While electric vehicles are ostensibly about saving the planet from excessive CO2 emissions, the truth is EVs make excellent performance cars because of the instant torque provided by the electric motors that motivate them. Unfortunately, these electric motors also require a battery pack for power, and between the motors and battery packs an EV’s drivetrain is far heavier than an equivalent internal combustion powertrain.
Does that mean you can’t have a hypercar or supercar powered purely by electricity? No, but it does mean automakers have to work harder to take advantage of an electric car’s straight line acceleration while maintaining its responsive handling, braking, and overall driving dynamics. Bringing all these traits together in a single vehicle isn’t easy, and typically means a higher price tag than a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or traditional sports car.
For this list we’re going to look at new cars only and focus on the best electric cars for performance, which means we’ll be excluding pickup trucks like the Hummer EV, Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T, along with cars focused primarily on practicality, like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID.4, and Volvo XC40 Recharge. While it would be easy to restrict this list to coupes or roadsters, we’ll include electric SUVs because some of them offer strong performance, along with their roomy interiors and limited off-road capability.
With those parameters in mind, the best electric sports cars are…
1. Porsche Taycan
Don’t let the four-door bodystyle fool you, because the Porsche Taycan is as much a sports car as the brand’s iconic 911. Available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with a two-speed gearbox, even the base model feels sprightly, and the top-end Turbo S offers over 750 horsepower and a zero-to-60 time of around 2.5 seconds. There’s even a wagon version with a large hatchback opening if you need more interior space.
2. Audi e-tron GT
It’s not surprising to see Audi’s sleek and stylish e-tron GT in second place, as it shares a platform and many mechanical bits with the Porsche Taycan. But we think the Audi looks even better while, sadly, not offering quite the same level of performance. Stil, the RS version offers 637 horsepower and a zero-to-60 time of 3.1 seconds, which is plenty quick, and its DC quick charger technology is fast too, getting the battery from 5 to 80 percent charge in 23 minutes.
3. Tesla Model S
You can’t talk about electric sports car without discussing Tesla’s Model S Plaid, which can hit 60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds. While quicker than our number 1 and 2 EV sports cars in a straight line, the Model S doesn’t match the Porsche or Audi in handling confidence, thus relegating it to position 3. We do appreciate the Plaid’s access to Tesla’s supercharger network, and its EPA-rated 396 miles of range, though its infotainment system isn’t as intuitive as the Audi’s.
4. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Combining a classic Ford coupe name with an electric SUV body may not please old-school performance fans, but it does result in a quick and confident electric vehicle with a potential zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds (in GT form). The Mach-E also features a large center touchscreen with easy–to-use controls and fast-charging capabilities. The quick, all-wheel-drive GT model has around 250 miles of range, but you can get up to 305 miles from the slower rear-wheel-drive versions.
5. Tesla Model 3
While the Model X and Model Y are capable performance vehicles, Tesla’s SUVs don’t have the sleeker (and lighter) bodies seen on our third-place Model S and this fifth place Model 3. And if you order a Performance Dual-Motor version of the Model 3 you can add a Track Package that includes 20-inch wheels with Michelin performance tires and upgraded brake pads. This combination turns Tesla’s smallest, lightest vehicle into a genuine sports car with numble handling.
6. Kia EV6
How can the Kia EV6 make this list when the Hyundai Ioniq 5, its mechanical twin, doesn’t? Easy – just look at it. While not quicker than the Ioniq 5, offering a zero-to-60 time of just 5.1 seconds, Kia’s third EV after the Niro and Soul looks like the real deal in terms of range and features. Better still, an EV6 GT is in the works, which is said to offer nearly 600 horsepower and zero-to-60 in 3.5 seconds. We can’t wait!
7. Mercedes-Benz EQS
As the German luxury brand’s first serious electric vehicle, the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 can hit 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and go on to a top speed of 155 mph. The EQS offers standard all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, along with 21-inch wheels and an adaptive air suspension. Options include 22-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes and a track recording system to log all your exploits at your local closed-course facility.
8. BMW iX
We’re not sure about the iX’s exterior styling, and at a starting price of $85,000 BMW certainly isn’t giving them away. But with up to 610 horsepower offered in the new M60 version, and a zero-to-60 time estimated around 3.3 seconds, the iX is an undeniable performance vehicle despite its SUV shape and gaping front grille. An adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering add to the iX’s driving dynamics, while a large 14.9-inch touchscreen makes it easy to configure the iX for driving fun.
9. Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 isn’t the most distinctive looking electric vehicle on the road, and its range lags competitors like the Tesla Model 3. But its mix of quick acceleration (zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds), confident handling and an advanced Google-based infotainment system makes it a compelling all-around EV. And now there’s a limited BST Edition 270 version with more powerful motors, more aggressive performance tires and a lowered ride height for improved driving dynamics.
10. Mini Cooper SE Electric
The electrified version of Mini’s Cooper only offers 110 miles of range. But like the internal combustion version, this model benefits from the Cooper’s short wheelbase and lower center of gravity. That translates into one of the most nimble battery-powered cars you can buy, and if you’re using this Mini as an urban runabout you’ll enjoy not only confident handling but easy parking and a battery pack that charges to 80 percent in as little as 36 minutes.
More from iSeeCars:
- What are the Cheapest Electric Cars
- How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car?
- Best Electric Cars