Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars (2023 Edition)
When we hear about hybrid or electric cars, some would immediately associate these vehicles with either efficiency, lower emissions, or the so-called “future of the automotive industry.” But is being sustainable or efficient the sole purpose of electrified cars? Or can these vehicles offer actual performance that can match a gasoline performance cars?
In the early days of electrification in cars, the pioneer models were dull vehicles with mediocre power outputs and limited driving ranges.
However, those days are over. Nowadays, hybrid and electric vehicles can sometimes meet or beat their combustion-engined counterparts in power and autonomy. In fact, some of the best electric and hybrid performance cars now have the performance to menace a few gasoline supercars.
This article will look at some of our favorite best new performance hybrid and electric cars. We include models from all-out supercars to 4-door sporty saloons, so read on if you’re looking for a powerful and exciting performance electrified vehicle.
Base price: $2.3 million USD
A clear example that answers the question posed in the introduction is this first car. The Rimac Nevera is the production version of the Rimac C_Two Concept introduced in 2018.
The Nevera is a fully electric hypercar that can rival most high-performance and exclusive cars in the world, such as the Pininfarina Battista, the Bugatti Chiron, NIO EP9, or the new Tesla Roadster.
The Nevera name refers to a Croatian word that means “an unexpected and powerful Mediterranean storm.”
The Rimac Nevera is spectacular at first glance. However, it is even more idyllic if you look under its statuesque bodywork.
Rimac’s second production model has four electric motors capable of developing 1,914 hp and 1,740 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition, Rimac’s All-Wheel Torque Vectoring 2 (R-AWTV 2) system replaces the traditional electronic stability program.
The power is supplied by a 120 kWh H-shaped liquid-cooled lithium-magnesium-nickel battery, a component designed from the ground up by Rimac. The car can travel up to 342 miles on a single charge.
The Nevera can go from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, reach 186 mph from a standstill in 9.3 seconds, complete the ¼ mile in 8.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 256 mph.
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
Base price $109,000 USD
The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a real sports car, and, in every sports car, there is a strong heart under the hood. Although the hybrid models provide some extra ingredients to the mix.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is the entry model to the electrified Panamera lineup. This car offers a combined power of 462 horsepower (340 kW), thanks to its 136 horsepower (100 kW) electric motor and its 2.9-liter V6 twin-turbo engine that yields 330 horsepower (243 kW).
The Panamera’s electric motor perfectly integrates with the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission to generate 295 lb.-ft. of torque
Thanks to its modern cell chemistry, energy storage in the new Panamera was significantly increased while keeping the battery size the same.
Thus, the capacity is now 17.9 kWh instead of 14.1 kWh from the previous model. This increase makes it possible to cover up to 40 miles in purely electric driving.
However, the total torque of 516 lb.-ft. of torque is even more impressive since it’s available from 1,000 rpm. So, when the driver activates Sport mode, the 4 E-Hybrid displays forceful and seemingly endless power.
In the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, the driver feels a unique sensation of lightness, allowing him to enjoy the car’s power with little effort.
Ferrari 296 GTB/GTS
Base price $312,986 USD
The replacement for the very short lived F8 Tributo, the Ferrari 296 is the first supercar from the storied supercar manufacturer to feature a V6 as its primary engine since 1974. In the intervening 50 or so years, engine technology has advanced leaps and bounds, to the point that the 3.0L twin-turbo V6 in the 296 produces 654 HP.
While that in itself is enough to make the 296 a supercar, Ferrari have added two electric motors, one for each side of the rear axle, that combined add another 165 Hp to the car. These performance hybrid motors are labelled as an MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic), meaning that when they are not adding power during acceleration or torque filling during a shift, they will free-spin to recharge the onboard battery, and even provide some regenerative braking.
Despite the 296 being positioned as the “entry-level” mid-engine model in the Ferrari lineup, it will still boast a combined 819 HP. This will be enough to rocket the car to 60 MPH in under 3 seconds, which is approaching hypercar levels of power and speed.
There are two versions of the Ferrari 296, the GTB (GT Berlinetta) and GTS (GT Spider). The only major difference between the two models is that the GTS has a 2-piece power folding roof that tucks away under the rear deck lid in under 14 seconds, and the GTB is just a solid roof supercar.
The 296 is not the most affordable car on this list, not by a long shot, but it does deserve its spot here in 2023 because it can be seen as one of the primary flagbearers of the new second generation of performance hybrid supercars.
Base price $44,900 USD
While it may look more like an executive sedan on the outside (which it is, realistically), the 2023 BMW 330e has a very well thought out and high tech performance hybrid system under its skin.
The engine itself is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four that produces 181 HP, which sounds a bit anemic for a BMW, but is very fuel efficient while making that power. It is supported by a BMW eDrive electric motor that provides an additional 107 HP that sits at the front of the driveshaft, after the engine, so that when used in electric mode, the transmission ratios can be used to optimise performance.
That is what makes the 330e an exceptionally innovative idea. On most hybrid cars, and even many pure EV’s, the electric motor is a direct-drive unit, meaning it is either per-wheel or per-axle, and either in the transmission or after it. By putting the eDrive motor before the transmission, the car’s ECU can figure out which gear will provide the best delivery of power so you can cruise through a sleepy village in the middle of the night whisper quiet, before the engine kicks in again as you get back on the interstate.
Let’s not forget as well that this is a BMW, so it will also drive, handle, and ride supremely well, and when you plant your foot hard to the floor, it will still get to 60 MPH from a dead stop in under 6 seconds.
Since performance hybrids are all about innovation and using the hybrid to enhance the engine of a car, the 2023 330e checks all the right boxes to be included here.
Base price $1.7 million USD
Koenigsegg has produced the ultimate passenger car for families. Still, this plug-in hybrid grand tourer isn’t your average family sedan.
Instead, this is a revolutionary advance in automotive design and could lay the groundwork for a new generation of vehicles. There’s no doubt the Gemera has the potential to become one of the most groundbreaking vehicles produced in the last few years.
Koenigsegg’s Gemera is the first four-seater of the Swedish automaker. The design features four seats and a rather strange amount of cup holders, with eight total.
We’re not sure why Koenigsegg felt they needed to install so many cup holders, but those who like to have more than one drink at a time would appreciate it.
The Gemera is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-three, paired with three electric motors placed on both rear wheels and one on the crankshaft. The total output is an impressive 1,677 horsepower with a jaw-dropping 2,581 lb.-ft. of torque
Besides its mind-boggling thrust, The Gemera comes with memory foam seats in your choice of Alcantara cloth or leather.
While this may seem like the best family car of all time, it won’t be priced within reach of the average blue-collar income family of four. Its price tag is around $1.7 million.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
Base price $3 million USD
Aston Martin’s rebirth is not just empty words. The brand has received a significant injection of capital and has been working to recover the ground that it lost in recent years. The result is the Valkyrie, the first hypercar made by Aston Martin, already regarded by some as one of the most fascinating cars in history.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is a dream hybrid hypercar. It has tons of downforce, insane power, technology, and a build that could basically be called aerospace grade.
This feat of engineering is the work of Adrian Newey, one of the most successful designers in the world of motorsport and responsible for Formula 1 championship-winning cars for decades.
The Valkyrie features a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine signed by Cosworth. This engine can put out 1,000 horsepower combined with a hybrid electric system; the Valkyrie can generate 1,155 horses and 663 lb.-ft. of torque.
This powertrain allows the Valkyrie to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds and reach an unrestricted top speed of 250 mph.
It’s worth mentioning, that the Valkyrie is not for beginners since the car relies on Venturi tunnels under the body to generate lots of downforce to make it go faster, so inexperienced drivers can get caught up in the feel.
Base price $2.25 million USD
The limited-production hybrid sports car Speedtail is McLaren’s fastest car ever built. The McLaren Special Operations division developed the original project to create a successor to the McLaren F1.
The McLaren Speedtail is a spiritual relay that recovers the idea of that supercar from the 1990s to develop a car capable of reconciling high performance and luxury. Therefore, we can consider the McLaren Speedtail a hypercar or Hyper-GT because of its emphasis on being one of the fastest cars in the world and one of the most luxurious.
Considering the approach of the McLaren Speedtail, its direct rivals are the Bugatti Chiron and the Koenigsegg Regera. Two models with the same concept of combining high performance and luxury.
Its technology and features allow it to compete with more radical models in its philosophy, such as Mercedes-AMG One and Aston Martin Valkyrie.
A hybrid power unit that comprises a 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine, paired with an electric motor and a 7-speed Graziano dual-clutch automatic transmission, is the heart of the McLaren Speedtail.
With this configuration, the Speedtail develops 1,050 horsepower and 848 lb.-ft. of torque. The result is a 0 to 60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 250 mph.
Base price $2 million USD
With Italian competitors like Ferrari or Lamborghini, creating one of the fastest cars in the world wasn’t a walk in the park for Pininfarina. Still, they pulled it off with the Battista.
Still, being at the top of performance is not always the most important thing. What really makes the Pininfarina Battista special is that it is entirely electric.
After almost a three-year wait, the “production” Pininfarina Battista is finally available and has received a facelift compared to the model shown in 2019.
The changes are subtle but more numerous than you might think. The most obvious, without a doubt, is that the strange, thin air intake that joined the two headlights just below the badge has been eliminated.
The Battista is exceptionally light thanks to its carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and 4 electric motors – one on each wheel. This car produces 1,926 horsepower and a torque of 1,429 lb.-ft.
Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 1.8 seconds, reaching 186 mph in 12 seconds. Additionally, the Battista can travel up to 280 miles on a single charge, thanks to a 120 kWh battery manufactured by Rimac.
This T-shaped 120-kWh battery pack is filled with 6,960 lithium-ion cells to deliver 97 percent of usable capacity. Moreover, each wheel’s AC permanent-magnet electric motor makes full four-wheel torque vectoring possible.
Base price $2.2 million USD
Despite its massive power, the fully electric Lotus Evija is a car that its manufacturer, Lotus, hopes will become a vehicle for the day-to-day of its buyers. This is where the engine software comes in, designed so that the car adapts to each driving scenario.
Lotus Evija has four electric motors, one at each wheel. Each motor delivers 500 horsepower, so the car generates 2,000 horsepower combined and 1,253 lb.-ft. of torque. The Evija can launch itself from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and reach a top speed of 198 mph.
Still, the Evija only unleashes its ripping 2,000 horsepower when Track mode is selected. Still, it holds its own with the rest of the modes. For instance, in Range mode, it puts out 1,000 horsepower,1,400 in Tour, and 1,700 in Sport.
Beyond these figures, the Evija also changes the engine torque delivery. Here, the differences navigate between comfortable and sporty driving.
Its lithium-ion battery has a 70 kilowatt-hours capacity with a range of 248 miles in the WLTP cycle, quite a feat for such a small battery.
Still, that figure decreases when applying sporty driving. This is because Lotus is homologating a consumption of 17.25 kilowatts/hour per 62 miles.
Rivals to the 2021 Lotus Evija include the Pininfarina Battista, the Aspark Owl, and the Rimac C_Two.
Audi RS e-tron
Base price $143,400 USD
Besides trading the usual noise for silence, the highlight of the RS e-tron GT is its brutal acceleration. Barring a Formula or WRC race car, very few models with an internal combustion engine can squeeze passengers into their seats like this fully electric sports saloon from Audi does.
An example of the capabilities of this electric car is its 598 horsepower, which momentarily increases to 646 with Overboost mode. As a result, the car takes 2.9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.
But far from just being able to go explosively in a straight line like a muscle car, this Audi can roll with precision and stability superior to other RS models.
The weight distribution, the low center of gravity, the four-wheel drive, and its many tech advances allow the RS e-tron to behave sublimely even in highly tight curves.
But, besides the performance this car achieves at high speeds, the Audi RS e-tron stands in other categories such as range which is on par with the average of combustion cars: 292 miles. Moreover, the recharge time is five minutes to recover a range of 60 miles.
Mercedes AMG Project One
Base Price $2.72 million USD
To put it simply, the Mercedes-AMG Project One is the wildest machine that the star’s firm has designed for public roads.
Behind Project One’s cockpit lies a hybrid power unit led by a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 block. It is the same used in Lewis Hamilton’s car in the 2015 Formula One season.
The block itself is assembled by the engine division of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team in Brixworth, near Northampton, in the United Kingdom. Mercedes promises an output of around 1,000 horsepower.
There are also four electric motors in Project One. These include two coupled to the heat block to enhance peak torque, while the other two connect to the front wheels. Thus, power is delivered to both the front and rear axles, making the hypercar four-wheel drive.
Mercedes-AMG has fitted a large air intake above the cabin and two separate ducts to help cool the engine and gearbox for this beast. In addition, generous inlets at the front of the car can also cool the drivetrain and brakes.
Although there aren’t official figures, 0-60 mph acceleration should be 2.6 seconds. Additionally, 0-124 mph will take less than 6.0 seconds.
The top speed will be electronically limited to 218 mph. Its electric-only range will be around 15 miles when fully charged.
Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4
Base price $2.6 million USD
No, there is no rear spoiler or retractable headlights. Instead, the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 pays tribute to the initial prototype that gave birth to the legend of the Countach.
This new supercar is a reinterpretation of the classic model that takes some characteristic elements of the original model. It brings them to the 21st century in a sober configuration while balancing between the latest Sant’Agata Bolognese designs and the retro purity of the first Countach.
Specifically, it adopts the influence of the Quattrovalvole with features like the headlights, the flat area at the end of the nose that goes from side to side, the step on the front hood, and the hexagonal wheel arches.
And instead of taking the Aventador’s 6.5 V12 that produces 780 horsepower in the Ultimae version, Lamborghini has opted for Sián’s electrified configuration. This means a 6.5-liter V12 that produces 780 horsepower but is assisted by a 34-horsepower electric motor that works at 48 V.
In fact, the Countach is a mild hybrid where the electric motor is integrated with the gearbox to offer immediate response and maximize performance, reaching a total output of 814 horsepower.
This 21st century Countach can go from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 221 mph.
Base price $106,900 USD
Despite a somewhat steadfast stance on keeping powerful and efficient V8s in their cars, Mercedes-AMG realised in the late 2010s that the electric revolution was coming, and if they wanted a piece of it, they needed to develop something exceptional. Cue the 2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE.
AMG models are, with a few notable exceptions, the ultimate sleeper cars. The EQE is no different, as it looks just like the regular Mercedes-Benz EQE model… except for the blacked-out front “grille,” larger wheels and tires, and very subtle AMG badging.
Unlike the standard EQE, the AMG EQE carries two electric motors, one for each axle, which Mercedes refers to as “Permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) drive units.” They combine to generate the equivalent of 617 HP, and a simply mind-boggling 701 lbs-ft of torque. Those PSM motors feed off of a 90.6 kWh battery pack, and also feature a boost-mode function that can up the power to 677 HP and 738 lbs-ft for short bursts.
What this means is that the comfortable, quiet, and very well appointed AMG EQE will simply catapult to 60 MPH in a hair over 3 seconds. Of course, using boost mode does drain the battery quicker than leaving the drive select in ECO Assist, but the nominal range of this sleeper super-EV is 225 miles.
Add on top expected Mercedes features such as automatically adjusting suspension, heated seats, and an interior that is a really nice place to be, and the AMG EQE stands out as a viable executive saloon with seriously monstrous power within.
Ferrari FS90 Stradale
Base price $1.2 million USD
The new Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the first series-produced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to come out of Maranello.
This car takes its name from the legendary Tuscan circuit and nods to the Ferrari’s Scuderia 90th anniversary so it’s no coincidence that its nomenclature, SF90, coincides with the same single-seater contesting this year’s Formula 1 championship.
Motoring purists and Cavallino’s legendary aura enthusiasts may be wary of reading “Plug-in Hybrid” and “Ferrari” in the same sentence. It seems like a forced pairing. However, any hesitation vanishes in the face of overwhelming evidence: 1,000 combined horsepower.
The Stradale’s turbocharged V8 petrol engine offers the best performance in this powertrain class. Based on their F154 engine lineup, this eight-cylinder generates 1,000 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. The Stradale is also equipped with 3 electric motors that generate a combined power of 220 horses (162 kW).
And to send this joint power of 1,000 horsepower to the wheels, Ferrari equipped the SF90 Stradale with an F1, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
This transmission lacks the reverse gear as the front electric motors perform that function.
The Ferrari SF90 Stradale can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 211 mph.
Bentley Flying Spur S Hybrid
Base price $243,225 USD
Since we did mention at the start that we would be including some “normal” performance hybrid sedans, say hello to the Bentley Flying Spur S Hybrid! Okay, yes, it is anything but normal, but in the world of performance luxury cars, hybridization has taken a firm hold.
The S can be considered the Sport version of the Flying Spur model line, if one can call a car that weighs over 5,500 lbs “Sporty.” Yet, somehow, with the use of performance hybrid technology, it does some pretty jaw dropping things.
Keeping that weight in mind, which equates to 2.7 US tons, the Flying Spur S Hybrid will move from a dead stop to 60 MPH in 4 seconds. We’ll wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor before we continue.
That performance is possible through the combination of a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 that heaves out 410 HP and 406 lbs-ft of torque, combined with a Bentley E-Motor in the transmission that produces 138 HP and 295 lbs-ft of torque. Combined, the pair produce 536 HP and, through torque-load sharing, 553 lbs-ft.
Since the E-Motor is in the transmission, the Flying Spur S can operate on electric only for up to 25.5 miles, thanks to a high-efficiency 18.0 kWh battery pack. However, the more common usage is to use the hybrid to torque fill the areas where the petrol engine is still outside of its optimal torque range, as well as use both engine and motor when the driver plants their foot.
Thanks to the use of the hybrid, you could even call the Flying Spur S fuel efficient, as it almost reaches 30 MPG for highway driving. But, even though it is a sports model, it is still a Bentley, meaning that while you are having your sporty drive, you’ll also be incredibly comfortable with exposed carbon fiber accents on the interior, on a very plush leather covered seat, with the air conditioning set just so while you leave most performance and sports cars behind at the lights…
Base price $85,000+ USD (est)
Lotus was one of the first brands to push forward an electric hypercar, the Lotus Evija further up this list. Using the lessons learned during the development of that car, and with a history of producing sports and performance cars only, it was a bit of a surprise in early 2023 to learn that the next electric vehicle that Lotus will be producing was an SUV.
Being Lotus, however, it’s not just an SUV. The Eletre is what they are dubbing a “hyper-SUV,” and when you look at it with an objective point of view, they have a really good claim for the term. Even its base trim, it will have a 92 kWh battery pack and 600 HP from two electric axle-drive motors, while its top spec R trim will have a 120 kWh battery and over 900 HP.
The Eletre R is what the whole hyper-SUV term applies to, as it will hit 60 MPH in under 3 seconds, have an electronically limited top speed of 165 MPH, and if driven sensibly, can have over 360 miles of range. All while carrying four passengers in comfort, with their cargo in the back.
The biggest benefit, apart from the ridiculous power that the Eletre can produce, is that it shares the same internal network architecture as the Evija. While most EVs, even the high performance models, run on 400V networks, the hyper-SUV runs on an 800V network, meaning that when connected to an appropriately powerful charger, it can top up from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes, and from 10% to 100% in about 35 minutes.
It also means that the power delivery is instant, allowing for the savage acceleration where even the base model will hit 60 MPH in 4 seconds. Being a Lotus also helps, as it also surprisingly light and reportedly quite nimble, two hallmarks of the storied manufacturer.
Slated for a 2024 release, it is included here in 2023 as orders are expected to open in Q3 or Q4 of this year.