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Luxury EVs

Luxury EVs


Redefining the ultimate in refinement and performance



Electric vehicles (EV) have grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years as more and more Filipinos recognize the game-changing performance that these offer.
Compared to any equivalent internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicle, an EV is significantly faster, quieter, easier to maintain and cheaper to charge (although more EV charging stations, the fast ones particularly, are definitely needed). Nowadays, many EVs are cheaper than their ICE counterparts, thanks to incentives under Republic Act 11697 or the “Electric Vehicle Industry Development” and Executive Order No. 10. And nowhere is this trend towards electrification more apparent than in the luxury-car segment.
This is why the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV made its official debut on Monday, sporting a 96-kWh battery pack mated to a single electric motor that produces 288 horsepower and 565 Newton-meters of torque. The EQE SUV has a claimed maximum WLTP range of 628 kilometers. It joins three other Mercedes-Benz EVs launched last year, namely the EQE sedan, as well as the EQA and EQB crossovers.
But Mercedes-Benz is not alone in the luxury EV stakes – rivals from Audi, Porsche and Lexus have been making serious headway into this automotive space. We take a look at some of these swanky cars that produce zero tailpipe emissions and promise unprecedented levels of luxury.
Lexus’ first EV
The Lexus RZ crossover, was introduced locally in May 2023, representing Lexus Manila’s first-ever foray into the luxury EV space. Prices start at P4,348,000 for the RZ 300e and going up to P5,228,000 with the RZ 450e. It slots in between the Lexus NX and RX hybrid crossovers, providing an alternative for Lexus buyers who want ultra-premium mobility without filling up a gas tank.
The RZ comes with a 71.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and uses the e-TNGA platform shared with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra. The RZ 300e gets 201 horsepower and 265 Newton-meters of torque to the front wheels, while the RZ 450e adds a rear electric motor for a combined output of 308 horsepower and 435 Newton-meters of torque. The RZ 450e has a claimed maximum range of 440 kilometers and can do 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. Given that this crossover EV weighs over two tons, such performance is pretty impressive. The Lexus RZ also features an innovative “steer-by-wire” system that removes the physical connection between the steering wheel (or yoke, in the case of the RZ) and the steering rack. The amount of effort you apply to the yoke depends on the driving conditions, but the system allows you to give much less steering angle compared to a traditional wheel.
The RZ represents a rare breed of car for Toyota, which has been less “gung-ho” than other carmakers with embracing full electrification. It nonetheless provides luxury car buyers with the performance and refinement of an EV, but with the engineering integrity that is expected out of a Lexus.
The early bird gets the worm
In contrast to Toyota’s careful trepidation of the EV market, Audi and Porsche have been on full-blast with creating class-leading EVs.
PGA Cars, which is the official importer and distributor of Audi and Porsche in the Philippines, was among the first to introduce EVs into the luxury segment. And given how strongly these cars have been selling, it is now reaping what the others have only just started to sow.
One of PGA’s best-sellers is the Audi Q8 e-Tron crossover EV. Based on the Audi Q8 ICE SUV, this fully-electric model is available with either 335 horsepower and 664 Newton-meters of torque in the Q8 e-Tron 50 or 408 horsepower and 664 Newton-meters of torque in the Q8 e-Tron 55. The former has a claimed maximum range of 491 kilometers on a single charge, while the latter can do up to 582 kilometers. And if you need more speed, there’s the sleek and svelte Porsche Taycan four-door coupe. The standard Taycan packs 402 horsepower and can do 0 to 100 km/h in a brisk 4.8 seconds. True speed freaks get 1,030 horsepower from the top-spec Taycan Turbo GT, which would rearrange your internal organs by doing 0 to 100 km/h in 2.3 seconds. Given that the EV game has provided favorable odds for PGA Cars, expect more from them soon.