Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Mercedes-Benz reveals first EV from new EQ model range
Lister is back with 200 mph Jaguar F-Pace
Ford talks Team Edison strategy and new Mustang-inspired EV
What’s your automotive news?
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400
As the world continues to go electric, Mercedes-Benz has finally responded with their first mass-market, production-bound EV as part of their new “EQ” line. The first in what will soon be a full line of EVs is, quite predictably, an SUV. It’s called the EQC 400 and it’ll hit American roads in 2020.
Mercedes-Benz loves their cryptic names almost as much as BMW does and I love trying to decrypt them, so here’s what I could find. From the name we can obviously tell it’s part of the EQ line so that can only mean it’s all-electric, it has a ‘C’ because it’s just an okay student, and has ‘400’ in the name because it has four hundred… and two horsepower. #journalism
The EQC is more or less GLC-sized (mid-sized) so there will certainly be other EQ SUVs that are bigger and a smaller but this is a good place to start. An 80kWh battery pack powers two electric motors – one on each axle – with 402 horsepower and 564 lb.-ft. of torque with a range up to 279 miles (by the NEDC’s numbers – EPA figures are still pending). That kind of power and range would certainly make it competitive in today’s market. Mercedes-Benz isn’t about the 0-60 party trick like Tesla is though, so it tackles that sprint in a respectable 4.9 seconds.
One thing they do love though is their tech and the EQC 400 has plenty of it. Besides the usual driving modes that determine power use, they’ve also developed an “eco assist” smart coast function that uses speed limit data, sign recognition, and terrain mapping to determine where it can coast to conserve energy. A huge benefit of having an independent motor on each axle is that they can rely more heavily on just the front motor for normal driving and only kick in the second motor as needed. It even has paddles behind the steering wheel that allow drivers to control energy recuperation levels.
The styling inside and out is about what you would expect from a Mercedes. It has a very sleek and aerodynamic shape for an SUV and it doesn’t ditch the grille like other EVs – it even sounds functional. The cabin layout and design would feel familiar for other Benz owners but it gets distinct accent lighting and some rose gold trim pieces.
It’s a promising first showing for Mercedes-Benz’s EQ line in a year with lots of promising first showings. Those that want a Tesla will probably always want a Tesla so the EQC 400 will most likely need to worry about rivals closer to home more than anything. Jaguar just launched the iPace, BMW has the iX3 on the way, and Audi is coming out with an e-tron SUV soon as well. This growing market is about to have its first big turf war.
[Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autoweek]
Here’s a name you probably haven’t heard in a while. Lister, the British sports car manufacturer with a history of motorsports and building faster Jaguars, is back with a faster Jaguar. But it’s not a glorious Lister Storm revival or anything that could signal a return to racing. It’s exactly what we needed more of in this world – an SUV that can go 200 mph.
Lister is coming back from the dead with what was probably the best choice given the way the market’s trending lately. They’re building an F-Pace SUV that’s capable of true supercar numbers and the ordering books are now open. Coming soon to a Schmee150 vlog near you is the Lister LFP, an SUV that looks to claim the title of the world’s fastest.
For those who don’t think the 550-hp F-Pace SVR is crazy enough, the Lister LFP borrows the same supercharged V8 but squeezes 670 horsepower out of it. With that power and presumably the same AWD system and eight-speed automatic as the SVR, they claim a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph. As of now, plenty of
stupid super SUVs can reach 180 or even 190 mph, but nothing has hit that magic 200 mph yet.
It has a little more than just a power bump though. Lister gave it a custom aero kit which is primarily made from carbon fiber (they haven’t said how much weight that saves) and the mostly stock interior gets custom trim pieces and new upholstery over the standard SVR seats. It also rides on some attractive new wheels but that’s about all there is to report on at the moment.
If you want in, pricing starts at £140,000 (~$180,100).
[Source: Lister via Autoblog]
Ford Teases Upcoming EV
Because we haven’t had enough SUV and EV news this week, have another. It’s been reported that Ford was launching a “Team Edison” to develop a line of all-new EVs and that they’d have one coming soon. This week, they released a teaser image along with an article on Medium by Darren Palmer, Ford Team Edison Global Product Development Director.
The article gives some insight into Ford’s new EV strategy and the challenges that Team Edison are up against. It reminds us of Ford’s $11 billion investment to bring 16 fully electric vehicles to the market by 2022 and confirms that they’ve basically been given free reign to operate differently than other Ford departments.
Darren also admits he’s a Mustang guy and is also tasked with developing the next-generation Mustang, which is significant when you look at the image. It has the hips and the tail lights from the Mustang, but it’s obviously taller. I was joking a few months ago when I said the Mustang would become a crossover, but it actually looks like that’s about to happen. Ford says this will be a Mustang-inspired all-electric utility with a targeted range of 300 miles per charge. A Mustang hybrid has already been confirmed for the roadmap so something like this ending up in production is extremely likely.
There’s no word on when we’ll see whatever is in that image, but probably soon given the pace at which the EV market is growing.
[Source: Ford, Medium]
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
If you want even more truck goodness this week, this is one that’s actually worth reading about. Ross talks about a new Colorado ZR2 variant in a dedicated post. Check it out here if you haven’t yet.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]