NEWS – Two French models are among the seven cars qualified for the most renowned prize in the automotive industry.
Who will succeed the Kia EV6 voted “Car of the Year 2022”? One certainty: the sixtieth “Car of the Year” will be an electrified model. Among the twenty-three vehicles in the running for the final, the jury of sixty-one European journalists, who participated in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, favored hybrid, rechargeable hybrid or electric vehicles. The results revealed at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2023 will reward one of the seven finalists, which are the Jeep Avenger, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Ariya, the Peugeot 408, the Renault Austral, Volkswagen ID.Buzz and the duo Subaru Solterra-Toyota bZ4X.
Once again, the list is intended to be a snapshot of the market, favoring SUV architecture, apart from the Peugeot 408 which tries a new approach, halfway between the sedan and the leisure vehicle.
If the Renault Austral, the family SUV that succeeds the Kadjar, is the only model not to be offered with an electric powertrain, only with the French manufacturer’s E-Tech Hybrid technology apart from the conventional petrol versions, the Kia Niro is the only offer to be available with the three electrified technologies: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.
For its part, the Peugeot 408 marketed at the beginning of next year in a Pure tech 130 petrol version and in a rechargeable hybrid (180 and 225 hp) will be enriched in 2024 with a 100% electric version. Also from the Stellantis group, the Avenger is the first electric Jeep in history. It borrows its technology from the DS3 e-Tense but will also be available in a four-wheel drive version.
As for the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, it plays on the springs of nostalgia, wanting to be the Combi of the 21st century. Pending an extended version that can accommodate 7 or 8 people, this vehicle appears to be the first electric minivan on the market. Finally, the last two finalists are also electric vehicles. The Ariya is Nissan’s first electric crossover. It shares its Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform with the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric. Its range is more extensive than that of the French compact.
Last model in the running: the Toyota bZ4X and its cousin Subaru Solterra. These two SUVs do not shine with their autonomy but can flatter themselves with real crossing capacities. The games are therefore open for this 60th election. Verdict on January 13 in Brussels.
TEST – If the time of “peace and love” and the hippie movement seems far away, taking the wheel of the electric Combi, we could however believe we are back. Or almost.
In these uncertain times, we need to cling to happy days. So how not to remember the sixties, the carelessness and the feeling of freedom that accompanied them, without thinking that it was good.
Not hesitating to dive into the neo-retro current, Volkswagen is one of the first manufacturers to have understood it. After the New Beetle, hear the new Beetle, here is a reissue of the famous Combi, or rather the ID. buzz. Some will only see it as a good marketing stunt; others will probably be seduced by the evocation of a time when everything seemed easier. The Combi was dreams of distant travels, outings with friends, even a traveling house for itinerant surfers.
With its radius of action of barely 400 km, not sure however that the ID Buzz traces the road like its ancestor. As it should, it has indeed gone all-electric. With all the constraints that this implies in terms of autonomy and recharging time.
So, let’s forget about long-distance travel and take the ID. Buzz for what it is: a family van endowed, it is true, with a strong power of seduction. We were able to judge from the number of happy faces greeting our passage throughout our test route between Denmark and Sweden.
Reinterpreting the codes and the silhouette of the ancestor through a modern and dynamic line, the ID. Buzz definitely has an effect. On condition, however, of not fearing to increase an already salty invoice. With the two-tone paint and interior, essential but offered as an option for €1,790 and €1,100 respectively, it comes close to 60,000 euros. And even exceeds them easily if you pick from the list of options: €1,939 to take advantage of a tailgate and electric sliding side doors, €1,420 for the Assistance Pack (adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, etc.) or even €2,170 to benefit from semi-autonomous driving. And don’t rely too much on the bonus to make the pill go down; it will be reduced from €2,000 to €1,000 on the 1er next January.
Kathmandu, it will be far!
With a length of 4.71 m, the ID. Buzz is barely larger than a Peugeot 5008. Thanks to a generous wheelbase and its electric motor placed on the rear axle, it nevertheless offers, and this is one of its main qualities, a particularly spacious passenger compartment. Five adults can travel comfortably there, carrying up to 1,121 liters of luggage. Sliding over about fifteen centimeters, the split rear bench seat can also be folded down to double the loading capacity or to offer, thanks to the absence of a transmission tunnel, a perfectly flat floor 2.23 m long. Enough to install a good mattress for wild camping. If Volkswagen is talking about an extended version to come, offered in a 6 or 7-seater configuration, there are indeed no plans, at this stage, for a motorhome version. From the market, next October, an ID panel van version. Buzz Cargo will, however, be available for professionals, starting at €47,990.
At the wheel, the driving position has nothing to do with utility. With a vertical steering wheel adjustable both in height and in depth, and a clear dominant view, it is even more pleasant. Taking advantage of a front overhang and a reduced turning radius, we therefore move around town serenely, enjoying the silence and smoothness of the electric motor. On the road, its 204 hp must be used to effectively move the 2.5 tons. But, we do not appreciate their docility any less, which contributes to a general impression of comfort and well-being. Despite the optional 20-inch wheels (€460) of our test model (19-inch original), the suspensions remain considerate and effectively control body movements.
A central 10-inch screen manages most functions. It can be increased to 12 inches against a slightly petty supplement of €130. The instrumentation is grouped together in a small digital panel placed behind the steering wheel. As with any electric vehicle, the remaining range is carefully monitored. On undemanding Scandinavian roads, our average consumption came out at 19.6 kWh/100 km, which theoretically would have allowed us to travel 390 km with a full battery. In practice, this does not give hope of traveling more than 350 km before looking for a charging station. If we are lucky enough to find one that accepts a fast charge of 170 kWh in direct current, we can hope to recover 80% in just half an hour. On a classic 11 kWh terminal, on the other hand, it takes no less than 7.5 hours to recover a full charge. Suffice to say that we have not arrived in Kathmandu.
Marketing product scientist, the ID. Buzz, with his retro face, will certainly be able to win over more than one ex-baba who, now a bobo, will not hesitate to write a check for 60,000 euros for a small dose of well-felt nostalgia. The fact remains that, limited in practice by the reduced autonomy of its electric motorization which prohibits long trips, it is presented above all as a family vehicle, roomy and comfortable. In short, he reinvents, without saying so, the concept of the minivan.
Power: 204 hp
Transmission: Propulsion, 1-speed gearbox with reducer
NEW – This study foreshadows the first electric sedan that the German manufacturer will launch on the market at the end of 2023.
Volkswagen didn’t brag about it. On tiptoe, the Passat sedan disappeared from the catalog. She will not be replaced. Instead, the Wolfsburg manufacturer will offer a 100% electric sedan that will be very close to the ID concept. Aero. The sixth element of the ID electric range, this vehicle, which will take the trade name ID.7, will be the German brand’s first zero-emission sedan. It will also be developed on the manufacturer’s MEB electric platform. A model with a global vocation, the ID.7 marketed in Europe will be produced in the German plant in Emden from the end of 2023.
With a length of nearly 5 meters, it will aim to compete with the Kia EV6 but also all the high-end sedans from general manufacturers. The simple and refined shapes of the hatchback silhouette and the absence of door handles, replaced by tactile surfaces, betray the search for maximum efficiency, a guarantee of great autonomy. The greater freedom offered by the electrical architecture and the use of the MEB platform have made it possible to outline a balanced and dynamic silhouette with wheels positioned at the four corners. The work of the designers is rewarded with a Cx 0.23 aerodynamics. With the 77 kWh battery borrowed in particular from the ID.4 and other models of the group, the Aero concept boasts a range of 620 km. This represents a clear improvement compared to the German SUV, which has an approved range of 100 km less.
TEST – With ID. Buzz, the German manufacturer revives in an electric format the spirit of its famous leisure vehicle, which marked several generations of adventurers.
History is an eternal restart. More than seventy years after its appearance, the Volkswagen Combi resurfaces. Since it was presented as an electric-powered prototype at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show and Volkswagen decided to produce it, all over the world, the new vehicle has been arousing prodigious enthusiasm. The Combi belongs to our heritage: it has marked several generations of people, imposing a new way of conceiving leisure and adventure.
As often, the genesis of the first Combi made simple ideas triumph. The paternity belongs to Ben Pon. While visiting VW’s production center in April 1947, the brand’s Dutch importer came across the Plattenwagen, a small vehicle built to transport heavy pallets within the grounds of the Wolfsburg factory. The machine, he thinks, could very well give rise to a vehicle for transporting people with an engine in the back…
TEST – Resulting from a flirtation with a coupe, this third model in the galaxy of small VW SUVs wins the vote, conveying a more liberated image of the brand.
Which vehicle to buy? Consumers are lost. Between the upcoming ban on diesel vehicles in the heart of major cities and the still too many constraints weighing on electric technology, motorists no longer know where to turn. In response to this disarray but also to adapt to the changing needs of consumers, manufacturers are showing imagination. Seat has thus developed a non-binding flat rate which allows the vehicle to be returned at any time and also to be changed free of charge. Its Volkswagen parent company is now following suit with the Taigo. An initiative which will have test value and which could well extend to other models in the range. From 296 euros per month (95 hp Life version), you can access this compact SUV marketed in Brazil under the name Nivus.
VW’s longest compact SUV
How does it differ from the T-Cross and T-Roc which already account for 8.8% of the growing small SUV market? Interspersed between these two models, the Taigo participates in taking the Volkswagen style out of an image that is a little too conservative. While playing on the springs of sportiness with a receding roof and a very inclined tailgate like that of a coupe, the third compact SUV from VW takes malicious pleasure in blurring the tracks. At 4.26m long, it exceeds the T-Cross by 160mm, the Polo by 200mm and even the T-Roc by 30mm. The latter takes over with a greater width and height of 62 and 55 mm respectively. Although close to the T-Roc in terms of size, the Taigo borrows its MQB A0 technical platform from the T-Cross. This conditions the benefits, necessarily lower than that of the T-Roc. The Taigo can be seen as a variation of the Polo when the T-Roc rather refers to the Golf. When the first only offers gasoline engines, from 95 to 150 hp, its big brother has a more varied palette including diesel engines but also a vitaminized version of 300 hp.
The Taigo’s proximity to the Polo continues in the cabin. Apart from the elevated driving position, it feels like you’re on board the city car. An optional prairie green fascia panel adds a fresh note (Style finish). At the rear, the roominess is not as generous as that of the T-Roc and the central place is really only for troubleshooting due to the bulky transmission tunnel, but the height under the roof does not suffer from the tailgate tilt. With a correct trunk volume of 438 liters, the Taigo is not far from its big brother. By tilting the seat, you have an almost flat floor to load up to 1,222 liters of luggage. From the Life finish, buyers of the Taigo have the choice between the R-Line finish (+ €4,060) sporty and Style (+ €4,320) giving pride of place to chrome.
In both cases, the most advanced infotainment system (9.2-inch screen) is optional but the customizable 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is standard. You can’t stop progress: in addition to entering navigation instructions, it can display the photo of the person called on the phone. As for the Business version, it incorporates the reversing camera, the navigation system and the seats with lumbar support. It should be noted that the Taigo is fitted as standard with a central airbag which protects the occupants of the front seats from contact in the event of a side impact, but also a system which allows additional functions to be added remotely to the vehicle after the accident. purchase.
The Taigo ignores diesel engines but also light hybridization to offer an SUV with a particularly attractive price/performance ratio. The range starts at €23,850 (95 hp) but it will cost €30,740 to access the 110 hp Style version coupled to the 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox that we tested. This transmission favors consumption. She does not hesitate to switch to freewheel as soon as she can and to shift gears at very low revs. This conditions a peaceful conduct. Safe overtaking requires some anticipation. If its sound is nice, the 3-cylinder 1 liter lacks trunk, the torque peaking at 200 Nm between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm. The 4-cylinder 150 hp version (€32,100) ensuring more vigorous pick-up is recommended for those who do a lot of driving. Whatever the model, the Taigo proves to be workable at will, ensuring quality services. A highway trip will however have highlighted some aerodynamic noise around the mirrors.
Unlike the T-Cross, the Taigo has a more assertive style and superior roominess that allows it to fulfill the function of the first car in the household.
TEST – The German manufacturer’s SUV inaugurates the GTX signature dedicated to the sportiest electric models.
The first few meters are intoxicating. The landscape scrolls by like in a time-lapse film. The force of the acceleration presses the passengers against the seats, in the cathedral silence inherent in electric propulsion. Welcome aboard the Volkswagen ID.4, which revives the GTX label once attached to the sportiest Scirocco. 60 km/h is reached in 3.2 seconds, 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. With its 245 hp, the Golf GTI is no better. Past the 110 km / h, the thrust, sustained, continues. Overtaking becomes a mere formality.
The ID.4 GTX can also be considered the GTI of the German brand’s electric models. From the ID.4 from which it derives, the sporty version adopts the 204 hp permanently excited synchronous electric machine installed on the rear axle, which it combines with a second 109 hp motor placed on the front axle. With 300 hp available under certain temperature and battery charge level conditions (+ 88%), the power equals that of the Golf R while the torque of 460 Nm can be compared to that of a 6-cylinder engine , except that here it is available from startup. The all-wheel drive, which contributes to the impression of ease and safety, can be assisted by the adaptive damping.
A range of 478 km
While the GTX can be recognized by its black roof, its specific shields and its light signature, the interior ambience refers to the GTI with its upholstery with red stitching and its blue imitation leather dashboard. If the charm works, the ID.4, like all electric vehicles, requires a review of the way it travels, especially on long journeys where the charging infrastructure is not yet satisfactory. The 77 kWh battery allows a range of 478 km. On the highway, count 30% less. To recover 80% of the battery, you will then have to wait 38 minutes at the service station with a fast terminal. Infinitely less glamorous.
NEWS – The range of zero-emission models will expand even further this year. Follow the leader.
The electric wave continues on its way. Under pressure from the European Commission which is imposing a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fine particles to breathe easier in the city and which has proposed the end of the heat engine in 2035, manufacturers have no other choice than to change their economic model and convert their production to this technology. With more or less grinding of teeth and pain. In recent weeks, the announcements have multiplied. Some manufacturers have already indicated that from a very near deadline, they would only launch electric vehicles. This is the case, for example, of Alpine and Jaguar, which will become 100% electric brands in 2025 and which are counting on this windfall effect to relaunch themselves. This paradigm shift, which redistributes the cards, encourages new players to invest in the automotive market. The year 2022 will therefore be marked by numerous launches of a new generation of electric vehicles and the renewal of models already on the market.
On the Ingoltstadt side, the year 2022 will see the expansion of the e-Tron range of electric vehicles with the marketing of the final version of the A6 e-Tron sedan presented as a concept at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2021. This model will inaugurate the PPE platform jointly developed by Audi and Porsche. Like the Audie-Tron GT, the A6 uses 800-volt technology to recover 300 km of range in just 10 minutes. The ring manufacturer will also launch an electric version of the Q5 and renew its e-Tron crossover.
While it has just launched the IX and the i4 sedan, the Bavarian manufacturer will continue to enrich the portfolio of the BMWi family with the electric variant of the new generation of the 7 Series. The technology should be close to that of the ‘iX. This SUV will be available in the M60 version of 619 hp. The 3 Series sedan and the next generation of the X1 SUV could also be enriched with a zero-emission version.
Emanating from Seat, this new brand will enrich its Born compact sedan with a VZ version equipped with a 230 hp engine powered by a 58 kWh battery. Autonomy is announced at 417 km.
After the city car 500e, the Turin-based firm should continue its effort in the electric sector with the completely renewed 500X and sharing its platform with other compact models of the Stellantis group.
After the Ioniq 5 crossover launched in 2021, the Korean manufacturer is continuing to develop its Ioniq range based on the E-GMP platform with the Ioniq 6 sedan. Its style will be less original than that of the Prophecy concept.
The American manufacturer integrated into the Stellantis group could well create a surprise at the end of the year 2022 with a small electric vehicle placed below the Renegade.
Before summer 2022, the Korean manufacturer will renew the e-Niro. Unveiled at the last Seoul Motor Show, this model will swap its sedan architecture for that of an SUV. The end of the year will see the arrival of a high-performance version of the EV6 raised sedan. Called GT, this model will be equipped with two engines for a total power of 430 kW (585 hp) and a torque of 740 Nm. 100 km / h are reached in 3.5 seconds and the top speed is 260 km / h.
With the SUV architecture, the RZ will be the second vehicle of the luxury brand of Toyota but the first on a dedicated platform, common to most of the electric vehicles of the Japanese group.
The firm with the star is, of all the premium players, the manufacturer which currently offers the most developed range. It will be further enriched in 2022 with an EQE, a sedan borrowing its stylistic codes and its technology from the EQS. The price will start under 90,000 euros for this model with a range of 660 km. The EQS range will also be enhanced with an AMG 53 version. The Citan developed on the basis of the Renault Kangoo will also be available in an electric version.
The Chinese manufacturer is stepping up its offensive with the MG Marvel R, an SUV available with two variants of transmission and power. The rear-wheel drive version is equipped with a single 180 hp engine. The Performance version combines two engines, one per axle, for a power of 288 hp. The range starts at € 39,990. The MG Motor offer will be completed in the first quarter of an MG5 station wagon with a 156 hp engine on the front axle. The price will start under 30,000 euros.
Scheduled for 2021, the Ariya, the Japanese brand’s first electric SUV, will arrive in the first half of 2022 with several versions of transmission (two or four-wheel drive), power and battery.
While the Taycan electric sedan will continue to develop with the arrival of several versions of the Sport Turismo body variant, the electric Macan will make its debut. It will be the first vehicle from the Zuffenhausen brand to launch the PPE platform shared with Audi.
Among the electric pioneers, Renault is moving up a gear with its first compact model designed on the Alliance’s CMF-EV platform. Launched during the first half of 2022, the Megane E-Tech Electric will see its price start at € 29,200 (ecological bonus deducted) with the 40 kWh battery allowing a range of 300 km.
Based on the Enyaq IV SUV, the Czech manufacturer will launch a Coupe version with a low roof in spring 2022. Still based on the VW group’s MEB platform, this new model will borrow its technical characteristics from the Enyaq IV.
Developed jointly by Subaru and Toyota, the Solterra SUV will arrive in the middle of the year. Cousin of the Toyota bZ4X, it takes over the technology. This 4.70 m vehicle will be available in two versions – traction or four-wheel drive – and two power levels (150 or 160 kW). The battery has a capacity of 71.4 kWh.
The American manufacturer is going to renew the Model S sedan. The style is evolving smoothly, as the first photos published by the manufacturer suggest.
The result of a partnership with Subaru, Toyota’s new electric platform will give rise to an extended range of zero-emission models. The first, the bZ4X SUV, will be launched in the first half of 2022. Two versions are on the program. The entry level is powered by a 204 hp electric motor installed at the front and reaching 100 km / h in 8.4 seconds. A 4-wheel drive version of 217 hp is also programmed. With the 71.4 kWh battery, Toyota announces a range of 450 km.
The German brand continues to develop its ID range based on the modular MEB platform. The year 2022 will be devoted to the launches of the ID.5 and ID.5 GTX, the flagged versions of the ID.4, but also of the ID. Buzz. This eagerly awaited vehicle is the Combi of the 21st century.
The number of electric charging stations and high power stations is increasing at high speed. But city centers are still the poor relations of the network.
The stakes are high. To meet the needs of a rapidly growing fleet of rechargeable battery cars, the charging network must change size. The Volkswagen group has estimated the needs at 300,000 charging points in the public domain in 2025, against only 49,000 at the end of this year.
In five years, the fleet should reach nearly 2 million electric vehicles in France. According to some studies, the number of charging points should even reach 11 million in 2030. A scenario that shivers down your spine but which is based on a fleet of 8 million units at the end of the present decade. All the players in the sector are therefore mobilizing to ensure that the recharging infrastructures change dimension. Not a single week goes by without a network announcing the installation of new charging stations.
Read alsoElectric car: will you find a charging station on your way?
This is how the European network Ionity, resulting from a consortium bringing together the BMW and Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia, Porsche, Mercedes and Ford groups, decided …
EXCLUSIVE – We have ranked the 34 most affordable 100% electric models available on the French market, according to their performance.
Driven by the ecological transition, 100% electric vehicles are sweeping the French market. Difficult to navigate in the kilowatt-hour jungle. However, fans of the thermal car will have to take an interest in it sooner or later. The sale of diesel, gasoline and hybrid cars is scheduled for 2035, but some large cities want to take the plunge long before.
SUVs, family cars, city cars or road cars … Manufacturers are offering models at increasingly lower prices. They also promise wonders when it comes to their engines: more range, charging speed, more performance and energy savings. To find out who are the good (and bad) students of this new generation of vehicles, Le Figaro decided to compare
NEW – Derived from the ID.4 SUV, the third model of VW’s new generation of electric vehicles adopts a contoured roof, similar to that of a coupe.
The switch to electric propulsion does not prevent manufacturers from continuing to grind the architecture of SUVs, the silhouette popular with motorists. On the offensive in electromobility, Volkswagen has planned at least six zero-emission vehicles in 2025 in its catalog. After the ID.3 and ID.4, the next model launched in early 2022 will be the ID.5, an SUV that differs from the ID.4 by its roof lowered by 12 mm and profiled like that of cut. This strategy of variations, already widely exploited with thermal engines, results from the aspiration of motorists to drive differently. Up to the central post, the ID.5 is almost identical to its sister. It differs from it in terms of the treatment of the roof drop marked by a very inclined rear window and housing a spoiler at its base. This new silhouette is longer than 100 mm compared to the ID.4. These new lines are marked with a Cx aerodynamic 0.26.
Up to 300 horsepower
The third model in VW’s ID family was developed on the same MEB platform as its sisters. It inherits the main characteristics of the ID.4. The entry-level ID.5 Pro version accommodates a 174 hp engine on the rear axle. The mid-size Pro Performance model has an output of 204 hp. As for the GTX model which will head the range, it claims a power of 300 hp thanks to its two engines, one per axle, making this SUV a four-wheel drive vehicle. All three models accommodate a battery with a capacity of 77 kWh. At best, the ID.5 promises a range of 520 km. It will take 40 km less for the GTX version of 300 hp which carries 200 kilos more than the versions with propulsion architecture. This will not prevent it from announcing superior performance: 100 km / h is reached in 6.3 seconds and the top speed is increased to 180 km / h.
The cabin identical to that of the ID.4 may receive some differences in treatment in terms of the combinations of materials and finishes. The ID.5 will be the first new generation vehicle to showcase generation 3.0 of electronic systems that allow remote software updates.
In terms of recharging, the ID.5 can accept up to 135 kW of direct current power. In this case, it will be possible to recover 390 km of autonomy in 30 minutes, 320 km in the case of the GTX. Like the ID.3 and ID.4, the third vehicle in the ID family will be built at the Zwickau plant.