The electric car market has gotten really interesting over the last few years, as every manufacturer joining the fray adds a new spin or twist on the idea. While the modern electric car is intended to be an energy-efficient way to get around, engineers quickly figured out how to maintain that efficiency while allowing a new model to stand out from the crowd. Most of the newest electric cars (such as the offerings from BMW and Tesla) are sportier and more upscale than their earlier counterparts, although slightly older models (such as the Nissan LEAF, the car largely responsible for sparking the entire craze) should not be overlooked. There’s a lot more to sportiness than simply speed, and these 10 sporty electric cars are an excellent case study in finding fun where you might least expect it.
There are two ways to think of the 2016 BMW i3: it’s a subcompact luxury car that happens to be all-electric, or it’s a subcompact electric car that happens to be from a luxury brand. From either perspective, the i3 is sort of a loner in the electric car world, as others at its size are considerably less expensive, but it’s still one of Autobytel’s favorite 10 sporty electric cars. The i3 is a hatchback that seats four, and comes powered by an electric motor paired to a single-speed transmission, with an output of 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft of torque. While BMW fans might not get particularly excited about those specs, the i3 does offer impressive acceleration, and its light weight and rear-wheel-drive layout help provide a sports car-like feel. The BMW i3 also corners well and has sharp steering, which also increase the car’s sportiness. The base i3 can travel up to 81 miles on a charge, but there’s a Range Extender model available that uses a gasoline engine to charge the battery.