As automakers turn their attention to EVs, drivers are treated to a parade of intriguing designs and impressive capabilities thanks to the best efforts of leading designers and engineers who are finally presenting a wide array of real-world electric options.
Here are the 10 vehicles I’m most excited to drive in the coming year.
Cadillac has scheduled production of its hand-built, $300,000 electric flagship to begin production in December of 2023, which puts a stint behind the wheel at the very edge of possibility. However, it’s not unusual for pre-production models to end up in press fleets a little earlier than retail editions, and any opportunity to sample the strikingly-styled hatchback’s 600-horsepower EV drivetrain and bespoke interior isn’t something to be missed. The Cadillac is put back in the ultra-luxury conversation.
TOYOTA GR COROLLA
At the other end of the spectrum, the Toyota GR Corolla makes a case for yowling, spitting internal-combustion intensity with its turbocharged three-cylinder engine and rally-style all-wheel drive personality. No one was expecting an amped-up version of one of Toyota’s most modest econo-cars.
Kia (and its corporate sibling Hyundai) have been on a major roll when it comes to electric vehicle design. The new year will bring its latest effort, the EV9, into play. Although there aren’t many details available it should borrow the generous electric drivetrain from the smaller EV6, and feature at least 300 miles of range the three-row SUV turned heads in concept form thanks to its smoothed-out take on the existing Kia Telluride’s Lego-brick styling.
CHEVROLET SILVERADO EV
The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to gain a direct competitor next year in the form of the Chevrolet Silverado EV. Featuring the same Ultium electric architecture as the GMC Hummer EV pickup, but slated to cost significantly less than its more luxurious sibling, the Silverado EV looks to surpass its Blue Oval rival with 400 miles of range while also delivering more than 660 horsepower. Unlike the Lightning, the Silverado EV rides on its own battery-specific platform rather than adapting the gas version of the truck’s frame, which could give it an advantage when it comes to ride quality and handling.
Much of the platform remains the same and so do its two main engine options (although both the turbo four and its 5.0 V8 will get a little more power), which means that the muscle car will rely on suspension tweaks and its new, more muted sheet metal to help shape a new personality. The Mustang has been a juggernaut for Ford for so many years, and each refresh brings with it the lingering specter that it might not live up to the generation before it.
Electrifying the Mercedes-Benz G-Class just makes sense. Big and bulky, with plenty of room for batteries, and already priced for a clientele that won’t bat an eye at boosting their lease payment to accommodate an EV model, the upcoming EQG is a slam dunk from a marketing perspective. More interesting for drivers will be how its four-motor setup improves its already considerable off-road capabilities, and what the aftermarket decides to do with a dead-silent go-anywhere machine that features a low-range gearbox.