Montreal Auto Show | All against Tesla

Benchmark brand (Tesla) against generic manufacturers (Toyota and Subaru) who intend to fight. All were arbitrated by the young shooter (VinFast).


Subaru: setting the current

Building on its technical partnership with Toyota, Subaru is focusing on the all-electric segment with the Solterra. Developed in parallel with the Toyota bZ4X, this model has the distinction of offering four-wheel drive as standard. Note that Toyota offers a trailer version of the same model. Another significant difference is that Subaru’s range nomenclature is wider than Toyota’s. The latter limits the all-wheel drive bZ4X to the XLS version only.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

Subaru Solterra

Regardless of livery, the Solterra relies on the contribution of two electric motors (one in each drivetrain) powered by a 72.8kWh battery. It promises a range of 360 kilometers and takes just over nine hours to charge at a level 2 terminal.

Offered as a utility vehicle, the Solterra has nearly the same exterior dimensions as the Forester and a certain stance for off-road expeditions.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

Subaru Impreza

Along with the launch of its first electric car, Subaru is using its visit to Montreal to showcase the 2024 Impreza, which will be offered exclusively in a hatchback body (the sedan has been discontinued) and a continuously variable automatic transmission. According to its designers, about 80% of the components of this car have been optimized compared to the previous version. While the chassis is the same, it now claims to be stiffer, while the steering wheel comes from the angry WRX. On top of these upgrades, we add better cabin sound insulation, stronger brakes and a more responsive all-wheel drive that produces fewer decibels with effort.

This new model also marks the return to the catalog of the 2.5 RS, the cult version associated with the first generation Impreza. As the numerical code recalls, this version is powered by a 2.5-liter engine that produces 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. More modest Imprezas inherit the 2L with 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.

Tesla: the reference brand

Fantastic, tyrannical and loud-mouthed, Elon Musk is not only flawed. Some would prefer it to retain its visionary spirit and ability to shake up an industry more than a century old.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY TESLA

Tesla Model Y

Today, the American firm must face a new challenge: to withstand the competition. Until now, Tesla hasn’t worried about this, but some competitors now offer a product catalog that’s almost as extensive (and diverse) as theirs. The Model 3 and Y remain the centerpieces of this brand. Although they retain their debut appearance, these two cars are constantly being improved, especially thanks to remote updates. However, this may not be enough. Despite the performance of its products (above-average autonomy, operating software and network of charging stations), Tesla is struggling to renew its lineup without relying on the constantly delayed releases of the Cybertruck and Roadster. Despite their delays, these are among the most anticipated cars of 2023, according to research released earlier this year by Lease Fetcher.

Toyota: The Prius is still under the hood

Toyota has been updating its lineup at a dizzying pace in recent months. Therefore, the world’s number one car had a hard time choosing when it came to determining the model it intended to bring to the fore in Montreal. The choice fell on the Prius series. This is the fifth generation of this model, which together with Honda (remember the two-seater Insight) unveiled this twin-head mechanism that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric power unit. qualifies as trick In its early days, this technology quickly caught on and is now used by almost all car manufacturers on the planet.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

Toyota Prius

As part of this overhaul, Toyota’s designers are no longer swimming in complete science fiction, like the flying machines of the year 2000 that we imagined in the 1950s. The new Prius is dressed more modern than before and, above all, more consensual. . This should allow Prius to achieve its goal of winning customers beyond the inner circle.

The fairer (read more harmonious) proportions of the Prius unfortunately affected aerodynamics and trunk volume. On the other hand, the longer wheelbase favors legroom here. It also allowed the designers to rethink the driving position, which is now more natural.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY TOYOTA

Toyota Prius Premium

Technically, internal combustion and electric engines produce 60% more power than before. An equally spectacular jump in power can be seen on the side of the electric motor, which is placed on the rear axle. With this, the Prius will now be more efficient on slippery roads. You should know that the only driving mode of the Canadian Prius is four-wheel drive. On the other hand, the Prime version (rechargeable) is still driven by its single front wheels. It benefits from the same technical advances as the non-pluggable version, but promises a more efficient battery (13.6 kWh compared to 8.8 kWh) and more efficient motors. The result, more obvious acceleration, improved electric autonomy (an increase of about twenty kilometers) and a bird’s appetite for hydrocarbons.

VinFast: an opportunity to seize

Tesla’s success has inspired many to embark on an all-electric car adventure. VinFast is one of them.


PHOTO SUBMITTED BY VINFAST

WinFast VF8

A subsidiary of parent company VinGroup, this young Vietnamese shoot is not their first experience on four wheels. Just over two years ago, it technically built around 30,000 cars in a hypermodern factory capable of producing four times more than BMW and General Motors. Located in Hai Phong, these facilities currently produce two large utility vehicles (VF8 and VF9) that are 100% electric. These two vehicles, designed on the basis of unique architecture, were painted on the drawing board of the Italian house Pininfarina.


PHOTO SUBMITTED BY VINFAST

WinFast VF9

Other than size, what are the differences between these two models? The VF8 has two rows of seats compared to three for the VF9. The latter has a larger battery (87.7 kWh compared to 82 kWh for the VF8) and also promises greater autonomy. In addition to technical considerations, one of the main characteristics of this brand is its commercial approach when it comes to batteries. It is guaranteed for 10 years or 200,000 kilometers and will be replaced if its original performance drops by 30%. There is nothing unusual in that the consumer can also rent the battery on a monthly basis, as they do with a water heater from Hydro-Quebec. A subscription that can facilitate resale as it can be transferred to a new buyer.

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