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Source: Autocar

The fastest electric cars

May 25th, 2023

1 audi rs e tron gt 2021 lhd first drive review hero front Gone are the days when buying an EV meant pottering around in a Nissan Leaf. Now, EVs are proper speed machines

If you want to travel very quickly indeed, then you'll need an EV. In a very short time, the electric vehicle has evolved from lumbering, slow-moving mobile chicane to high performance paragon. As they smash speed records and ace acceleration tests, the latest generation of battery-powered hypercars are banishing all memories of bumbling milk floats and the weedy G-Wiz.

It's not hard to see why electric power is well-suited to delivering devastating performance. Not only are electric motors powerful and compact, they deliver all their torque instantly for unrivalled response. Often they're used in pairs to deliver, one for each axle, to serve-up limpet-like four-wheel drive traction off the line. The motors can also be finely controlled, which allows for the precise pouring of power so that not a single horsepower is wasted.

What's more, the fast-paced nature of EV technology has allowed manufacturers to engineer impressive performance gains in a short space of time. This is particularly the case when it comes to lithium-ion batteries, which now feature plenty of energy as well as sophisticated thermal management systems that allow them to deliver their full potential all the time.

So, here's our list of the fastest accelerating EVs that you can (theoretically) buy, either right now or in the coming months. To get into this top 11, a contender needs to be able to claim a 0-60 or 0-62mph time of under three seconds.

Lotus Evija

While Lotus still hasn't announced the definitive performance figures for its pioneering EV, with a mighty 2011bhp it's likely to move-up this list when the numbers are finally in. Currently, the British brand is saying that the Evija should be capable of smashing from standstill to 60mph in "less than three seconds" and onto a top speed of "over 200mph".

Even so, while the performance figures attract the headlines, Lotus is keen that its mid-engined machine stays true to the firm's lightweight roots and delivers on its reputation for thrilling handling.

A target mass of 1700kg looks a little hefty in isolation, but it undercuts many similar electrically powered supercars, while its carefully developed driver modes and four-wheel torque-vectoring have already impressed us in a brief drive of a prototype.

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S

The high-riding close relation of the Taycan, the Cross Turismo features most of its saloon sibling's driving dynamism but adds an extra dose of family-friendly practicality and the ability for some light-off-roading.

Powered by the same outrageous 751bhp twin motor set-up as the standard Taycan Turbo S, the slightly heavier and less aerodynamically slippery Cross Turismo requires a tenth of second longer to get from standstill to 60mph, at 2.7 seconds.

On the move it's fractionally less agie than the standard Taycan, but the trade-off is a wafty ride, superlative refinement and a useful increase in space for people and things.

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

While it's late to the EV party, Maserati has made sure it's made a big entrance. Based on its all-new GranTurismo sportscar, which has been engineered to accommodate both ICE and electric powertrains, the Italian newcomer is packed with cutting edge kit designed to boost performance.

Three electric motors (two at the rear and one at the front) provide 751bhp, which combine with the weight-saving aluminium construction to help the Maserati streak from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds. The Folgore also gets 800V architecture that allows rapid DC charging of the battery from 20 to 80% in as little as 18 minutes. Better still, it's good to drive, the rapid acceleration joined by agile and engaging torque-vectored handling.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

It's really not possible to overstate the importance of the Taycan, which is one of the few cars on this list designed and built by an established car manufacturer. While most here come with wild prices and in limited numbers, the Porsche is a series-production model that's as usable as the firm's internal-combustion models.

The Turbo S's ability to whisk you from standstill to 60mph in 2.6sec is staggering and top speed is limited to 162mph. More impressive is the engaging handling and the depth of engineering that makes this feel as much like a Porsche as a 911 does.

Tesla Model X Plaid

It seems just a little, ahem, ludicrous that the high-riding, seven-seat Tesla Model X can smash through to 60mph in less time than it takes the Taycan. Just think about that for a second: a leather-lined, 2.5-tonne SUV that can accelerate faster than most supercars, regardless of their means of propulsion.

Key to the gull-winged Tesla's startling turn of speed is the new 1006bhp tri-motor set-up it shares with the Model S Plaid, which allows this four-wheel drive seven-seater romp from standstill to 60mph in a startling 2.5 seconds.

Like its sleeker brother, however, the Model X's times are measured using the 'roll-out' method that allows a 30cm run-up before the stopwatch is started, meaning a true time of around 2.6 seconds.

Lucid Air

Arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated EVs of the year, the enigmatically titled Lucid Air isn't short of headline grabbing numbers. Developed in California and featuring jaw-dropping concept car looks, in flagship Dream Edition guise the luxurious four-door saloon promises up to 1065bhp from twin electric motors, promises a top speed of 235mph and claims it'll travel 520-miles between recharges.

Of course it's quick off the mark too, despite weighing just over two tons, and can zap from standstill to 60mph in just 2.5 seconds. It's not just the car itself that's fast either, because it's claimed the Air can handle rapid charging of up to 300kW, meaning 300 miles of range can be added in only 20 minutes.

Pininfarina Battista

Under the Battista's curvaceous carbonfibre skin is the same powertrain used in the Rimac Nevera. With four motors and a combined output of 1876bhp, performance is ferocious, and although official figures haven't been released, the company claims a two-second 0-62mph time is on the cards.

Despite being closely related to the Rimac, the two share only about 50% of their components, so the 150 purchasers of the 2 million Pininfarina will be getting a bespoke machine. In fact, the Italian styling house says the Battista is more of a grand tourer than the rather rawer Rimac.

Tesla Model S Plaid

Like the Model X SUV, the Tesla Model S Plaid has been a while in making, with supply chain problems causing production of both models to be suspended for the best part of two years. Still, now it's here, the flagship saloon isn't wasting any time hanging about, its 1006bhp tri-motor layout delivering the 0-60mph sprint in just 1.99 seconds.

Yes the Model S's handling remains as involving as a conversation with a dry stone wall, but for out and out acceleration there's not a four-door family car in the world that can touch the Tesla.

That said, bear in mind the brand uses the North American roll-out acceleration standard, which only starts timing the run after the car's moved about a third of metre. In reality, this shaves around a tenth of a second from the true standing start figure.

Tesla Roadster

Beset by delays and surrounded by hype, the second-generation Roadster is an ambitious model even by Tesla standards. The four-seat supercar is powered by a 200kWh battery linked to three electric motors (one front and two rear) that deliver around well over 1000bhp (the company hasn't revealed exact numbers, but 1475bhp is the most recent figure to be bandied about).

The 0-60mph sprint is said to take just 1.9sec and the top speed is in excess of 250mph, but arguably the most remarkable numbers are the 620-mile range and 189,000 asking price. It may, or may not, arrive in 2023.

Rimac Nevera

Rimac the company has gone from almost nothing to EV industry leader as quickly as its flagship Nevera gets from 0-60mph (its 1.85 seconds for the record, while 185mph comes up in just 11.8 seconds). With investment from Porsche and now part of the Bugatti family, the Croatian firm has got the jump on many established manufacturers when it comes to high performance electric car tech.

The Nevera itself is a carbonfibre-bodied two-seater that packs four torque vectoring motors (one for each wheel) with a total output of 1887bhp. These are powered by a 120kWh battery that promises 340 miles between charges, a number that's almost as eye-catching as the 2 million price.

Aspark Owl

Japan's nascent electric hypercar company has wasted no time in staking its claim to the title of 'world's quickest car'. It recentlyset two world records, completing an eighth of a mile at an average speed of 192.03mph (309.02kph) and the quarter mile at an average speed of 198.12mph (318.85kph).It is without question one of the fastest cars ever built.

Powered by four electric motors with a staggering combined output of 1985bhp, the Owl has already rattled off the 0-60mph sprint in 1.72sec, and its creators reckon there's the potential to shave a further few tenths from this figure.Top speed is claimed to be 249mph, while the specially developed 64kWh battery gives a claimed range of 280 miles. Aspark plans to build just 50 examples of the Owl, each priced at a cool 2.5 million.

Fastest electric cars: 0-60s

Lotus Evija - 'under 3.0sec'

Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo - 2.7sec

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore - 2.7sec

Porsche Taycan Turbo S - 2.6sec

Tesla Model X - 2.6sec

Lucid Air - 2.5sec

Pininfarina Battista - 2.0sec

Tesla Model S - 1.99sec

Tesla Roadster - 1.9 sec

Rimac Nevera - 1.85sec

Aspark Owl - 1.72sec


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