At the crossroads
Spring 2023 has arrived, bringing a host of automobile innovations. First, of course, is the extensive electrification of most of the manufacturers’ models.
By Frédéric Millet
The inevitable evolution after hybridization has hit not only top-of-the-range SUVs, but – and this is a first – sports SUVs. Lotus was the first to jump into the arena with a 100% electric model, with Porsche soon to unveil its own. For die-hard fans of sporty combustion engines, this spring is also synonymous with nostalgia with the release of the most radical Alpine yet, the A 110 R, and a return to the source with the Jaguar F-Type and its special anniversary series that celebrates the 75th birthday of the British manufacturer. The combustion-powered vehicle is not dead yet…
Le modèle Eletre, le puissant SUV électrique du constructeur Lotus.
Volvo EX90, nouveau SUV électrique 7 places, équipé du système Lidar pour toujours plus de sécurité.
Le nouveau Mercedes EQE SUV reprend la base technique et le look de la berline EQE, en version surélevée tout-chemin.
L’électromobilité version Audi avec son modèle Q 8 E-Tron doté d'une toute nouvelle calandre Singleframe rétro-éclairée.
FOUR ELECTRIC SUVS
Pioneer of the electric sports SUV
The British manufacturer, now Chinese owned, has always championed the light touch, as the marque’s founder, Colin Chapman, aptly underlined with his famous slogan “Light is right”. The adage risks being undermined with the release of the Eletre, an electric Hyper SUV measuring 5.10 metres in length and weighing in at almost 2 tonnes, despite the use of light materials such as carbon and aluminium. This avant-garde model nonetheless retains its racing car DNA, with the R model generating extraordinary power that reaches 900 hp (675 kW) thanks to its twin electric motors, which deliver a torque so high that it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.95 seconds! The Eletre models are less powerful but more autonomous (with a maximum range of 600 km WLTP), and start at €97,890, with the Eletre S starting at €123,090.
VOLVO EX 90
Dawn of a new era
The Swedish marque, which has been bought by Chinese automaker Geely, has begun the new era by launching a new fully electric model every year. Following the XC 40 and C 40, it’s the turn of the EX 90 to replace the XC 90, the manufacturer’s flagship 5-metre 7-seater. This will be the first Volvo vehicle truly defined by its software system, at the heart of a larger ecosystem that lets it connect to your home and other devices. The twin engine, all-wheel drive SUV is powered by a 111 kWh battery that generates a maximum of 380 kW (517 hp), delivering 910 Nm of torque in the performance version. Featuring an all-new chassis, the Volvo EX 90 has a range of up to 600 km (WLTP). It is available in France from €107,900.
MERCEDES EQE SUV
More compact version of the EQS
The marque with the star logo is unstoppable with the release of its latest arrival, the EQE SUV, its seventh 100% electric model. As the name suggests, this is the SUV version of the EQE, the German manufacturer’s electric saloon model. It can also be described as a more compact version of the EQS SUV because it measures 4.88 metres, compared with 5.12 metres for its big brother. The design, which recalls an MPV, is distinct from the EQS because of its different optics, but it comes in a series of four versions starting at €93,150 for the 350 +, going up to €133,600 for the AMG 43 4 Matic, with a range from 420 to 600 km (WLTP). All vehicles come with a single 90.6 kWh battery.
AUDI Q 8 E-Tron
Change of name
In 2018, the Audi E-Tron marked Audi’s debut in the electric vehicle market. Since then the model has become a benchmark in the luxury electric SUV segment, and has been renamed the Audi Q8 E-Tron, signalling its lineage and indicating that this is THE top-of-the-range model from the German brand. This new SUV gets a facelift with styling modifications notably to the front of the vehicle. Its dimensions (492 cm in length, 163 cm in height) means it offers maximum space and comfort, as well as enhanced aerodynamics. The battery also has an increased capacity (106 kWh). As for autonomy, it has risen to 582 km for the SUV version and to 600 km for the Sportback version (WLTP cycle). Finally, the production process is carbon neutral. From €86,700.
L'Alpine A110 R pour se faire plaisir sur route mais aussi sur piste.
La Jaguar F-Type 75, l'ultime F-Type à moteur thermique.
TWO PETROL-POWERED SPORTS CARS
ALPINE A 110 R
The iconic radical coupé
The legendary French manufacturer of the “Berlinette” brought the A 110 back from the ashes at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Five years later, it is offering the most radical, sporty version to date, the A 110 R. This model retains the aluminium undercarriage, guaranteeing a lightweight design, but has shaved a further 34 kg off the weight of the A 110 S for a reduced total mass of 1,082 kg. The design has also benefitted from F1 technology and wind tunnel development. The gooseneck rear wing, new side skirts and diffuser have been optimised to improve aerodynamics, and the 1.8 litre 300 hp turbo engine powers it to a top speed of 285 km/h, and from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. The price starts at €105,000, but if you want an even more exclusive model, Alpine have also issued the Fernando Alonso A 110 R in a limited edition of 32 units, for €148 000.
JAGUAR F-TYPE 75
The last combustion-powered model
The legendary British marque is celebrating 75 years of history by updating its iconic F-TYPE model, Jaguar’s ultimate sports car. Featuring a muscular, timeless silhouette, 20-inch rims as standard, exclusive Giola Green colour with the famous Jaguar “growler” on the grille, which changes from red to black, this special F-TYPE series is available in coupé and convertible versions. Boasting V 8 Jaguar Supercharger engines that generate 450 hp or 575 hp for the R version, or a 300 hp 4-cylinder, this anniversary model offers a subtle balance between breathtaking performance and a pleasurable driving experience thanks to its luxuriously finished interior. This refined version of the F-TYPE will be the last Jaguar powered with a combustion engine.