The new generation of EVs have quickly become the standard-bearers of performance in every segment they occupy. From ultra-high-performance SUVs like the new Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T to super sedans like the Tesla Model S Plaid, EVs crush their ICE competition in performance and speed.
This article covers five of the most exciting performance EVs on the market today, and the fact that there is only one Tesla on the list is an important sign of how quickly the competition in this segment is heating up. Not too long ago, if you wanted a performance EV sedan, you were stuck with a Model S; fortunately that is no longer the case.
1. BMW i4 M50
The BMW i4 M50 is a four-door rocket. This is not the EV for you if you just want to improve your EV range. The latest BMW EV sedan rocks a twin-engine electric powerplant that puts out a grinning 536 horsepower, accompanied by a monstrous 586 lb-ft of torque.
BMW states that the i4 will soar from 0-60 MPH in about 3.7 seconds. These numbers are great, but they pale in comparison to the ridiculous (wink) benchmark Tesla has set with its Plaid models.
The i4 M50 is equipped with an 83.9 kWh battery and, according to BMW, is good for a range of about 227-270 miles. Again, the range is decent, but it’s not overwhelming. The BMW excels in handling, especially considering the nearly 50/50 weight distribution.
The interior is also a great place to pass the time, with a huge curved display that drives BMW’s latest version of iDrive and connects the meter cluster to the infotainment screen.
Aside from the futuristic screen and heads-up display, the interior is typically BMW in its conservative look.
The i4 is a great combination of performance and handling mixed with a pretty decent range. So if you’re looking for a performance EV, the i4 should be on your shortlist.
2. Audi e-tron GT
The Audi e-tron GT is the twin brother of the Porsche Taycan, and while both are spectacular, performance EVs, the styling really sets the e-tron GT apart. This Audi EV has one of the best designs out there, EV or not.
The fact that the exterior is matched by an equally exquisite interior, with the highest build quality in the automotive industry, is just the icing on the cake.
The e-tron GT also delivers in the power department; the 522 horsepower Boost mode gets you to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds. The e-tron GT also features a large 93 kWh battery that delivers an estimated range of 238 miles. The e-tron GT is equipped with Audi’s signature Quattro AWD system, making it a safe option for year-round driving.
There is an RS model of the e-tron GT, but at $40k more than the base e-tron GT for a .8 second reduction from its 0-60 time, it probably isn’t worth it to most.
3. Lucid Air Grand Touring Achievements
The Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance is the biggest novelty on this list, especially since the brand itself is relatively unknown in the mainstream car landscape. Not only is this particular variation of the Lucid Air pleasing to the eye, it also has stunning numbers to match its great looks.
Lucid outfitted the Grand Touring Performance with 1050 horsepower and a whopping 446 miles of range, both more than what the Model S plaid offers, in case you were wondering. As if these numbers weren’t mouth-watering enough, the Grand Touring Performance also shoots from 0-60mph in just 2.6 seconds.
Also noteworthy is the Air’s astonishing interior, which features a huge curved screen that takes up most of the dashboard. The Air also has Lucid’s Glass Canopy, a nod to Tesla’s huge windshields.
When you get bored with the gig, there are always the massage chairs to keep you occupied, as well as the 21-speaker audio system. The price tag is just as exotic as the other features, priced at $179,000.
4. Pole Star 2
The Polestar 2 is a much more practical alternative than the other vehicles on this list, but no less exciting. According to polestars site, the single-engine Polestar 2 will set you back $40,900 MSRP once you factor in the US federal tax credit.
The price may be lower, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on performance. The Polestar 2 is also available in a more expensive twin-engine configuration, boosting power to 476hp (if you opt for the performance software update) from the 231hp of the single-engine version.
The Polestar 2 twin engine with the performance software upgrade completes the 0-60 MPH run in 4.2 seconds, putting its numbers firmly in the realm of real sports cars. Again, this vehicle doesn’t have blistering sprints under three seconds to 60 MPH, but it’s certainly fast and engaging none the less.
The twin-engine version of the Polestar 2 has a decent 260-mile range, while the single-engine version is slightly ahead with a 270-mile range.
5. Tesla Model S window
The Model S Plaid needs absolutely no introduction. We all know that Tesla is an extremely innovative company, but even by their standards the numbers are almost mythical: 1020 horsepower, 1.99 seconds to 60 mph (Tesla calculates this time minus the rollout), and the quarter mile in a ghost – mind-boggling 9.23 seconds.
The numbers speak for themselves, but the Plaid is so much more than statistics. The Model S is definitely going to be long in the tooth, but if this is its swan song, it’s going to be out the door with a huge bang.
The Model S Plaid is currently the world’s fastest-accelerating production car, and Tesla promises that the Model S will perform back-to-back track runs with no performance loss thanks to an improved battery architecture.
The Model S Plaid also features a Tri-Motor AWD system, which is also capable of torque vectoring. This Tesla is legendary and will always have a place in history as the first regular EV to beat petrol supercars.
High-end EVs are just getting started
Performance EVs are already absolute monsters when it comes to power and acceleration, and as battery technology improves, they will only get better. In addition, as higher-performance batteries become cheaper, EVs will continue to make their case as legitimate replacements for gasoline-powered vehicles, even in motorsports.
In the meantime, gasoline-powered cars and EVs will continue to coexist in the world of performance vehicles. The good news is that there are more amazing choices than ever when looking for an electric performance car.