The new generation of electric vehicles has quickly become the benchmark for performance in all the segments it occupies. From high-performance SUVs like the new Hummer EV and 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 capable electric vehicles on the market right now, and the fact that there’s only one Tesla on the list is a major sign of how quickly the competition is heating up in this segment. Not so long ago, if you wanted a performance EV sedan, you were stuck with a Model S; fortunately, this is no longer the case.
1.BMW i4 M50
The BMW i4 M50 is a four-door missile. It’s not the EV for you if you’re just looking to upgrade your EV lineup. The latest BMW EV sedan rocks a twin-motor power plant that produces 536 hp, accompanied by a monstrous 586 lb-ft of torque.
BMW says the i4 will go from 0 to 100 km/h in around 3.7 seconds. Those numbers are great, but they pale in comparison to the ridiculous (wink) benchmark that Tesla has set with its Plaid models.
The i4 M50 comes with an 83.9kWh battery and according to BMW is good for an approximate range of 227-270 miles. Again, the range is decent, but it’s not breathtaking. The BMW excels when it comes to handling, especially given its nearly 50/50 weight distribution.
The interior is also a great place to hang out, with a huge curved screen that controls BMW’s latest iteration of iDrive and connects the gauge cluster to the infotainment screen.
Apart from the futuristic screen and head-up display, the interior is typically BMW in its conservative appearance.
The i4 is a great combination of performance and handling mixed with a pretty decent range. So if you’re shopping for a performance EV, the i4 should be on your shortlist.
2. Audi e-tron GT
The Audi e-tron GT is the twin to the Porsche Taycan, and while they’re both spectacular performance electric vehicles, the styling of the e-tron GT really sets it apart. This Audi EV has one of the best designs on the market, EV or not.
The fact that the exterior is matched by an equally exceptional interior, with some of 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; its 522 hp Boost mode will propel you to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds. The e-tron GT also has a large 93kWh battery that offers an estimated range of 238 miles. The e-tron GT features Audi’s signature Quattro AWD system, making it a safe option for year-round driving.
There’s an RS model of the e-tron GT, but at $40,000 more than the base e-tron GT for a 0.8 second reduction in its 0-60 time, it’s not worth it probably not worth it for most.
3. Lucid Air Grand Touring performance
The Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance is the biggest new addition to this list, not least because the brand itself is relatively unknown in the mainstream automotive landscape. Not only is this particular variant of the Lucid Air very pleasing to the eye, but it also features stunning numbers to go along with its great looks.
Lucid has equipped the Grand Touring Performance with 1050 hp and an impressive range of 446 miles, both more than what the Model S plaid offers, in case you were wondering. As if those numbers weren’t jaw-dropping enough, the Grand Touring Performance also goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
Also worth noting is the Air’s stunning interior, which features a massive curved screen that takes up most of the dashboard. The Air also includes Lucid’s Glass Canopy, which is a nod to Tesla’s massive windshields.
Whenever you get bored with the performance, there’s always the massaging seats to keep you entertained, along with the 21-speaker audio system. Pricing is as exotic as its other specs, reaching $179,000.
4. Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 is a much more practical alternative to the other vehicles on this list but no less exciting. According to Polestar’s site, the base Polestar 2 single engine will set you back an MSRP of $40,900 once you reduce the US federal tax credit.
The price may be lower, but that doesn’t mean it lacks performance. The Polestar 2 is also available in a more expensive twin-motor configuration, which boosts power to 476hp (if you opt for the performance software update) from the 231hp of the single-motor version.
The twin Polestar 2 engine with the performance software upgrade will do the 0-100 km/h run in 4.2 seconds, putting its numbers firmly in the realm of true sports cars. Again, this vehicle doesn’t have blistering sub-three-second sprints at 60 MPH, but it’s definitely fast and engaging nonetheless.
The twin-motor version of the Polestar 2 has a decent range of 260 miles, while the single-motor version is slightly ahead with 270 miles of range.
5. Tesla Model S Plaid
The Model S Plaid absolutely needs no introduction. We all know Tesla is a wildly innovative company, but even by their standards the numbers are almost mythical: 1020 hp, 1.99 seconds to 60 mph (Tesla calculates this time with the rollout subtracted), and the quarter mile in a mind-blowing 9.23 seconds.
The numbers really speak for themselves, but the Plaid is much more than statistics. The Model S is definitely getting long in the tooth, but if that’s its swansong, it comes out with a huge bang.
The Model S Plaid is currently the fastest accelerating production car in the world, and Tesla promises that the Model S will perform consecutive runs on the track without any performance degradation thanks to an improved battery architecture.
The Model S Plaid is also equipped with 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 consumer electric vehicle to kill gas-powered supercars.
High-performance electric vehicles are just getting started
Performance electric vehicles are already absolute monsters in terms of power and acceleration, and as battery technology improves, they will only get better. Additionally, as higher performance batteries become cheaper, electric vehicles will continue to improve their case as legitimate replacements for gas-powered vehicles, even in motorsports.
In the meantime, gasoline-powered cars and electric vehicles will continue to coexist in the world of performance vehicles. The good news is that there are more amazing choices than ever if you’re looking for a performance electric car.
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