Three for 2022: future cars about to make their mark
Future cars set to make their mark in 2022 include the Mercedes-AMG SL, Volkswagen ID.5, and Toyota Bz4x – join us for a spin
As Toyota takes its first big step into the electric arena, Volkswagen is well underway with the third of an ever-expanding range of ID models. Mercedes, on the other hand, has chosen to stick with tried and tested technology for its new SL model. These future cars to watch will be on the road from early 2022.
Old school cool frequently bumps up against the harsh realities of modern motoring, but the new Mercedes-AMG SL is brooking no compromise with the changes that are swiftly transforming the motor industry. The SL (‘Sport-Leicht’, light sports) model has been one of the company’s halo models for well over half a century, representing the archetypal open-topped sports car that’s more attuned to gentle grand touring than out-and-out performance. All that changes for 2022, as responsibility for the new SL is handed over to the Mercedes-AMG performance division.
Luxury convertibles are getting thinner on the ground, so the all-new SL (the seventh generation) is an attempt to offer just about everything in one package, including performance, luxury, and practicality. The combination of 2+2 layout and canvas hood gives the new SL more than a passing physical resemblance to the evergreen Porsche 911 Convertible, although the mechanical packaging is very different. At launch, the SL only comes with a thumping great V8 under its long bonnet – a hybrid is in the works.
VW is ramping up its range of pure EVs. After the ID.3 and ID.4 comes, unsurprisingly, the ID.5. Closely related to the ID.4, the company’s newest EV is intended to be slightly sleeker and more sporting, adopting the now familiar ‘fastback SUV’ body style.
The maximum range is pitched at a commendable 323 miles, which should be more than enough to sate any lingering anxiety. There’s also a GTX performance variant in the works, which adds an extra motor for speedier take-offs.
For a company that did the lion’s share of making hybrids a mainstream technology, Toyota has mysteriously lagged behind in the development of pure electric vehicles. That’s partly due to the company’s ongoing focus on hydrogen-fuelled cars, where it hopes to be a pioneer, just like it was with the Prius. For the time being, battery electric cars look set to dominate the next decade or so, so Toyota is playing catch up.
The Toyota Bz4x is the first model in the company’s new ‘beyond Zero’ sub-brand. With an emphasis on practicality and function, the Bz4x is a mid-size SUV for five, with exterior design that blends chunky plastic elements with the company’s signature fluidity. Inside, it’s rather more sophisticated, with a large flatscreen paired with a compact but conventionally placed instrument panel. Hopefully, Toyota’s famous reliability will be baked in, making this one of the most sensible and enduring EVs to date.