2021 Munich Motor Show
Motor shows. Remember them? Just as the “C” word hit, one of the very first corporate victims was the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, and if that one went to the wall, then it was looking like they all would. Well, thankfully, Munich has bucked the trend and hosted the German Motor Show for this year, and the new reveals have been coming thick and fast. Thankfully, we are here to bring you all the latest without having to undergo any quarantine…
Renault Megane E-Tech
We first saw Renault’s new vision of an all-electric family SUV as a concept a few months back, but here it is in full production form. Utilising the same CMF-EV platform that underpins the Nissan Ariya, the Megane E-Tech brings the choice of two battery sizes (40kWh and 60kWh) and two power outputs (128bhp and 215bhp) to give claimed ranges of 186 miles or 292 miles respectively. This family-sized SUV/crossover is wading into battle against some serious competition such as the Peugeot e2008, Citroen eC4 and Vauxhall Mokka e, not to mention Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform cars such as the ID.3, ID.4, Skoda Enyaq and Cupra Born. That being said, since La Regie launched the all-electric Zoe supermini ten years ago, 1 in 5 Renault’s sold in Europe has been battery-powered, so they are a force to be reckoned with.
Built in Northern France at its Douai factory, the car is expected to go on sale in the UK during 2022, and although prices have yet to be confirmed, expect it to start from around £30,000.
As you’d expect at a German show, the three-pointed star truly rolled out some glitzy metal. Two concept luxury electric SUVs in the shape of the Concept EQS in Maybach form, the electric version of its rugged (and popular) G-Class, the EQG, the first public of the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+ and the unveiling of the E-Class sized EQE saloon.
The Mercedes-Maybach EQS is designed to show the brand competing against the likeso the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Benley Bentayga in the ultra-luxury SUV market sector, but with an all-electric powertrain. Following on from the EQS and EQE saloons, this will be the brand’s third bespoke model and will offer a range of “around 373 miles” according to the company. Philipp Schiemer, head of Mercedes-Benz’s Top End Vehicle Group and responsible for AMG and Maybach products says that “the Concept EQS represents the transformation of Mercedes-Maybach from a tradition-rich luxury brand into a more progressive electric future.” This shift away from more traditional piston-engined cars is partly because of its changing customer base who are becoming younger and therefore their definition of luxury is changing. No details of its powertrain were forthcoming, but it would seem to make sense for the car to utilise the twin motors found on the range-topping Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4Matic+. This would allow for a power output of perhaps 650bhp+ and 700lb ft of torque. Of course, the usual Maybach luxuries are abound with individual rear seats (although a production model may feature a more traditional bench, certainly as an option at least), duotone paintwork and lashings of chrome.
Talking of the EQS, the addition of the range-topping AMG 53 4Matic+ brings the luxury saloon in line with the Porsche Taycan and Audi RS e-tron GT with a power output of up to 751bhp. The ‘standard’ EQS 53 will have to make do with just 649bhp. AMG-specific electric motors are to feature more and more as the performance brand gets ready to embrace the electric future of Mercedes, allowing it to remain as hardcore as it always has. The car is due to go on sale in the UK later this year.
And if that all seems a bit too modern for you, then you could always plump for the EQG, the electric version of Mercedes’s stalwart off-roader. Much like the other EQ offerings we have seen so far, the EQG is effectively the electric variant of the piston-engined G-Class, a car loved by rappers and ramblers alike. Underpinned by the same ladder-frame chassis, the car will be a true mud-plugger with four individually controlled motors mounted on each wheel to become an “uncompromising off-roader”. Although a concept now, a production version isn’t far away.
The debut of the EQE marks the second of the company’s bespoke EV cars, sitting underneath the flagship EQS. Design-wise it shares a similar silhouette with its ‘one-bow’ cab-forward stance and slippery shape to be aerodynamically efficient, and on the inside, it also shares the larger EQS’s ‘Hypercsreen’ dashboard. Two models will launch at first, the EQE 350 with a 288bhp motor and an as yet undisclosed second powertrain variant. The 90kWh battery is expected to give this mid-sized saloon a range of around 339-410 miles on the WLTP cycle.
VW’s assault on the EV market shows no signs of abating with it choosing Munich to preview its compact ID Life concept. Utilising an adapted MEB platform, this little urban crossover uses a front-mounted electric motor that produces 231bhp. Much like previous ID concepts, the Life previews an entry-level model that may wear the ID.2 badge on a production version that is due in 2025.
Elsewhere on the VW stand, the long-awaited re-awakening of the T2 Transporter was previewed in the shape of the ID Buzz. We’ve seen prototypes under heavy disguise, but here was a relatively production-ready look vehicle that was being used ro showcase autonomous driving software being developed in tandem with self-driving technology specialist Argo AI.
Volkswagen also confirmed there will be a high-performance variant of the ID.3, likely to use the same GTX nomenclature that the larger ID.4 has. Nothing has been confirmed as far as power output is concerned, however a concept that was previewed on LinkedIn showed that an output of circa 329bhp was likely, and a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds is possible.
If the EL1 reminds you of a certain Audi, then its job is well and truly done. Paying tribute to the mighty Audi quattro S1 rally legend, the EL1 is a carbon-tubbed homage to the mighty forest-bashing weapon. Three electric motors provide it with a staggering 805bhp that will hit 60mph from rest in just 2.8seconds, and gove a range of around 248 miles from its 90kWh battery. Just 30 examples are planned with a price of around £914,400 for UK buyers.
Now jointly owned by Geely and Daimler-Benz, Smart previewed its future with a concept of its forthcoming compact electric SUV. It heralds an important new era for the now all-electric manufacturer as it tries to move away from what has gone before. With Geely taking care of the engineering, and Mercedes the design, this is a promising new direction for the beleaguered brand. Technical details are still under wraps, but on this showing, the future looks bright for the diminutive brand.
Unveiling an all-electric sports car with the ‘Mission’ badge in concept form has a wonderful habit of becoming reality in Porsche’s history. The new Mission R is designed as a racer, and potentially could be the basis for a one-make race series in 2025. It could also give very strong hints as to how the new electric 718 Cayman could look. Twin motors are capable of delivering up to 1073bhp in special qualifying mode, with a high-voltage battery of around 80-85kWh that could deliver around 45 minutes of race time. The 900V technology in the Mission R means a charging rate of up to 340kW is possible, and that means a 5-80% crage in just 15 minutes. Whilst the exterior and interior are pure race car, just as the Mission E gave us the sublime Taycan, there is hope that the Mission R follows a similar route to production.