Full charge ahead

Full charge ahead

2022 Bangkok International Motor Show has everything the petrol-heads want and all the tech-heads need

(Photo: Jedd Sreshthaputr)
(Photo: Jedd Sreshthaputr)

The car-buying season is back with the staging of this year's Bangkok International Motor Show reflecting the latest trends in the Thai automobile market.

A total of 27 automobile and eight motorcycle companies are participating in this year's event, with 30 new and updated models being introduced.

However, the most noticeable trend at the show, running at IMPACT Challenger until April 3, is the emergence of electric vehicles (EVs), with more than 20 models being exhibited.

The government recently slashed import duties and excise tax on imported EVs in addition to offering subsidies of 70,000-150,000 baht depending on battery size and VAT reduction, resulting in significant price drops.

For example, the China-imported ORA Good Cat 400 TECH, formerly priced at 989,000, is now sold for 828,500 baht. The MG EV, formerly priced at 998,000 baht, now retails at 761,000 baht.

Show organiser Dr Prachin Eamlumnow said the automobile market has shown signs of recovery, after two years of decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"According to the government, automobile and motorcycle production in Thailand will grow compared to last year," he said.

"At the same time, the automotive industry is preparing for a major technological transition from internal combustion engine technology to electric technology. And there is crucial support from the government in terms of production for domestic use and for export."

Prachin added that the Bangkok International Motor Show also contributes to the promotion of EVs, with a large number of electric cars and motorcycles on display, including a special zone to showcase future EV technologies.

The EV Smart City Zone at the show features innovative electric vehicles and state-of-the-art electronic equipment, due to increasing consumer interest in electric vehicle technology. Here, eight BEV (battery-powered electric vehicles) and PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) models are being displayed by BMW, Great Wall Motor, MG, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche and Volvo.

As much as 30 billion baht is expected to be spent during the auto sales extravaganza, which is one of the leading such events in Southeast Asia.

Electric bright sparks

BMW i4.

BMW i4 M50

PRICE: 4,999,000 baht
 POWER/TORQUE: 544hp/795Nm
TOP SPEED: 225kph
0-100kph: 3.9secs
RANGE: 521km
BATTERY: 83.9kWh

Based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the i4 M50 features two electric motors with a combined power output of 544hp and a range of 521km. The rear-wheel-drive version (same pricing) with one electric motor has a longer range of 590km.

The energy content of the high-voltage battery is 83.9kWh. DC charging is possible at up to 205kW, taking approximately 31 minutes for 10 to 80% charging.

The M50 has up to 795Nm of torque in Sport Boost mode, allowing it to dash from 0-100kph in 3.9secs, while the rear-wheel-drive has a peak torque of 430Nm, giving it a 0-100kph time of 5.7secs.

Lexus UX 300e.

Lexus UX 300e

PRICE: 3,490,000 baht
POWER/TORQUE: 201hp/300Nm
TOP SPEED: 160kph
0-100kph: 7.5secs
RANGE: 360km
BATTERY: 54.3kWh

The UX 300e is powered by an electric motor providing a maximum output of 150kW, or 201hp. Combined with a lithium-ion battery, the car achieves acceleration of 0-100kph in 7.5secs and the battery, with a high capacity of 54.3kWh, also enables the car to achieve a maximum running distance of 360km on a single charge.

Toyota says that the car's body panels utilise aluminium, resulting in a lightweight vehicle with a low centre of gravity and this brings enhanced stability and firm handling.

Lexus offers a 10-year unlimited mileage warranty for the hybrid battery together with a free Lexus Wall Charger installation service.



PRICE: 1,023,000 baht
POWER/TORQUE: 177hp/280Nm
TOP SPEED: 175kph
0-100kph: 7.5secs
RANGE: 320km
BATTERY: 50.3kWh

The 2022 ZS EV change gets a grill-less front-end design as well as a new 177hp motor and larger 50.3kWh battery with a range of 320km.

Apart from increased equipment and safety technologies, the 2022 model also comes with a V2L (Vehicle to Load) feature which functions as a power source to charge other electric devices with a maximum load of 2,200W.

Charging takes 30mins from 30 to 80% at a quick charge station and 7 hours and 15 minutes from 0 to 100% via a home wall box.

MINI Electric Collection Edition.

MINI Electric Collection Edition

PRICE: 2,459,000 baht
POWER/TORQUE: 184hp/270Nm
TOP SPEED: 150kph
0-100kph: 7.3secs
RANGE: 234km

Only 40 units of the three-door MINI Electric Collection Edition are available, with each featuring a multi-tone roof with flowing gradient hues made possible by an innovative new wet-on-wet painting process at the British MINI plant in Oxford. The lighter Pearly Aqua hue is first applied to the roof -- followed by the darker San Marino Blue at the front of the roof and Jet Black on the rear.

The electric motor produces 184hp and 270Nm torque for a 0-100kph sprint in 7.3secs.

Apart from advanced assistance and safety features, other highlights include MINI Visual Boost Radio, aluminium MINI Yours interior surface and 12 Harman Kardon speakers.

ORA Good Cat GT.

ORA Good Cat GT

POWER/TORQUE: 140hp/210Nm
TOP SPEED: 160kph
0-100kph: 6.9secs
RANGE: 480km
BATTERY: 59.1kWh

The ORA Good Cat GT is the sporty version of this cute Chinese EV, with a maximum power of 140hp and maximum torque of 210Nm. Sales have yet to commence but should start later this year.

The Good Cat GT boasts an eye-catching sporty design featuring a carbon fibre grille at the front and a GT-inscribed spoiler at the rear, along with 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels and red brake callipers.

Detailed in unique red and black, the interior is equipped with a driver memory seat with a "welcome" system, with a massage system, auto air ventilation system and a hands-free electric tailgate.

Porsche Taycan GTS.

Porsche Taycan GTS

PRICE: 8,890,000 baht
POWER/TORQUE: 598hp/850Nm
TOP SPEED: 250kph
0-100kph: 6.9secs
RANGE: 500km
BATTERY: 93.4kWh

The new Porsche Taycan GTS, making its first Southeast Asian appearance, has a maximum output of 598hp and 850Nm (with launch control engaged), along with a top speed of 250kph. It is the first Taycan model to break the 500km range mark.

The new Sports Design Package brings a distinctive trim for the front, rear and side skirts, and the trim of the daytime running light elements in the LED main headlights are finished in matte black with 3D track graphics.

The Taycan GTS comes with an updated Porsche Active Suspension Management for improved grip and greater comfort. This is coupled to an optional rear-wheel-steering system, specifically re-tuned for more focused handling.

Toyota bZ4X.

Toyota bZ4X

POWER/TORQUE: 204hp/265Nm
TOP SPEED: 160kph
0-100kph: 8.4secs
RANGE: 500km
BATTERY: 71.4kWh

The Toyota bZ4X mid-size electric SUV is the first model from Toyota's newly-developed "beyond zero" electric brand. It is being displayed to showcase Toyota's EV technology and is not for sale.

It comes with a 71.4kWh battery, with a targeted range of up to 500km for the front-wheel-drive version powered by a 200hp motor.

The bZ4X is the first new Toyota model to feature the latest Toyota Safety Sense package. This system has been improved by expanding the detection range of the millimetre wave radar and monocular camera.

Volvo C40 Pure Electric.

Volvo C40 Pure Electric

PRICE: 2,750,000 baht
POWER/TORQUE: 408hp/660Nm
TOP SPEED: 180kph
0-100kph: 4.7secs
RANGE: 420km
BATTERY: 70.8kWh

The C40 features two electric motors driving all four wheels, delivering an output of 408hp and 660Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100kph is claimed at 4.7secs while the top speed is limited at 180kph.

Volvo claims a range of 420km per single charge for the 70.8kWh battery and quick charging from 0-80% takes 37 minutes.

The C40 features a leather-free interior and one-pedal drive as well as built-in Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play.

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