If you wanted to sum up the 2021 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in a single word, that word would be “electrifying.” Or maybe an even better choice would be “electrified.”
That’s because so many of the vehicles unveiled at China’s most prestigious auto show — a rare in-person major event during the COVID-19 pandemic — are EVs of all shapes and sizes, with a heavy emphasis on utility vehicles and luxury sedans. And there will doubtless be many more EVs to come soon as the auto industry continues its migration away from internal combustion engines.
The following are five significant EVs from the show.
Audi A6 e-tron
Germany-based automaker Audi is expanded its EV lineup with the A6 e-tron, which features a range of 700 kilometres and the ability to reach 100 km/h from rest in four-seconds flat. Audi will begin production of its dazzling new four-door EV luxury sedan in late 2022. The new design rides on what Audi refers to as its Premium Platform Electric technology. Fat tires, 22-inch wheels and a low ride height give this new EV a distinctive appearance.
Toyota bZ4X Concept
The automaker has taken the wraps off its first fully electric tall wagon, the Toyota bZ4X Concept, which the company said is the first in a series of EVs carrying the bZ brand (short for “below zero.”) The automaker said it will offer, globally, some 70 electrified models by 2025, including hybrid and EV pickup trucks and 15 full-on EVs. Although the bZ4X was developed in conjunction with Subaru, the body bears a striking resemblance to similar to some vehicles from Toyota’s Lexus division. The bZ4X will be manufactured in China and go on sale globally in the middle of next year.
Genesis Electrified G80
The luxury division of Hyundai, Genesis is making its first foray into the EV world with the beautifully proportioned, though somewhat awkwardly named, Genesis Electrified G80 luxury sedan. Genesis estimates a driving range of more than 500 kms with its new offering, the design of which is described by the automaker as “athletic elegance.” A rapid system allows the battery to charge to 80 per cent from 10 per cent in 22 minutes. A high-tech control system allows the Genesis Electrified G80 to switch between all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel drive for efficiency.
Set to go on sale in the fall, the Mazda MX-30 is the automaker’s initial foray into battery-electric vehicles, but it most certainly will not be its last. Mazda is planning an entire series of powertrains, including a hybrid that uses a rotary-engine generator (think RX-8), and conventional and plug-in hybrids. The MX-30 is compact and has a unique design that combines conventional front doors with small reverse-hinged rear doors to access the back seat.
Lincoln Zephyr Reflection
Lincoln said the Zephyr Reflection is planned solely for China. But if this drop-dead gorgeous luxury sedan tips Lincoln’s hand as to its plans for EVs in North American, then bring them on. The Zephyr Reflection also features technology we can expect to see closer to home, such as the trio of dash screens running the full width of the cabin.