Electric vehicles benefit from instant torque, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re quick.

The more affordable electric cars, like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, are zippy around town, but nothing to brag about on a drag strip. However, higher-end models like the ones we’re looking at here can keep up with some of the most powerful gasoline-burning sports cars in the world — and in many cases beat them.

We’re focusing on larger brands, not smaller companies like Rimac and Pininfarina, due to their limited availability and the lack of third-party testing. Finally, not wanting to rely solely on manufacturer-issued numbers, we’re also including zero-to-60 mph and quarter-mile times published by Motor Trend. Finally, we’ve split up this piece into two sections: The first highlights EVs currently on the market, while the second looks at upcoming models.

Tesla Model S Plaid (1.98 seconds)

2021 Tesla Model S

The Model S is quicker than the Porsche Taycan Turbo S at lower speeds, and it takes the zero-to-60 crown with a Tesla-claimed time of 1.99 seconds for the current Plaid model. That’s pretty huge. When Motor Trend tested the Plaid, however, the EV hit 60 mph in an eye-watering 1.98 seconds.

The Model S uses a 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack, and Tesla advertises the car as offering an impressive 1,020 horsepower. It’s a little faster than the competition on this list, with the second car on our list only coming in at two-tenths of a second slower than the Plaid.

Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance (2.2 seconds)

Front three quarter view of the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance EV.

Lucid is another tech-focused new company, and its efforts have yielded some pretty impressive results. The Lucid Air is available in a number of variants, but the fastest is the Lucid Air Sapphire. In fact, it’s not only the fastest Lucid Air, but according to Lucid, it’s the fastest electric car out there right now.

Motor Trend’s numbers tell a slightly different story. To be clear, Motor Trend still recorded incredibly fast numbers, clocking in the 0-to-60 time at 2.2 seconds, lagging behind Lucid’s claim of 1.89 seconds. That’s thanks to the superpowerful triple-motor setup.

Motor Trend notes that the production version of the Air Sapphire will likely be faster than the prototype that it tested — so we’ll update this article once more data is available.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S (2.4 seconds)

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There was a time when the top Tesla hit 60 mph faster than the top Porsche, but the top Porsche had a faster quarter-mile time. These days, the Model S Plaid wins in both cases — but the Porsche Taycan Turbo S is still very quick. The car can hit 60 mph in an impressive 2.4 seconds, and a quarter mile in a speedy 10.3 seconds.

The Taycan has a slightly smaller battery pack than the Model S (93.4kWh), but its electric powertrain still produces an impressive 750 hp and 774 lb.-ft. with Launch Control activated. It makes 616 hp in normal driving conditions.   

Audi RS e-tron GT (2.9 seconds)

Audi RS e-tron GT

Audi offers a number of cars in the e-tron lineup, but the fastest (and coolest) of those is the RS e-tron GT. This car may not be as fast as the Teslas and Porsches on this list, but let’s be honest — zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds is stunning, and it looks cooler than the Model S in the process.

The RS e-tron GT delivers an impressive 637 hp depending on the mode, and it has a 93.4kWh battery. That’s not huge, and you won’t get as much range as the likes of the Model S or the Ludic Air. That’s the cost of such a cool design, I suppose.

Mercedes AMG EQS (3.0 seconds)

Front three quarter view of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
Stephen Edelstein / Digital Trends

The Mercedes-AMG EQS is the only car on this list to not have a “3” at the start of its zero-to-60 time, but that doesn’t make it a slow car. The EQS may not be quite as pretty as the Audi RS e-tron GT, but it still has a lot going for it. For starters, it boasts an incredibly luxurious and comfortable interior, with all the creature comforts that you could want.

And then there’s the acceleration, and it’s pretty stellar. As mentioned, the EQS will hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, which is very quick. That’s thanks to the fact that it delivers an impressive 649 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. Ultimately, while not as fast as some of the other options, if you’re looking for speed and luxury, this may be the way to go.

Notable Upcoming EVs

Tesla Model X Plaid

Tesla Model X

The Model X Plaid is extremely close to being in the top section of this list, but having just started rolling out, there’s not enough testing out there to verify its speed just yet. Safe to say, however, it’ll be fast — if you want an SUV-size car that’s so fast it’s silly, the Model X Plaid may be for you.

Tesla Cybertruck 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The most powerful Cybertruck will be the three-motor Plaid model. Tesla claims the truck will reach 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds. When it comes to power numbers, yet again Tesla hasn’t and likely won’t release them. Keeping with consistency, Motor Trend estimates the range-topping truck will produce about 800 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Tesla Roadster 

Tesla Roadster
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If Tesla’s upcoming Roadster supercar claims are accurate, this is one of the fastest EVs on the list. Its 1.9-second zero-to-60 time and an 8.8-second quarter-mile time are mind-boggling. This is partly thanks to its large 200kWh battery pack. We don’t know how much power the EV makes yet, but some estimate it could be in the range of 1,000 hp. That would make sense. We’ll have to wait longer than expected to see if those figures are accurate because Tesla has delayed the $200,000 Roadster several times already, and it’s still not here.

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By mrtrv

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