From the November 2022 issue of Vehicle and Driver.
The Ford Eluminator concept truck ruined me. Ever since Ford announced its electric barrel engine, I’ve dreamed of ordering a ’90s Bronco (or two). But then I had to drive Ford’s own 1978 retro-rod F-100 on the road. town in Charlotte, and it’s so good that nothing I can create will ever compare. Eluminator promotes like performance Mustang Mach-E GT with a cool old truck body covering its running parts, that’s exactly what it is. It’s tight, nimble, and incredibly fast, and I could never hope to build anything like it. But Ford can, and certainly should, because the Eluminator has an attribute that can be elusive for electric vehicles: personality.
If you drive a particular electric vehicle all the time, you may never realize that they all drive exactly the same. When I’m in electric car of the year During testing, I started to get frustrated when I switched between the Lucid Air and the Volvo C40 Recharge and realized they both drove like a Tesla Model S Plaid, drove like a Rivian R1T. Sure, there are changes in suspension, steering and brakes, but pin the accelerator to the floor and what happens next will only vary in degree: smooth, quick acceleration. I love the no-waiting explosions offered by the tram, but the homogenous behavior is a real loser. That means for an EV to distinguish itself, the rest of the car is better off having to be weird. Like maybe it’s shaped like a 44-year-old regular taxi pickup, or in the shape of a BMW iX.
BMW is conducting a type of customer A/B test, offering traditional electric vehicles (i4) alongside pioneering lunar modules like the iX. Give me the freakmobile. In the i4 M50, you look around the cabin, see a 3-series sedan, and then get upset when it doesn’t perform like an M3. In the iX M60, your frame of reference is blurred by the crystal-finished switchgear, electrochemical canopy, and soundtrack scored by Hans Zimmer. Even body shape isn’t easy to compare — I think it’s a sneaky wagon with 811 pound-feet of torque. Lower the suspension two inches and it’s an M5 Touring from another dimension.
While BMW positions its petrol and electric sedans as different models, Genesis is bold enough to offer internal combustion and electric versions of the same unfinished car, the G80. I drove back and expected I’d prefer the EV—with 365 horsepower, it hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the V-6. Alas, speed isn’t everything. Electrified G80 (hot name alert!) Easily hidden, tweaked, and fast. But if you climb up after driving a G80 Sport with a V-6, you’ll immediately remember the involvement of the senses you’ve been lacking: hearing the turbo as the torque increases and The gearbox creaks when shifting, accompanied by a harmonious ridge from the exhaust. It’s dinosaur technology, I know. But in another conventional car, the engine is at the heart of the experience. Electrified G80 is a handsome cipher. Shame on its EV nature, it took me about five minutes from opening the rear license plate to find the charging port before I used the owner’s manual and learned that one corner of the grille opened up. for charging. That begs the question: Why would an EV even have anything that looks like a grille?
When it comes to electric cars, the weirder the better. Make them look like 1978 F-100s. Make them look like flying saucers. Gives me a brighter neon purple glow when I stomp on the gas. Place the steering wheel in the center of the front bench seat on my six-wheel drive convertible. Let’s have a clear break for the weird side. General Motors brought the Hummer back. But this is a job for Saab.
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