“Nothing is too beautiful; nothing is too expensive.” So said Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947), the brilliant creator of beautiful and expensive race cars, sports cars, and grand, grand touring machines.

Well, beauty, as it has often been said, is in the eye of the beholder. And with all due respect to Signore Bugatti, let’s assume there is a point where cars are too expensive. Hence this preview of upcoming and noteworthy luxury vehicles — not surprisingly all crossovers and all electrified — will avoid ridiculously priced exotica in favour of the merely high-end.

2024 Acura ZDX

Let’s call this “ZDX 2.0,” a resurrection of the nameplate formerly belonging to a not-so-successful mid-size, slope-roofed crossover that was killed off a decade ago. In this go-round, the upcoming 2024 ZDX is Acura’s first all-electric vehicle, and thus a critical model for the brand’s accelerated path to a 100-per-cent-electrified lineup.

Acura Canada will offer the 2024 ZDX A-Spec in dual-motor AWD configuration. This version of the crossover EV will be priced “above $80,000.” The top-drawer Type S, which Acura says will be its most powerful and best-performing SUV ever , will also feature dual motors and AWD, and will start above $90,000. Orders are being taken now, with first deliveries slated for spring 2024.

With exterior and interior styling by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, the ZDX showcases a low, wide, and sleek silhouette, with a long wheelbase and “high contrast” surfacing — a more conventional yet still pleasing look than its awkwardly styled predecessor. Its EV platform features a flexible battery architecture, a low centre of gravity, and near-50-50 weight distribution. Acura says its engineers have tuned the ZDX’s multi-link front and rear suspension to deliver a “premium” driving experience “with exhilarating performance and class-leading refinement.”

Acura isn’t releasing all the details on the ZDX, but allows that the Type S’s electric powertrain will put out an estimated 500 horsepower. The Type S comes with height-adjustable air suspension, performance-tuned adaptive dampers, and 15.6-inch Brembo front brakes with six-piston yellow calipers. Drivers can alter their driving experience with multiple drive modes, including a Sport mode for maximum zip. Twenty-two-inch machine-finished wheels and wider 275/40ZR22 self-sealing tires are standard.

Recharging on the go through DC fast-charging allows rates up to 190 kW. Acura says the ZDX’s 102-kWh lithium-ion battery pack can recharge over 120 kilometres of range in 10 minutes.

Inside, the ZDX features a combined 22 inches of high-definition digital-screen real estate, with a standard 11-inch information cluster and 11.3-inch centre information screen with an intuitive touchscreen interface and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Google Maps can be displayed on either screen, providing sophisticated route-planning with recommended charging stations to optimize travel time.

2025 Buick Electra

This will not be your grandad’s Electra. You know, that big-ass full-size near-luxury car line that Buick built from 1959 to 1990? This Electra, due to arrive as a 2025 model, is an electric SUV. (In case it’s slipped your mind, Buick no longer sells automobiles in North America, just sport-utes.)

Now, Buick has made precious few pronouncements regarding the version destined for North America. However, late last year, a prototype was viewed being tested on GM property in Michigan. According to the website GM Authority , this prototype “appears to be nearly identical to the Buick EV crossover spied in China. For example, the wheel design is the same, as are the styling elements seen poking through the front fascia camo. The black roof rails and two-tone sideview mirrors are also the same.”

Buick later released details of the Chinese-market Electra E5, a full-size five-seat crossover. This Electra E5 is equipped with the new Virtual Cockpit System, “matched with a spacious interior and premium sophistication. It will also feature the enhanced Super Cruise driver assist technology.”

The Chinese E5 starts with a front-wheel-drive 241-hp model powered by a 68-kWh lithium battery that supports an EV range of up to 545 km on a full charge. Powered by a larger 79.7-kWh battery, the 201-hp long-range model has an EV range of up to 620 km. More appropriate to the Canadian market might be the range-topping Avenir all-wheel-drive model, equipped with a front permanent-magnet asynchronous motor, and an induction motor in the rear, allowing zero-to-100-km/h acceleration in 6.7 seconds.

E5 customers can also choose from multiple driving modes to suit their driving preferences. One-pedal driving supports improved energy recovery, while the Discrete Regen-on-Demand (DROD) shift paddle provides more efficient operation when braking. The Electra E5 features the latest-generation Buick eConnect system, complete with a 30-inch free-form screen, allowing occupants to access audio and video media content through an interactive user interface.

2025 Mercedes-Benz EQG

Last year, we were talking about the Concept EQG , Mercedes-Benz’s “near-production study” of an electric version of its utilitarian G-Wagen , the off-road icon and surprising status symbol. This year, the EQG is being touted as a future “sure thing” on the Internet by numerous auto websites — despite the fact Mercedes has yet to confirm a production run.

In the meantime, let’s revisit the Concept: visually, it combines the unmistakable look of the military-derived G-Class with selected design elements typical of Mercedes all-electric models, such as contrasting highlights. The superior 4×4 qualities of the G-Wagen, which have never been in doubt, will, says the company, “not only find their way into the age of electric mobility, but will be developed even further in some areas.”

Externally, the study adopts the G-Class’s squared-off silhouette. The EQG’s front view adopts the typical round headlights. Instead of a grille, as on the conventionally powered versions, the EV features a continuous black radiator grille with the star illuminated. Around it, the animated pattern of “round squares” (or ‘squircle’ pattern) in the familiar blue of the EQ models creates a visual link.

Now, according to Car and Driver , the 2025 Mercedes EQG “is expected to have four electric motors, one per wheel, and will integrate its batteries into an old-school, robust ladder frame.” Furthermore, “If the concept is any indication, the EQG will also come with a shiftable two-speed gearbox for travelling far off the beaten path. The EQG will use a similar chassis setup to the gas G-Class, with a sophisticated independent front suspension, which should help with on-road driving.”

With the EQS sedan currently running between $136,000 and $195,000, depending on model, it wouldn’t be a stretch to estimate a production EQG’s price to range between $180,000 and $230,000.

2025 Porsche Macan EV

At least Porsche has confirmed there will be an all-electric Macan crossover hitting the showrooms sometime in 2024. Porsche Newsroom says the new model is currently in the late stages of testing, with development for this new model focusing on efficiency, performance, and longevity . Before it goes on sale, however, it will have completed more than three million test kilometres worldwide in varying conditions.

With temperature regulation and aerodynamics being vital to efficiency, it is expected the EV Macan will have a slightly different appearance than its gas-powered siblings, with Porsche stating the development goal for the EV is to be the sportiest model in the segment. The Macan EV will join the Taycan sport sedan as Porsche’s contribution to the electric-vehicle market. In addition, the Cayenne and Panamera have been offered as hybrids since 2010, and plug-in hybrids since 2014.

The company hasn’t released many details regarding the Macan EV’s powertrain. Car and Driver says the crossover will ride on a new electric platform that will also underpin the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron . And Porsche has said it will have “significantly more” range than the Taycan’s 365 kilometres, and even borrow some technology from it, including the 800-volt architecture.

According to Motor Trend , which has driven a Macan EV “mule,” the 2025 production version for the U.S. market will be available in at least three trims: base, Macan S, and Macan Turbo. “The S and Turbo models will be AWD-only.   There are three motors used for the new Macan,” writes the magazine.

“All three of the AWD trims use the same front motor, the Macan and Macan S use the same rear motor, and the Turbo uses a larger, more powerful rear motor. Gone is the Taycan’s two-speed transmission on the rear motor. With the new motors, there’s so much torque available at any given speed that one gear works just fine.”

No pricing yet, but the EV will probably be a top end trim, meaning an MSRP north of the current Macan GTS’s $100K starting sticker.

2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ

Call it penance for the egregiously overpowered Escalade V — “the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV.” Cadillac’s first-ever all-electric Escalade IQ will drop in 2024 as “a reimagination of the luxury full-size SUV experience, brimming with iconic design, the highest level of craftsmanship and the latest automotive technology.”

General Motors’ 121-year-old premium brand is backing up the hyperbole for the IQ with these performance claims:

  • up to 724 kilometres of range;
  • up to 750 horsepower (with driver-selectable Velocity Max);
  • up to 785 lb-ft of torque (with driver-selectable Velocity Max);
  • zero-to-97-km/h times of less than five seconds (with driver-selectable Velocity Max); and
  • up to 8,000 pounds of towing capability

“Velocity Max” is the Cadillac version of the Hummer EV’s Watts To Freedom launch control (also known as “WTF” mode), which provides extra juice from the battery pack to imbue the big sport-ute with sports car-like acceleration — not surprising, since both the IQ and Hummer EV are built on GM’s innovative Ultium Platform, a modular EV propulsion architecture. Under less extreme circumstances, the IQ’s two electric motors deliver 680 hp and 615 pound-feet of torque.

Cadillac says the 24-module Ultium battery produces more than 200 kWh of available energy. It also employs a flexible, high-voltage architecture that enables 800-volt DC fast-charging, the quickest form of charging currently available, providing up to 160 km of range in 10 minutes of charge time.

The 2025 Escalade IQ features independent front and rear suspension, with power transferred to 24-inch wheels and 35-inch tires via front and rear drive motors that work in conjunction as an eAWD system. A suite of fully integrated advanced technologies including Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and adaptive air ride suspension will isolate passengers from rutted road surfaces while also providing precise steering and feel.

The air suspension enables the IQ to be lowered up to 50 mm and raised 25 mm, while additional features such as the standard Four-Wheel Steer, available Cadillac Arrival Mode and Low Ride Mode enhance the big rig’s capability.

Four-Wheel Steer reduces the turning diameter by some two metres to only 12 meters at lower speeds, for greater manoeuvrability in parking lots and a tighter overall turning radius. The feature — also borrowed from the Hummer EV — allows the IQ to move diagonally, making it easier when pulling into or out of tight spaces.

Inside, the Escalade IQ features a curved pillar-to-pillar 55-inch diagonal LED display, available Super Cruise driver assistance technology, vehicle-to-home bi-directional charging technology, and numerous luxury appointments.

Availability is slated for late 2024. Pricing has not been announced, but something in the neighbourhood of $175,000 might be a good starting point.

2023-12-04T14:59:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd