Five of the fastest electric cars in 2018

6 days ago

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Though we love the combustion engine to pieces, noise and all, it certainly has its fair share of flaws, which are becoming clearer and clearer as the world begins to curb its emissions payload and manufacturers look to making faster and more efficient vehicles.

One of the main flaws of a petrol or diesel motor is that the revs need to build to a certain point before peak torque and horsepower is achieved. This is why revving a car hard and changing gear at the right time matters if speed is of the essence.

Hypercars, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder, circumvent the problem by using torquey electric motors to help with that initial movement off the line before a fire-breathing turbocharged 200mph+ lump takes over, providing the best of both worlds.

Ditching an engine altogether and going full electric has its benefits, too, including never needing to change gear, access to huge amounts of torque in an instant and, if multiple motors are involved, all-wheel drive.

Just how fast exactly is this new breed of electric motoring though, and should the fossil fuel burners sleep with one eye open? Here are five of the very fastest electric cars on planet earth to enlighten you.

5) Vanda Dendrobium

A little Zonda-esque

Singapore is hardly the home of exotic machinery, but then the Vanda Dendrobrium is named after a type of orchid so it is anything but typical. It is, in fact, utterly mental and has been partly developed by the F1 Williams team.

Given that previous Williams-enhanced creations include the Jaguar X-X75 and Nissan Bladeglider (a rapid and hugely fun three-wheeler-esque electric car), there is every reason to take the Dendrobium seriously.

Need more convincing beyond those striking looks? Consider the fact it can blitz 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds and that the top speed is said to be more than 200mph.

Being rarer than your average Ferrari is another plus, as production will be highly limited (think tens of cars instead of hundreds). Oh, and you will need to part with at least a million British pounds if you want one.

4) Faraday Future FF 91

Not exactly a looker, but then the Model X isn't either

The term 'vapourware' is often used for a product that usually promises the earth but never actually comes to fruition. There was a point at which, due to a lack of funding, Chinese company Faraday Future was looking like a particularly fine example.

Now though, money is said to be flowing and Faraday has bullishly assured the naysayers it is here to stay. And that is good news because its first car, the FF 91, is three electric motors, 1,050hp and 0-60mph in 2.39 seconds of electric insanity.

The FF 91 also features torque vectoring and four-wheel steering to ensure it can corner hard and overcome the weight penalty of a sizable lithium-ion battery, which is said to be good for more than 300 miles per charge.

You can actually reserve the Faraday Future FF 91 now. Suffice to say it will cost you a small fortune, but then it does have a practical number of seats, actual boot space and more than two doors.

3) Nio EP9

The Nio EP9 likes a fast lap time

Chinese company Nio is also weighing in on the electric revolution. Its first car, the EP9, uses in-wheel motors like the Rimac C_Two coming up in a second, except the power output is a lesser (but still monstrous) 1,341bhp.

Where the Nio EP9 differs is that it has proven form, if a Nurburgring Nordschliefe time of 6:45 is anything to go by. To put that into perspective, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante crossed the line seven seconds later although the EP9 did use 'bespoke' (ahem slick) tyres.

The Nio EP9's ability to better (or is that batter?) its rivals is partly stems from weighing less than a Porsche 918 Spyder, at 1,735kg, and that its highly aerodynamic design can generate two times more downforce than a Formula 1 car, with help from an active rear spoiler.

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Let us also bear in mind that, according to NextEV, its 1,480Nm torque output is good for 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.1 seconds and 0-186mph in 15.9 seconds.

Stopping should be nearly as face-bending, too, if the 408mm bespoke discs and six-pot calipers do their job properly.

2) Tesla Roadster

Menacing

There is no disputing the Tesla Model S P100D is rapid, particularly when Ludicrous Mode is engaged. But the successor to Tesla's first ever car, the Roadster, appears to be considerably more lethal.

Three electric motors ─ one up front and two at the back ─ deliver an undisclosed amount of horsepower allegedly capable of taking the Tesla Roadster from 0-60mph (not 0-62mph) in 1.9 seconds, while 0-100mph should arrive 4.2 seconds later.

The new Tesla Roadster's top speed, meanwhile, is said to be more than 250mph and its driving range somewhere in the region of 620 miles.

That does all seem absurd, but then when you consider how fast a dual-motor electric powertrain can make a beefy Model S, suddenly it becomes difficult to imagine the roadster being anything but lightning quick.

1) Rimac C_Two

Not for Richard Hammond

The all-electric Rimac Concept One was well-known for its impressive pace even before Richard Hammond decided to see what it looks like upside down and on fire (as you do).

Its successor, known as the C_Two, is even more of a beast ─ think four in-wheel electric motors that generate a total of 1,888bhp and 2,300Nm of torque. Nope, neither figure is a typo and, yes, that is a lot more than the old car's 1,224bhp and 1,600Nm.

Rather than use the Concept One as a basis, Croatian manufacturer Rimac built the C_Two from the ground up. The range between charges is a claimed 400 miles, thanks to a 120kWh battery (Teslas currently max out at a 100kWh capacity).

There is no need for launch control or any two-footed shenanigans. Bury your foot and 0-62mph is said to come and go in 1.85 seconds and then, eventually, either you will run out of road and do a Richard Hammond or reach the alleged top speed of 258mph.

How much for the privilege? Well, if sir or madam has to ask...

Bonus entry: Buckeye Bullet 3

What air resistance?

There was no need to put a one-of-a-kind racer into our top five list, but then it seems fitting for an article focussed on electric-powered speed to include the absolute fastest example around (but not very good for shopping).

Living up to the middle part of its name, the Buckeye Bullet 3 achieved a Guinness World Record top speed of 342.144mph in September 2016 at the Salt Flats in Utah, American.

The Buckeye Bullet 3 is actually an Ohio State University project, with help given by French company Venturi. The plan now is to crack the 400mph barrier.

Admittedly, it was in 1938 when a combustion engine broke the electric vehicle speed record, but the rate of progress is such that who knows how fast electric cars will be in 80-odd years. Assuming, of course, they exist at all.

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Comments (16)
  • The real question here is...which one has proven their claims rather than throwing 0-60 times to impress?

    2 days ago
    • The ep9, though the Rimac and Tesla are likely to hold up

      2 days ago
      1 Bump
    • The Ep9 in my opinion is the only one that deserves respect so far,instead of bragging of 0-60 it actually proved it was faster than it's competition, I don't care even if it has...

      Read more
      2 days ago
  • The great machines will rise now....& Its a great way to solve the environment pollution problem. so it's a huge & great achievement

    2 days ago
    1 Bump
  • can anyone settle a pub dispute? why don't electric cars have (need?) gears. Pedal bicycles have gears so it's not like gears are unique to internal combustion. And lots of electric kitchen gadgets have gears, like microwaves, food mixers etc - what's going on?

    3 days ago
    2 Bumps
    • Hopefully I can avoid upsetting any smart engineer types with my answer (apologies in advance if I do)...

      Basically, you can get away with using a single-speed transmission in...

      Read more
      2 days ago
  • What about the Aspark Owl?

    3 days ago
    • It’s fast 0-60 but it’s top speed is probably minimal

      2 days ago
    • It nearly made the list, to be honest. But it's much less powerful so I doubt it would be as fast in the real world. Plus racing slicks were used for its 0-62mph run.

      1 day ago
  • It would be interesting in focusing on the most affordable EVs. The hypercars and supercars are still marvelous but I think the ordinary electric cars are more amazing because we could use it in our daily lives. What's the performances of the BMW i3, the Tesla model S or 3 or maybe the Jaguar I-Pace?

    3 days ago
    • It would be good to cover the more accessible end of the EV spectrum, I'll see what I can do.

      2 days ago
      1 Bump
    • The EV spectrum is so large with a great choice of models. Everyday, I discover new electric cars. The hypercars and the supercars sum up the best of the motoring. The NIO EP9 has a...

      Read more
      2 days ago

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