These are 10 of the best road-legal performance EVs in the world
For when money’s no object and the sky’s the limit on zero-emission performance
You’ll likely be familiar with Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac by now, if only because of his electric sports car company Rimac Automobili. And if you are, you’ll likely also be familiar with his Rimac Nevera hypercar, the name for which comes from the Croatian name for an electrically charged storm, nevera, which has been known to batter coastlines at speeds of up to 155mph. Breezy.
But the road-going Nevera can top even that; courtesy of a 120kWh battery, four electric motors, 1,914bhp and 1,740lb ft of torque, it’s capable of 0-60mph in 1.85 seconds, 100mph in 4.3secs, and 186mph in 9.3secs, on to 258mph. Less a storm, more a hurricane, then…Advertisement - Page continues below
“The Pininfarina Battista is a triumph for what it set out to achieve. It’s beautiful, and so violently fast you will never get used to it,” concluded Jack Rix when he headed to the rich person’s playground, aka Miami, to test the Pininfarina Battista.
Under the Italian-sketched skin you’ll find the same electric gubbins as in the Nevera (the Croatian company supplies them), similar mind-blowing performance, and a limited run of just 150 units – plus a price tag of around £2 million apiece. But be honest, you weren’t expecting zero-emission performance to come cheap, were you?
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla claims the Model S Plaid is "the quickest production car ever". Tesla also claims the Model S Plaid accelerates from zero to 60mph in 1.99 seconds – when it’s wearing the right tyres. And, if you’ve been paying attention, it will have occurred to you that Rimac and Pininfarina may well have something to say about that claim. But we digress. With three electric motors, 1,020bhp and 1,050lb ft of torque, and the ability to cover a quarter-mile in 9.23-seconds on to a top speed of 200mph, Elon Musk’s super saloon is still stonkingly speedy. Just perhaps not the outright quickest production EV as he might have you believe.Advertisement - Page continues below
Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Porsche’s first all-electric car comes in many fine flavours, ranging from the entry-level, single motor, RWD-only Taycan, to the top-spec, twin motor, AWD Taycan Turbo S. No prizes for guessing which one we’re focusing on here. With a total of 751bhp and 774lb ft of torque to play with, the Turbo S is good for a 0-62mph time of 2.8 seconds, on to a top speed of 162mph.
But before the internet rears its head – yes, that makes it slower in a straight line than the Tesla. But we’re choosing to ignore that, because what’s more important here is not just the fact it looks like a proper Porsche, but the fact it feels like one too. And that’s the biggest compliment we can give it.
Audi RS e-tron GT
Ah, the sister car to the Porsche Taycan. Based on the same VW Group platform and sharing the basic chassis and motor set-up, we won’t get into the debate about which wears the smarter suit. Instead, we’ll focus on this being the most powerful RS model to date. And while its numbers are slightly less than the Taycan’s – 637bhp, 612lb ft, 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, top speed 155mph – there’s still little that’ll out-accelerate you in a straight line. Our only disappointment? Audi isn’t following up with an estate version. There’s time yet…
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Cover thine eyes, die-hard Mustang fanatics. But while you’re doing that, hear us out, because while you’re well within your right to mutter as many obscenities under your breath as you like, the GT is the performance-focused iteration of Ford’s electric Mustang.
See, where the most powerful standard Mach-E offers 346bhp, the go-faster GT generates 480bhp. And that matters, because it makes the Mach-E more powerful than the 5.0-litre V8 you’ll find in the Mustang Mach 1 coupe, and quicker from 0-62mph – 3.7secs plays 4.8secs – too. Still couldn’t give a damn? Sigh. We tried…
Lotus is amid its latest grand revival yet, spearheaded by both its combustion-engined Emira, and this: the electric-only Evija. Set to cost a heady £2.4m, it promises four motors, four-wheel drive, 1,972bhp, 0-62mph in well under three seconds, 0-124mph in six seconds, and a top speed of over 200mph. Just 130 are set to be built, and last year Jack Rix was allowed a go in a prototype – complete with TG-designed livery – albeit limited to just 1,600bhp, 1,250lb ft of torque and a capped top speed of 140mph. Which, as he found out, was plenty...Advertisement - Page continues below
Meet the Aspark Owl. The all-electric Japanese hypercar has been a long time coming, but last year the 2,012bhp and 1,475lb ft monster finally entered production. Limited-run production, we hasten to add, with a total of 50 set to be built, making your chances of seeing one in real life as rare as spotting, well, its namesake in London. Aspark claims that the Owl can accelerate from 0-60mph in 1.69 seconds, 0-186mph in 10.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 249mph – better buy one of those portable EV chargers sharpish, mind.
Lucid Air Dream Edition P
Oh goody, another electric car with all-conquering intentions born in Silicon Valley, we hear you sigh. But don’t scroll just yet, because there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the Lucid Air, and not just the Mercedes EQS-rivalling 520-mile claimed range.
Allow us to hit you with some more serious stats. The top-spec Dream Edition P (short for performance, because obviously), courtesy of its 1,111bhp dual-motor, all-wheel-drive electric drivetrain, will do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, on its way to topping out at 168mph. Lucid doesn’t just want to take on Tesla, either – it’s got the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Merc S-Class in its sights too. In other words, it means business – and based on our first taster last month, said manufacturers should be very worried indeed.Advertisement - Page continues below
Tesla Roadster (second gen)
OK, we’ll admit – we’re slightly jumping the gun with this one, but for good reason. See, we’ve been waiting for the Tesla Roadster since 2017, when we were promised such mind-boggling performance figures as 0-60mph in 1.9secs, 0-100mph in 4.2secs, the quarter-mile in 8.8secs, and a top speed somewhere above 250mph, courtesy of three electric motors. Oh, and a reported 620-mile range, thanks to a hefty 200kWh battery.
But the original sale date of 2020 came and went, when it was pushed back to 2021. And with the arrival of 2021, it was then pushed back to 2022. So you can probably guess what happened earlier this year… when it was pushed back to 2023. Sigh. Any chance, Elon?