Don’t let the petrolhead dinosaurs tell you that electric cars can’t be a match for the fastest sports cars of yesteryear. In many cases not only are they as quick, they are, in fact, quicker.
Performance is almost a given in ANY electric car – even the smallest city cars surprise people with their nippiness and acceleration. That’s all down to a simple and key characteristic of electric motors: their instant response when you press the accelerator.
Unlike an engine that needs to burn petrol or diesel to turn it, an electric motor is able to provide maximum power and acceleration at any point, regardless of the car’s speed. So as soon as you prod the pedal the motors can spin up without any delay. Electric cars of all types are all ideally placed to overtake quickly and make great progress when the lights go green…
Of course, those key constituents of all EVs – the motors and battery packs – can then be further tuned and engineered to provide all kinds of driving characteristics. So not all EVs are designed to be like drag racers. Most provide a sensible mix of relaxed motoring and on-demand performance only when you need it.
But the potential of electric motors hasn’t escaped the attention of car engineers looking to create some of the most potent machines on the planet. They’ve turned up the power and acceleration to 11 and the results of their research are self-evident in the form of some of the most exciting electric sports cars ever built.
Here are a few of our favourites…
When German sports car icon Porsche said it was set to release an all-electric 4-door sports car, you could hear the groans of disapproval from their old-school fans ring out around the world. But how wrong were they? Very wrong.
The Porsche Taycan has arguably done as much to prove that the words ‘electric’ and ‘sports’ car can go in the same sentence as any other electric vehicle. Yes, it has all the blinding performance expected of a car with up to 750 horsepower and an incredible 0-62mph sprint time of 2.8 seconds. But it also does something that the cynics didn’t believe Porsche could pull off: it looks, drives and feels like a proper Porsche.
Despite the weight penalty that a big battery pack brings, the Taycan handles with all the inch-perfect aplomb that graces all Porsches. And like all Porsches it’s loaded with the very latest technologies, including an 800-volt charging system that allows it to get the maximum out of the very fastest, ultra-rapid chargers. 20-minute charge anyone? You can in a Taycan.
For all the best Taycan lease deals right now, head over to our Porsche leasing pages.
Audi e-tron GT
It’s widely accepted that Porsche’s Taycan is the sharpest handling electric car on the market right now. But if you’re looking for a performance EV that is a true all-rounder - fast when you want it to be, a brilliant cruiser when you’re looking to chew up the miles - then you’ve got to consider the Audi e-tron GT.
Why? Because the Audi and the Porsche are built on the same platform, which means that everything people like about the Taycan is inherited by the e-tron GT. There are two different guises: the base e-tron GT which is plenty fast enough and then the RS e-tron GT, which is rocket-ship quick. Only the top-spec Taycan Turbo S and Tesla Model S Plaid can beat it.
But we wouldn’t actually pick the Audi if out-and-out speed is your measure of performance. Where the e-tron GT shines is in its ability to flip its character to become a car that delivers a perfect blend of high-speed, relaxed cruising. When you want to really shift you can, but most of the time you’ll just be wafting along on an effortless wave of torque in a beautiful cabin that befits Audi’s most impressive EV yet...
You might argue it’s wrong to have a couple of SUVs in a sports car list but our next 2 cars have names that evoke some of the best performance credentials in motoring history. And in electric form they don’t disappoint.
First up is Jaguar – the British car maker that is renowned for creating some of the best-looking and best-handling sports cars of all time. From the iconic E-Type to the modern-day classic F-Type, all Jaguars have a unique sporting heritage that is obvious the minute you get behind the wheel.
And that is just as true of the all-electric I-Pace SUV – Jaguar’s first electric machine and one that proved itself to be a real Tesla-beater from the outset.
With 396 horsepower and a sub-5 second 0-60mph time, this is an SUV that puts as much emphasis on the ‘sports’ as the ‘utility’. Not that it isn’t practical. It’s got 2 spacious boots (front and rear) but in truth it just drives and handles so well you will want to take it out for a spin on your own…
We’ve got some great lease deals on the I-Pace right now, so to spec the electric Jaguar of your dreams click here.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Our second SUV has an equally iconic name: Mustang. Ford used to reserve the badge for its big-engined muscle cars but now the Mustang name graces the electric arena on the Mach-E SUV.
And it’s a fitting choice. The Mustang comes in both rear and all-wheel drive formats and can pack a punch. The top spec AWD version can sprint to 60mph in just 5.8 seconds.
The Mustang isn’t just quick out of the traps. It’s a great long-range ride, too, with the base model capable of 379-mile range.
You can lease a Mustang Mach-E right now, with prices starting from just over £500 a month.
Sporting performance can come in small packages too, which is why we’ve added one of our favourite superminis to the list: the Mini Electric.
All Minis are blessed with that unique mix of quick, responsive handling and nippy speed. The Mini Electric does all that and more thanks to its electric powertrain that can propel it to 60mph in shade over 7 seconds (that’s pretty much a match for a petrol Mini Cooper S).
And with the electric motor whirring, the car is actually really suited to the kind of round town driving that the Mini is famed for.
A Mini Electric can be yours from around £270 a month if you visit our Mini leasing pages.