Page 76 - ElectriCar Magazine
P. 76

Mercedes EQC 400 continued from page 23
and it’ll display a list of options without having to search through the nav.
The 2020 EQC400 uses an 80- kWh, LithiumIon battery, with a 7.7-kilowatt onboard charger. On a Level 2 wall-box charger, the kind you’ll have installed at home, the EQC can replenish its battery in about
10 hours. Step up to 110-kilowatt
DC fast charging and Mercedes estimates achieving an eighty percent charge in just 40 minutes. Given the EQC’s relatively conventional design, you won’t be surprised to learn the charging port is located on the SUV’s passenger side, behind the rear door, just like a conventional fuel tank.
The 80-kWh battery provides ample motivation for the big EQC, with 402 horsepower sent to an asynchronous motor at each axle, giving the SUV all-wheel drive. Off- the-line acceleration is quoted at
4.8 seconds to 60 miles per hour, or about the same as a Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The instant torque delivery is addictive, and one of the most fun aspects of EV driving. The Mercedes delivers a smooth, consistent rush of power. Under light power demands, the EQC largely runs in front-wheel- drive operation, the larger rear motor only kicking in when needed.
A particularly impressive thing about this powertrain is how seriously silent
it is. Yes, Electric Vehicles are quiet
to begin with, but Mercedes went
a step further when developing the EQC and worked to isolate the electric motor’s operational noises as much
as possible. With the radio switched off and under hard acceleration
you can hear a faint whirr, but that’s
all. Plenty of insulation keeps road and wind noise out of the cabin,
too, making for one of the quietest motoring experiences available today.
Electric powertrain aside, the EQC moves down the road like any other Mercedes SUV. The chassis tuning errs on the side of comfort over sharp handling, even with the car set to
its Sport drive mode, but the EQC won’t fall apart while moving it into
a bend. The low center of gravity helps the crossover feel planted and stable and the relatively light steering offers enough feedback through the wheel to keep you aware of what’s happeningatroadlevel. TheEQC offers a more compliant ride than a Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model X. It drives exactly the way it should.
Acura MDX
      MSRP $59,500
3.0L, 47VLI, 301HPc, MPGe 26/27, 28e, Wt 4,471
The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a rare exception, as it lives up to its potential, at least upon our first exposure. Part of the reason likely is the years of intense development behind its key hybrid components. Core items from the NSX supercar have been transplanted into what is the brand’s best-selling vehicle. The technology that makes the NSX so ferocious in the corners and so drama-free in general adds confidence, a sharper driving experience, and more miles per gallon to this high-riding, seven-passenger fam- ily wagon.
The hybrid system also does away with a mechanical connection between the engine and the rear axle. Instead, a Twin Motor Unit (TMU) packages two 36-hp motors together at the rear.
If you’re looking for a 3-row luxury-crossover SUV with a reputation for reliability, good resale value, premium amenities and strong safety/driver-assist features -- all at a price that undercuts European brands, the MDX checks all the boxes. The hybrid MDX variant boasts higher fuel efficiency and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.
AcuraRLX MSRP$62,900
3.5L, 47VLI, 377Hpc, MPGe 28/29, 28e, Wt 3,977
When the subject of this story, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD—or “SH SH-AWD” for short—was announced, many thought that it would share its hybrid guts with the NSX, only in reverse. That isn’t the case, except perhaps philosophically. IntheRLXSHSH-AWD,theTMUisfixed to a rubber-isolated subframe at the rear axle and is what enables the RLX hybrid to offer four-wheel drive via two iden- tical 36-hp electric motors that are coupled together by a planetary gearset and produce 54 lb-ft of torque. Below 78 mph, each motor can supply torque to its assigned wheel
independently via yaw-inducing torque vectoring, or the two can work in concert to contribute thrust or braking.
The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual (think of it as an automatic), also with shift paddles. The whole system develops 377 horsepower with a healthy push available at low and not-so-low speeds. The regenerative braking also simulates torque vectoring (where the outside wheels take a corner faster than the inside wheels). To the driver, it all feels seamless.
Acura NSX MSRP $159,300
3.0L, 48VLI, 373Hpc, MPGe 21/22, 28e, Wt 3,878;
It’s the first of its kind. NSX is the first supercar powered by a bespoke Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, 573- hp power unit that is a game-changer. NSX Engine power and direct electric torque combine for a new kind of dynamic per- formance, not just in acceleration, but in steering and braking too. This is interwoven dynamics in the purest sense: exhilarat- ing performance powered by precision.
Acura has made some minor tuning changes to the steering, suspension, and hybrid system but unless you drive it back- to-back with the 2017 or 2018 models, you probably won’t
notice a major difference. The biggest change comes in the form of Continental SportContact tires - 245/35R19 in the front and 305/30R20 in the rear - which help make the car two seconds per lap faster on the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
And now, for 2020, Acura is updating the NSX. It’s not all-new.
There are software changes to make the NSX more playful and controllable and also chassis and tire changes that have made it two seconds quicker, which might be the furthest track from Marysville, Ohio, where the NSX is built.
Audi A6 MSRP $58,900
3.0L, 48VLI, 335HPc, MPGe 22/29, 31e, Wt 4,266
It might take a second look to notice, but the Audi A6 midsize sedan is all-new. While the updates to its exterior styling are subtle, there’s a lot that’s new under its skin from its engine to its new list of technology features. However, are all of the updates worth its hefty new price tag? Let’s see how the all-new 2020 A6 compares to the outgoing 2018 model.
The A6 is 0.2 inches longer, and it rides on a half-inch- longer wheelbase. Moreover, it’s a half-inch wider than the outgoing model, with a roof that’s 0.4 inches lower but
doesn’t feel that way from inside the car. Trunk and interior volumes are roughly the same as before, but overall vehicle weighthasincreasedby250Lbsto4,266pounds.Allinall,the2020AudiA6,basedonaversionofthesamerigidplatform thatunderpinsitslargerA8sibling. TheA6alsoboastsmildhybridelectricvehicletechnologywithatrunk-mounted LithiumIon battery that powers an integrated starter/generator to smoothen the starts of the automatic start/stop function. The drive system disconnects drive to the rear wheels when it’s not needed, for added fuel economy.
               ElectriCar Magazine

   74   75   76   77   78