Electric sports cars

It might seem like a contradiction in terms but electric sports cars are rapid, and green

Jul 4, 2018

Electricity is largely touted as the next-generation of propulsion for vehicles. In Britain there will be a ban on most non-electric car sales from 2040, and it’s a similar story for many other European nations.

This means that everyone and their dog is going electric at the moment. And it’s not just sensible stuff like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe either.

Electricity is a wickedly fast means of propulsion. While a petrol engine needs to suck, squeeze, bang, and blow, an electric motor just goes. The most powerful and expensive version of Tesla’s Model S can get from 0 to 60mph in about 3 seconds, despite it having five doors and a big boot. For a bit of context, that’s faster than a similarly sized BMW M5, and it’s actually a bit quicker than a McLaren 570S from 0-30mph.

While batteries provide astonishing acceleration, they make a car heavy too. This can blunt how a car drives, and fast electric cars are always criticised for feeling lumpen and not as agile as other fast cars.

BMW i8

Best electric sports car for range

List price £112,730 Acceleration 0-62mph in 4.4seconds
Official range 300 miles

The i8 is a hybrid supercar that offers Porsche 911 rivalling performance with Ford Fiesta-like miles per gallon. This isn’t a pure electric car though, as it has a 1.5-litre engine powering the rear wheels, whereas the electric motors power the front. This also makes it four-wheel-drive.

And it’s not just the technology that’s futuristic. It doesn’t look like anything else on the road, and manages to have way more angles than any other coupe. It also has front hinged doors that cause a scene whenever they open.


Audi R8 e-Tron

Best electric sports car for build quality

List price £850,000 Acceleration 0-62mph in 4.2seconds
Official electric range 133.6 miles  

Electric cars are pretty few and far between right now. Audi only officially made around 10 of these, and they cost somewhere in the region of £850,000. But you can dream can’t you?

As the name would suggest, the R8 e-Tron is an electric version of Aud’s excellent R8. The e-Tron ditches the four-wheel-drive system, in favour of a rear-wheel-drive set up (to save weight), and the power delivery is instant and manic. Elsewhere, it’s much the same as the R8, except for a different layout on the dashboard to incorporate battery power readings.


Mercedes AMG SLS Electric Drive

Best electric sports car for head-turning looks

List price £360,000 Acceleration 0-62mph in 3.9seconds
Official electric range 155 miles

Like the R8 e-Tron above, Mercedes also built an electrified version of one of its sportcars. The slightly bonkers AMG SLS Electric Drive weighs more than two tonnes, and has more than 700bhp to transport it around.

It makes use of electric motors in each wheel, each with around 185bhp. This means that this electric car has more power in each wheel, than the hot-hatch Suzuki Swift Sport does in its whole engine.


Tesla Roadster

Best electric sports car for handling

List price £60,000 Acceleration 3.7seconds
Official range 220 miles

Tesla’s first attempt at a car was this, the Roadster. If you think that it looks a bit like a Lotus Elise, you’re right. The chassis is based on the Elise, but it’s powered by electric motors that can propel it to 60 in less than four seconds.

This car went out of production in 2013 and Tesla has since favoured saloons and SUVs. However, there is a new Roadster, set to come out in 2020. Ambitious as ever, Tesla reckons it can crack 250mph.


Porsche Taycan

Best electric sports car for practicality

List price £60,000 - 70,000 (est) Acceleration 3.5 seconds (est)
Official range 300 miles (est)

This one is so new that it hasn’t actually been released yet. But, expect to see it on UK roads some time in 2019.

The Taycan is a real sign from Porsche for its future plans, as it will be the first all-electric car from the company. It’s set to have four doors and a big boot, but will still have Porsche driving dynamics, according to the firm. It’s too early to tell if that will hold true, but it’s set to receive electric motors that will generate around 600bhp - so it will definitely be fast.


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