The best electric sports cars to buy in 2023 (and beyond)

Martin Gurdon

27 Sep 2023

Who makes the best electric sportscars to buy today and beyond? From hyper cars to hot hatches, we look at EVs with get up and go.

With Audi pulling the plug on its TT and Jaguar bidding adieu to the its slinky looking F-Type two seater you might think that sports and performance cars are being killed off along with the internal combustion engine.

Not so. A new generation of go faster EVs is lining up to fill the gap, but who makes the best electric sportcars to buy? Below are some we rate that are already in showrooms near you, along with others that that will come later that we reckon are worth waiting for.

​Abarth 500e

Let’s start Abarth 500e, which is the first battery powered hot hatch version of Fiat’s enduringly dinky 500 baby car. 

Subtlety is not what the Abarth is about. It was launched with two colour options, ‘Poison Blue’ and ‘Acid Green,’ and for all we know these will be joined by ‘Bilious Beige’ and ‘Axe Murderer Apricot.’

The car gets model-specific front and rear bumpers, with the requisite bulges, grills and air diffusers. The interior has had a similar sporting makeover. You can choose between cabrio and three door body styles.

Power comes from a 42 kWh battery, which has been re-constituted to deliver extra power. Speaking of which, the Abarth produces 155bhp at the front wheels, and 0-62 arrives in a whisker under seven seconds, so who cares about the sub 100 mph top speed? Range? About 164 miles.

Finally, the Abarth can impersonate its petrol siblings, and make fake ‘vroom vroom’ noises. When the novelty wears off, you can turn this feature off. 

Alpine A290_ß

As Abarth is to Fiat, so Alpine is to Renault, and Alpine’s first all-electric model, the A290_ß, is a modern take on the French car maker’s iconic 1972-launched 5 baby car, making it a 500e rival.

The A290_ß is a pumped up re-interpretation of the original ‘Cinq,’ but sits on a designed from-the-ground-up EV platform. With sophisticated, multi-link rear suspension, the A290_ß is likely to be a hoot to drive. Performance figures have yet to be revealed, but the road going version is set to be powered by a 215 bhp motor, mated to a 52 kWh battery pack, which is about 15 per cent lighter the one found in the Zoe. 

The car won reach the market until late next year. We expect it to cost from about £30k.

Cupra Born

The Cupra Born is really a go-faster VW ID.3 with a snarly front end, so in some ways it’s an EV successor to the famous Golf GTi hot hatch.

The car gets copper exterior detailing and a selection of meaty 20 inch alloy wheel designs. Inside, the ID.3’s uber-functional interior has also been re-worked. Think fatter centre console, well-shaped sports front seats, etc.

For spec and performance details, see our road test here, but these are broadly similar to the ID.3’s. There are three battery sizes (45, 58 and 77 kWh) with claimed ranges of between 217 and 335 miles and power outputs ranging from 150 to 226 bhp. The most powerful Born’s 0-62 time is more or less identical to the 500e’s.

Anyone coming to the Born from an ID.3 would find a firmer ride and sharper, fun responses, if not the nimbleness of the ICE Golf GTi.

BMW i4 M50

The BMW i4 M50’s chunky, in-your-face looks are an indication of the way it behaves.

The first BMW pure EV to be breathed on by the company’s M performance division, the all-wheel-drive i4 M50 will hit 60 in 3.9 seconds, courtesy of the 544 horsepower pumped out by its duel electric motors. They also produce a truck-like 795 NM of torque, or pulling power.

The company claims a range of up to 318 miles, and plugged into a fast charger the thing should have  a Germanically specific 71 per cent battery capacity after ten minutes.

The i4 M50 makes spaceship noises as it hurls its occupants toward the horizon, and gets around corners with the aid of the expected adaptive suspension.

This car is a technical and dynamic tour de force for extroverts with deep pockets (think a whisker over £71,000). 

MG4 XPower and Cyberster

A succinct description of MG4 XPower car comes from our own Tom Barnard: “It’s nuts.”

For a fiver shy of £36,400, you get a family hatchback with  429 bhp on tap that is fractionally faster to 62 than the BMW i4 M50 (think 3.8 seconds). That’s supercar performance for less than the cost of an entry level ID.3.

To stop it vanishing backwards into a hedge, the MG4 XPower has a torque vectoring system acting on all four wheels, which are driven by a pair of motors. 

We reckon it has a real world range of 200 miles, and are impressed with boring, sensible features which range from a seven year warranty and 150 kW charging.

If all this real world usefulness offends you, and two seats and an open roof are more your thing, MG has the answer, in the shape of the Cyberster roadster, which arrives next summer.

It has no room for small children or pets in the back, but it does have doors that pivot open like penknife blades and a sci fi video screen instrument display.

So far MG hasn’t been specific about detail specs but we understand that there will be two-wheel-drive 309 bhp and twin motor 4x4 versions producing 536 bhp. Range? Officially that’s yet to be revealed, but we’d suggest about 300 miles.

With its electric folding hood, and probable Porsche baiting performance, the Cyberster comes from a very different world than the one occupied by the charming MGB, with its pig iron petrol engine and leaky, rot prone body. Well, that’s six decades of progress. 

Audi e-tron GT 

As its name implies, Audi’s e-tron GT is a grand tourer, but it goes with the verve of a full on sportscar, so its inclusion here is only a mild cheat.

The ‘basic’ (read not basic at all) GT has a boosted power output of 532 bhp and meanders to 62 in 4.1 seconds. Its RS brother gets by with 637 bhp, which explains its 3.3sec 0-62 sprint. Range is 295 miles for the GT, fifteen less for the RS. For a detailed review of what the car does, click here.

Porsche Taycan

Meanwhile if you look at the Audi and think it’s a Porsche Taycan rip off, you’re sort of right, as it’s based on the Porsche’s underpinnings and running gear, but costs around £4,000 grand less.

The Taycan itself also straddles the divide between high performance touring four seater and sportscar. Mind you, some critics have said that its uber competence results in a slightly antiseptic driving characteristics, although we think it’s brilliant. Owners don’t seem to be complaining either, and the way it performs is remarkable. 

It’s a technical innovator too, with a two speed transmission, so the car can provide eyeball squashing acceleration or battery-friendly low rpm motorway cruising and high voltage electrics that provide industry leading re-charging times. With a massive 757 bhp available, the range-cresting Turbo S is one of the world’s fastest road cars to 62, which it hits in 2.8 seconds.

All this can be yours for ‘just’ £148,300.

Lotus Evija

Since we’ve entered hyper car territory it would be rude not to mention the Lotus Evija, which is a remarkable car and a beautiful object - although they have been suspiciously evasive and we've yet to see one out on the road. Or anywhere else except shows and photos.

Announced in 2019, with a projected run of 130 cars, as far as we’re aware none have been delivered yet, but if you’ve got one in your garage, let us know.

A quartet of axle motors drive all four wheels, producing 1,972 bhp and 1,704 Nm of torque in the process. The car is made from the expected confection of carbon fibre and light alloys.

Limited to 217 mph, it is claimed to wind up to 190mph in 9.1 seconds. With a 64 kW battery pack to save weight, range is also likely to be fleeting, although pointing this out might be a little churlish.

Lotus Evija electric driving in London at night The Evija has been very evasive

Rimac Nevera

Like the Evija, the Croatian Rimac Nevera electric supercar goes to extremes in performance, and technical density and also has a motor for each of its four wheels.

With 1,912 bhp on tap its sub two second 0-60 time is hardly surprising, nor is its 265 mph top speed. Power comes from a 120 kWh battery, reckoned to be the world’s largest in a production car.

The Nevera is capable of charging at 500 kW, but as yet can’t do this, because the necessary forecourt technology to do this isn’t available.

The Nevera is named after the frequency you'll see one on the road

Tesla Roadster

Not surprisingly, Tesla has a stake in the world of ‘mine’s bigger/better/faster than yours’ EV sportscars, with its projected Roadster, a car whose on sale date is very much on the never never.

When it does go on sale, Tesla is claiming a top speed of ‘over’ 250 mph, 0-100 in 4.2 seconds, courtesy of ‘10,000 Nm of torque’ at the wheels, and a 620 mile range. We shall see.

This will be Tesla’s second roadster. Its first, based on the Lotus Elise and built in California, was also Tesla’s first production car, the first production EV with a lithium ion battery, and the first to boast a 200 mile plus range. It’s also the only EV to have been fired into space. 

Around 2,500 were made, so if buying a new Roadster has been frustrated by lack of supply, you could buy a second hand old one instead. 

A computer generated image, because the real car doesn't exist. Will the roadster ever see the road?

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