The new Tesla Roadster - © Tesla

Electrifying speed – the world’s fastest electric cars

Dec 18, 2020

An electric vehicle that powers from 0 to 100 km/h faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera or a Formula 1 racing car? Yes, it’s not only possible, but fun. These electric cars are happy to show you their rear end.

For many people, the Porsche 911 Carrera is their absolute dream car and the epitome of performance. The basic two-seater with 385 hp races from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. Yet many fans of sports cars and Formula 1 don’t know that when it comes to acceleration, electric vehicles leave some racing cars far behind. Electric drive has the advantage that virtually the maximum torque is available when accelerating from a standing start. The greater the torque and the fewer engine revolutions needed to produce it, the faster the e-vehicles can accelerate from low speeds. By contrast, modern diesels and gasoline-powered cars don’t develop much torque and performance unless the engine is already revving fast. But it takes several seconds to reach that state. And as most electric cars have only one gear, they can develop huge acceleration without interruption. Read about our choices for the five fastest electric cars in the world.

The Taycan Turbo S was unveiled at the IAA 2019 © Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
The Taycan Turbo S was unveiled at the IAA 2019 © Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

5th place: Porsche Taycan Turbo S on 2.8 s

In 2019, Porsche launched a new era with its fully electric Taycan sports car. The stylish electric car was the star of the Porsche pavilion at the IAA 2019. The model family currently comprises the Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Its Launch Control system enables maximum acceleration from a standing start and comes as standard in the Taycan. It applies an “overboost” for 2.5 seconds to provide extra power to the motors. During this period, the Taycan Turbo S develops 560 kW (761 hp), which catapults it to 100 km/h within 2.8 seconds.

Rimac’s Concept One impressed both professionals and the competition © Rimac Automobili
Rimac’s Concept One impressed both professionals and the competition © Rimac Automobili

4th place: Rimac Concept S / Tesla S Performance / Lucid Air Dream on 2.5 s

A battle for fourth place: fractionally ahead of the Taycan is the electric super sports car by the Croatian maker Rimac. The Concept S was unveiled in 2016 and takes only 2.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h. (Its predecessor, the Concept One, needed 2.69 seconds.) It has a huge power output of 1,384 hp and 1,800 Nm. This is a car with rarity value because you can’t go out and buy one – although there are seven Concept Ones in private ownership. Such exclusivity comes with a hefty price tag: the price of those cars when new was one million euros. The Croatians’ third auto is set to have even greater performance. With an incredible 1,914 hp and 2,300 Nm, the C_Two is intended to race up to the 100 mark in less than 2 seconds and its top speed is put at 412 km/h. The car is also reaching new heights with its price of 1.8 million euros.

Tesla’s Performance Model S manages the sprint 1.3 s faster than the base version © Tesla
Tesla’s Performance Model S manages the sprint 1.3 s faster than the base version © Tesla

Tesla’s successful Model S has the same statistics when it comes to the sprint. The sedan comes in a Performance version with two electric motors. But with a price of 98,990 euros it is relatively cheap. Performance is based on the Ludicrous Mode – a reference to Mel Brooks’ science fiction comedy “Spaceballs.” The “ludicrous” technology brings the full vehicle power into play. To do this, a chip temporarily increases the voltage, enabling the car to accelerate faster. Tesla models with Ludicrous Mode can be recognized by a horizontal red line below the vehicle badge.

A business traveler’s dream: the Air Dream Edition by Lucid Motors – © Lucid
A business traveler’s dream: the Air Dream Edition by Lucid Motors – © Lucid

The third contender is Lucid Motors, with its Air Dream Edition. The four-door sedan comes with 1,080 hp, also taking it to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds. But this comes at a price: the base version costs around 170,000 euros. Its top speed is 270 km/h, helped by the outstanding drag coefficient (cW) of 0.21 that improves the aerodynamics. The first series vehicles should come onto the market in 2021.

With another two years until market launch, the new Tesla Roadster can be reserved right now – © Tesla
With another two years until market launch, the new Tesla Roadster can be reserved right now – © Tesla

3rd place: Tesla Roadster on 2.1 s

The second Tesla in our top five is the new Roadster, which is expected on the market (after several delays to dates announced by Elon Musk) in 2022. Yet it could be worth the wait. The successor to the successful two-seater will have exceptional performance characteristics: three electric motors, a top speed of 400 km/h and a range of 1,000 km – plus enough room for four people. The combined wheel torque of 10,000 Nm catapults the car from 0 to 100 km/h in a breathtaking 2.1 seconds. But here, too, acceleration comes with a price tag. Media reports put the basic price at over 210,000 euros. And… Elon Musk has also “announced” a SpaceX rocket thruster for the Roadster.

If the Plaid keeps its promises, it will leave any Formula 1 car standing. © Tesla
If the Plaid keeps its promises, it will leave any Formula 1 car standing. © Tesla

2nd place: Tesla Model S Plaid on less than 2.1 s

A tri-motor all-wheel drive providing 1,100 hp should take the Model S Plaid to 320 km/h. Its range is estimated at 840 km. The super-Tesla needs less than 2.1 seconds for classical sprint to 100 km/h, according to the makers, putting it a hair’s breadth ahead of the Roadster. The basic price is 139,990 euros, which makes the top-of-the-range car 41,000 euros more expensive that the Performance Model. The first Plaids should be roaming the freeways from the end of 2021.

The Italian electric hypercar Battista sets new standards in the sprint to 100 km/h © Automobili Pininfarina
The Italian electric hypercar Battista sets new standards in the sprint to 100 km/h © Automobili Pininfarina

1st place: Automobili Pininfarina Battista / Volkswagen ID.R on less than 2 s

The Italian design studio and chassis-maker Pininfarina has been around for almost 90 years. During this time, it has designed cars for manufacturers such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Peugeot. Now, with support from Rimac and Bosch, the firm is building the first car of its own – a superlative EV with spectacular statistics. The Battista accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds. The hood conceals four electric motors delivering 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque. On the other hand, its top speed of 350 km/h is slightly less than that of the Roadster. But you won’t see that many of these electric hypercars on the roads – only 150 of them will be built, each one costing around 2 million euros.

Not for sale: the ID.R impresses the experts and is currently the fastest electric racing car in the world © Volkswagen
Not for sale: the ID.R impresses the experts and is currently the fastest electric racing car in the world © Volkswagen

The ID.R is Volkswagen’s first all-electric racing car. It’s also a technology flagship for the new EVs in the ID family. Two powerful electric motors with an output of 500 kW (680 hp) and all-wheel drive accelerate the ID.R from a standing start to 100 km/h in under two seconds. Its top speed is around 270 km/h. The electric sports car has pulverized records on various legendary racing tracks such as at Pikes Peak and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. On Bilster Berg it recently set a new lap record for any type of powertrain, while on the Nürburgring’s North Loop the ID.R scooped the record for the fastest lap by an electric vehicle.

The IAA 2021 will focus on innovative mobility in all its forms. Intelligent traffic solutions, visionary mindsets, automobiles and entire mobility chains. Everything that will shape the mobility of tomorrow and make it an experience. Be there!