP architecture. One of the more impressive elements of the crossover is that it charges at 240kW at compatible DC fast charging stations. That’s quicker than offerings from Mercedes, Volkswagen, BMW and Ford, and it means less time at a station and more time on the road.

Now, Kia could have allowed quick charging to continue to be the electric crossover’s speediest feature. Instead, it decided to build something rather bonkers; an EV6 with a zero-to-60 time of 3.4 seconds, 576 horsepower, and 545 pound-feet of torque. It’s a quick electric crossover that in tests, outran a Lamborghini and Ferrari.

To get the full experience of the 2023 EV6 GT, Kia invited us to Las Vegas, Nevada where we drove the vehicle on twisty roads, a track, and a drag strip. Oh, and we also got a chance to try out the EV’s new Drift mode. Again, this is all in a Kia.

Check out the video below to see how well the vehicle performed both in the real world and on the track.

McLaren Artura first drive: A hybrid supercar that adds EV torque to the mix

There’s a concern that electrifying supercars will kill their spirit. A breed of vehicle known for massive roars, outrageous designs, and cornering that smooshes your internal organs from side to side while the vehicle sticks to the road.

But electrification is coming and how that’s handled can mean the difference between a vehicle that wins over naysayers or one that fails and gives the gas-or-nothing crowd one more piece of evidence that everything is ruined when a battery is added. McLaren’s Artura is not only an engineering marvel built upon a brand-new architecture; it’s also sure to get everyone on board with the idea of cramming an electric motor into a supercar.

The Artura can do zero to 60 in three seconds. That’s EV fast, and it’s thanks to the supercar’s plug-in hybrid setup. Wedged between a twin-turbo V6 and the 8-speed transmission sits a tiny electric motor that’s powered by a 7.5kWh battery pack. It adds low-end torque at launch and while exiting corners while the gas engine catches up.

On the more environmental side, according to the EPA the Artura can travel 11 miles while in EV-only mode. McLaren noted that it could get up to 15 with more surface street driving. It’s not in the league of the other PHEVs on the market, which offer ranges above 30 miles per charge. Remember though, it’s a supercar with all the joy and excitement that comes with that package.

We got a chance to try it out on the roads around Las Vegas, Nevada, and ended the day with 14 laps around a track. In both situations, it impressed. Watch the video below for the full story.