Car and Driver
Mat the go pedal in almost any electric vehicle and you’ll surely be surprised by how quickly it accelerates. That’s because EVs are inherently quick in a straight line thanks largely to their motors’ instantaneous torque. With enough power, these EVs aren’t just notably quick off the line, they’re also insanely quick up to 60 mph and then some. It’s why really powerful electric models exist in an even higher-performance stratosphere alongside supercars.
We’ve tested over 55 EVs to date, and out of those, the quickest set consists of nine nameplates that’ll hit 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. Don’t confuse quick for fast, though, as the two terms mean different things.
Quick refers to a vehicle’s acceleration, whereas fast refers to its top speed, and they’re not mutually exclusive. For instance, the GMC Hummer EV is quick but not fast. The electric pickup truck hits 60 mph in 3.3 seconds but tops out at 106 mph. On the flip side, the Lucid Air is quick and fast, with the 1111-hp model hitting 60 mph in 2.6 ticks on its way to a 173-mph top speed. Make sense?
Now that we’ve established the ground rules, let’s take a look at the models we’ve tested that hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds or less. For some of the EVs mentioned below, we’ve tested multiple versions, but for the purpose of this list, we’re only including the quickest variant.
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2022 Rivian R1T: 3.3 Seconds
At the bottom of this list of insanely quick EVs is the rather unassuming Rivian R1T. Apart from its alien-like front lighting elements, the R1T’s design does not indicate the fact it’s an electric vehicle, let alone one of the quickest EVs we’ve ever tested.
Strap in and experience the R1T’s 3.3-second sprint to 60 mph and you’ll soon realize this truck is quick as hell. Alongside the R1T’s four motors’ 908 pound-feet of torque (one at each wheel) that give this truck the ability to haul heavy loads of junk in its cargo bed, the electric powertrain’s 835 horsepower helps it blow the doors off your average sports car. While the Rivian R1T is super quick, it’s not super fast, with a governor-limited top speed of 111 mph.
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2022 GMC Hummer EV: 3.3 Seconds
This is where things get a little wild. That’s because the nearly five-ton GMC Hummer EV is one of the quickest EVs we’ve tested. Despite weighing more than two Tesla Model 3s and wearing knobby mud-terrain tires, the Hummer shot to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. We recorded that time by unleashing the truck’s 1000 horsepower and 1200 pound-feet of torque via its aptly named WTF launch mode, which, of course, is short for “Watts To Freedom”. The gargantuan GMC also rips down the drag strip, completing the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 106 mph. Fun fact: That trap speed is the same as the Hummer EV’s governor-limited top speed, making it the slowest EV on this list.
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2022 BMW i4 M50: 3.3 Seconds
Like the Tesla Model 3 Performance, the BMW i4 M50 also has the distinction of being one of three sub-$100,000 EVs to make this list. With an electric motor mounted at each axle making a combined 536 horsepower, the i4 M50 hits 60 mph in 3.3 seconds—at least two-tenths quicker than the quickest BMW M3 we’ve tested. One area where BMW’s sporty electric four-door hatch falls flat is at triple-digit speeds, with its max velocity governor-limited to a rather disappointing 127 mph.
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2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance: 3.1 Seconds
The Tesla Model 3 Performance is different than most EVs on this list because it does not cost six figures (the 2022 model starts at around $60k). Its discounted price includes an impressive 60-mph time of 3.1 seconds. That’s four-tenths quicker than the 503-hp BMW M3 Competition. The Bimmer and the Model 3 Performance we tested both wore sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, but the instant torque from the all-wheel-drive Tesla’s two electric motors gives it a notable advantage. An advantage that wanes as speeds climb, with the gas-fed, all-wheel-drive M3 beating the Model 3 to 100 mph by a half-second (7.6 versus 8.2 ticks). Still, the Tesla Model 3 Performance has a claimed top speed of 162 mph and is the best bargain among this bunch of speedy EVs.
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2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS: 3.0 Seconds
The Mercedes-AMG EQS might look like an anonymous blob with a Mercedes badge buttoned on the front, but it’s an electric hot rod at heart. That’s obvious by its ability to boogey to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. The Merc’s motivation comes from an electric motor at each axle, the combination of which generates a total of 751 horsepower. Despite the AMG-tuned EQS’s quick burst to 60 mph, its acceleration times dip at higher speeds. For instance, it’s only one-tenth behind the Audi RS e-tron GT in the race to 60, but it arrives 0.7, 3.0, and 5.8 ticks behind the RS on the way to 100, 130, and 150 mph, respectively. The Mercedes-AMG EQS’s top speed is governor-limited to 154 mph.
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2022 Audi RS e-tron GT: 2.9 Seconds
The Audi RS e-tron GT isn’t as quick or powerful as the three EVs ahead of it on this list, but it’s still only the fourth electric vehicle we’ve tested that hits 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. While it shares an innovative two-speed rear-axle transmission with the Porsche Taycan, the RS version of the e-tron GT isn’t as powerful as a Turbo S version of the Taycan. The Audi’s dual electric motors make 637 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. With the help of all-wheel-drive traction, 60 mph arrives in 2.9 ticks and the quarter-mile is completed in 11.0 seconds at 127 mph. The RS e-tron GT is also faster than most cars, with a top speed that’s limited to 156 mph by a governor.
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2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance: 2.6 Seconds
The Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance burst onto the scene with big impressive numbers. Its dual motors (one at each axle) produce a total of 1111 horsepower and 1025 pound-feet of torque. That helped the 5282-pounder we tested rip to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. Sure, that’s almost a half second behind the Tesla Model S Plaid, but it’s impressive, nonetheless. Plus, the ludicrously powerful Lucid is faster than the Plaid—and every other EV we’ve tested—reaching a top speed of 173 mph.
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2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo: 2.4 Seconds
The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo is one wicked wagon. Despite its namesake, it’s not turbocharged—duh. However, it’s super powerful, with dual electric motors that generate a total of 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque. In fact, it has the same all-wheel-drive powertrain and two-speed rear-axle transmission found on the Taycan Turbo S sedan. We tested both body styles, which each hit 60 mph in an identical 2.4 seconds. However, the longroof version of the Taycan Turbo S is one-tenth quicker to 100 mph and through the quarter mile. For those who are willing to trade that tenth for a higher top speed, Porsche claims the sedan’s max velocity is 162 mph, whereas the wagon is limited to 155.
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2021 Tesla Model S Plaid: 2.1 Seconds
The Tesla Model S Plaid isn’t just the quickest EV we’ve ever tested, it’s one of the quickest cars we’ve ever tested. Period. With three electric motors zapping 1020 horsepower and 1050 pound-feet of torque to the pavement, the all-wheel-drive Plaid hit 60 mph in 2.1 seconds. That time puts the Tesla 0.1 second ahead of the ultra-exotic 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder. The Model S we tested not only weighed about 1000 pounds more than Porsche’s hybrid hypercar, it also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars less. Elon Musk’s ultimate creation isn’t nearly as fast as the Ferrari or Porsche, though, with a governor-limited 162-mph top speed.
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Quickest EVs Tested: 60 MPH in Under 3.5 Seconds!
- 2022 Rivian R1T: 3.3 Seconds
- 2022 GMC Hummer EV: 3.3 Seconds
- 2022 BMW i4 M50: 3.3 Seconds
- 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance: 3.1 Seconds
- 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS: 3.0 Seconds
- 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT: 2.9 Seconds
- 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance: 2.6 Seconds
- 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo: 2.4 Seconds
- 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid: 2.1 Seconds
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