Electric cars have come a long way since the days of the humble milk float that used to potter around neighbourhoods early in the morning. Now some of the fastest cars on the planet are electric - hypercars such as the forthcoming Lotus Evija, the Pininfarina Battista and anything by Rimac.
There’s even an all-electric alternative to Formula 1 and it’s called, unsurprisingly, Formula E. Watch rounds 13 and 14 at the London E-Prix that takes place in the heart of East London’s Docklands on 30th and 31st July, and as they whizz around the Royal Docks and through the ExCel London Exhibition Centre, you’ll discover fast-paced dicing and action of the sort that makes F1 look like the boring parade that it is.
In honour of these whispering road-rockets, we’ve been looking at some of the most genuinely sportiest and engaging electric cars you can buy. Not the high-end exotic and elitist EV hypercars mentioned earlier, but real-world cars.
These are cars that lay to rest the moans of naysayers that claim electric cars are no fun to drive, do not excite and enthral, and have all the passion and persona of a microwave oven.
The cars can accelerate from rest to 62mph in just 2.8 seconds and reach up to 175mph. Plus there’s a boost zone (just like in console games) and viewers can give their favourite drivers a speed boost too! Find out more at www.fiaformulae.com
Inspired? Want to experience seamless and soundless swift acceleration for yourself? Then check out these current top sports EVs:
Porsche Taycan Turbo S
There are few marques as inherently associated with sporty road cars as Porsche, and the brand also has a bona fide racing heritage to confirm its credibility. So, when Porsche went full electric with the Taycan it was bound to be as close to perfect as is currently possible. It was and then some.
Take the range topper, the oddly named Turbo S (odd because there are no turbos on an electric motor!) and you have a four-seater luxury car with the equivalent of over 750bhp and the ability to shock passengers by sprinting to 62mph in just 2.8 seconds! That’s right, the same time as the Formula E cars! Even the slowest spec in the range is capable of achieving 62mph in just 5.4 seconds. Plus it looks so sci-fi futuristic.
Audi RS E-Tron GT
But if a Porsche is too posey for your liking. Look at the Audi E-Tron GT. It’s essentially the same car underneath and has the additional cache of having been introduced in the Marvels Avengers movie, Endgame, driven by Tony (Iron Man) Stark. So, if it’s good enough for Robert Downey Jr, we can’t complain.
It’s a handsome and solid machine, and if you opt for the RS version, you are in a machine packing 590bhp which can be temporarily boosted to 637bhp meaning it can dispatch the acceleration run in just 3.3 seconds. Low centre of gravity, a wide track and Quattro all-wheel drive, keeps it planted to the road too.
BMW i4 M50
BMW’s electric-exclusive ‘i’ model range now covers an extensive range of small cars, saloons and SUVs. Apart from the iX, most are converted from conventional platforms to be electric, such as the new i4 which is based on the BMW 3 and 4 Series platform. There are few better starting points in the automotive world quite frankly. This segment has been BMW’s sporty saloon staple for generations, harking back to the famed M3 of the 1980s.
Rip out the internal combustion engine and replace it with an electric motor and a battery pack in the floor pan, and in the case of the range-topping i4 M50, you have a car boasting 536bhp. It reaches 62mph in sub-four seconds. But more importantly it has a unique spaceship sound accompanying its speed, and all the handling prowess of a proper BMW M-Sport car. It’s genuinely laugh-out-loud fun.
Kia EV6 GT
Surprised to see Kia on this list? You will be, if you get into the range-topping new GT version and inadvertently stomp your foot on the accelerator pedal and deploy a staggering 577bhp – that’s in a practical family crossover! The acceleration figure to 62mph is 3.5 seconds. This is one fast cruiser, but there’s just one problem – it hasn’t yet gone on sale, but is expected too very soon at just under £60,000.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
If we’re going to mention the Kia EV6 GT, then we can’t ignore its Hyundai cousin, pretty much the same car, with an even more striking and retro-futuristic style that stands out a mile in any car park. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 all-electric car has been a sales and critical success already. Admittedly the flagship performance variant is even further behind in the pipeline than the EV6 GT, expected towards the end of this year. But it’ll be worth putting your name down for it now, as it’s expected to have the same near 580bhp drive unit, but being a Hyundai ‘N’ brand car, it should be an even more hard-core driving experience.
Tesla Model S Plaid
When it comes to quite simply the fastest and most powerful EV this side of a supercar that you can currently buy, nothing beats the first of two Teslas featured on this list. The current Model S Plaid is certifiably insane, as it comes with a truly jaw-dropping 1020bhp, and if you leave that jaw hanging and execute full throttle, you’d better hope it doesn’t get ripped off, as this thing will leap to 62mph in under TWO SECONDS. With three electric motors it’s claimed to be capable of 200mph.
And that’s in a luxury four-door saloon. So why isn’t this car at the top of the list? Without the car-building experience that a storied portfolio of road and race cars brings, it’s easy to make a car go fast, but much harder to make it feel safe, solid and secure at that speed. The S Plaid is an awesome but perhaps unfinished car.
Tesla Roadster SpaceX
Talking of unfinished. Here’s another car not yet on sale, and not expected to become available until next year, but if you want mind-bending performance and ability that’ll make you feel as astonished as Marty McFly was, in Back to the Future, when he first saw the time-travelling DeLorean, you won’t want to miss this one.
Yes, it will be fast with all-wheel drive and ridiculous, as yet undisclosed, horsepower, 600 plus miles of driving range, and ‘standard’ 0-62mph acceleration of 1.9 seconds plus a 250mph top speed, all of which alone will make it one of the most rapid road cars ever, but there will be another party trick. A SpaceX package is claimed to include rocket thrusters to make it accelerate even quicker, blasting to 60mph in 1.1 seconds. We wonder if they’ll include g-force suits in the £250,000 these are expected to start at?
Another car you can’t actually buy today, but considering most new cars presently have a waiting list of up to 12 months, we feel justified including the Lotus Eletre that starts deliveries next year. It may be the first ever SUV-style vehicle from the legendary lightweight sportscar manufacturer, and its first large-scale production electric car (as opposed to the limited volume Evija hypercar), but Lotus has enough engineering knowledge, experience and now (thanks to funding from Chinese owners Geely) money, to score a credible hit straight out of the box with this one.
The luxury family car will offer power outputs from 600bhp to 750bhp with a 370-mile driving range, and acceleration to 62mph of under three seconds! Plus being a Lotus, you can virtually guarantee that it’ll be one of the best-handling SUVs around. All for under £100,000 - about 50% less than key rival, the petrol-engined Lamborghini Urus, which is more than half a second slower to sixty.
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
The coolest new car you can currently buy is a Ford Mustang, so it follows that the coolest EV should be the ‘Mustang’ badged Mach-E. On paper it’s about as un-Mustang as it’s possible to be, with no V8, four-doors, large-SUV scale size and full family-sized practicality. But in essence, there is something beyond just the Mustang cues such as the pony badge and tri-bar tail lights that endow this with some of the DNA of the musclecar icon.
Opt for the GT and you get 480bhp, which is good for 0-62mph acceleration in 3.7 seconds, or 3.5 for the slightly more enhanced Performance Edition. Driving range is up to 310 miles and it’s priced from £68,000.
Electric Classic Car Conversions
Finally, if you believe that the most fun to drive cars, are classics, then check out a host of companies such as ElectricClassicCars, Electrogenic, Everrati, London Electric Cars, Lunaz and others which will convert everything from Ferraris to Porsches and even original Minis, VW Beetles and Land Rovers to run on volts rather than octane.
In an instant you get rid of the noise, the fumes, the oil leaks and the uncertain reliability, but gain dramatically increased performance and can even retain the use of a manual gearbox for that added engagement in the driving experience. Most conversions cost between £30,000 to £50,000 but can vary dramatically depending on the donor car, how much power and range you want, and the level of restoration and/or modification needed etc. Prices are coming down though as more companies enter this growing segment. Usually the conversion is reversible, so keep the original engine stored somewhere safe!