Ezra Dyer: Make EVs Weirder


From the November 2022 challenge of Automobile and Driver.

The Ford Eluminator idea truck ruined me. Ever since Ford introduced its electrical crate motor, I have been daydreaming about placing one (or two) in a ’90s Bronco. However then I received to drive Ford’s personal 1978 F-100 retro-rod out on the road in Charlotte, and it is so good that nothing I may create will ever examine. The Eluminator drives like a Mustang Mach-E GT Efficiency with a cool outdated truck physique draped over its working gear, which is precisely what it’s. It is tight, agile, and very fast, and I may by no means hope to construct something prefer it. However Ford may, and positively ought to, as a result of the Eluminator is flush with an attribute that may be elusive for EVs: character.

ford f100 eluminator concept

If you happen to drive one explicit electrical automobile on a regular basis, you would possibly by no means understand that all of them drive precisely the identical. After I was at our EV of the Yr testing, I started to despair as I switched between the Lucid Air and the Volvo C40 Recharge and realized each drive just like the Tesla Mannequin S Plaid, which drives the identical because the Rivian R1T. Certain, there are variations in suspension and steering and brakes, however pin the accelerator to the ground and what occurs subsequent will differ solely in diploma: clean, fast acceleration. I really like the no-waiting blastoffs afforded by EVs, however the homogeneous habits is an actual bummer. Which signifies that for an EV to differentiate itself, the remainder of the automotive higher be bizarre. Like possibly it is formed like a 44-year-old regular-cab pickup, or takes the type of a BMW iX.

BMW is conducting a kind of A/B check on prospects, providing conventional automobiles that occur to be electrical (the i4) alongside avant-garde lunar modules just like the iX. Give me the freakmobile. Within the i4 M50, you look across the cabin, see a 3-series sedan, after which get unhappy when it does not act like an M3. Within the iX M60, your body of reference is obliterated by crystal-finish switchgear, an electrochromic roof, and a soundtrack scored by Hans Zimmer. Even the physique form defies simple comparability—I believe it is a sneaky wagon that occurs to have 811 pound-feet of torque. Decrease the suspension two inches and it is an M5 Touring from one other dimension.

With regards to electrical automobiles, the stranger the higher. Let’s make them seem like 1978 F-100s. Let’s make them seem like alien craft.

Whereas BMW positions its gas-powered and electrical sedans as totally different fashions, Genesis is daring sufficient to supply internal-combustion and EV variations of the identical dang automotive, the G80. I drove them again to again and anticipated I would choose the EV—with 365 horsepower, it hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, which is 0.6 second faster than the V-6 automotive. Alas, pace is not the whole lot. The Electrified G80 (catchy title alert!) is hushed, refined, and effortlessly fast. However in case you climb in after driving a G80 Sport with the V-6, you are immediately reminded of the sensory involvement you are lacking: listening to the turbos spool because the torque ramps up and the transmission cracks off an upshift, accompanied by a harmonious burr from the exhaust. It is dinosaur expertise, I do know. However in a automotive that is in any other case standard, the engine is the centerpiece of the expertise. The Electrified G80 is a good-looking cipher. It is so shy about its EV nature, I used to be about 5 minutes from unscrewing the rear license plate to search for the cost port earlier than I resorted to the proprietor’s guide and discovered {that a} nook of the grille flips open for charging. Which begs the query: Why does an EV even have something that appears like a grille?

With regards to electrical automobiles, the stranger the higher. Let’s make them seem like 1978 F-100s. Let’s make them seem like alien craft. Give me neon-purple underglow lighting that will get brighter once I stomp the accelerator. Put the steering wheel in the midst of a entrance bench seat on my six-wheel-drive convertible pickup. Let’s have a clear break to the freak facet. Common Motors already introduced again the Hummer. However this can be a job for Saab.

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