The BMW i8 may look, at least on the surface, like it’s cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned i3. They’re both sleek and futuristic-looking, and both undeniably luxurious. And, well, there’s that naming convention—clearly they’re connected somehow. But while the i3 is content to zip along running on pure electric power, BMW used a more powerful plug-in hybrid drivetrain to power the i8, making it another of the sportiest electric cars. This 4-passenger coupe features a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor, making 357 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic and manages power to all 4 wheels. Smooth and steady acceleration are a distinguishing feature of the BMW i8, as the car is able to reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, yet the car is able to switch quickly between its gas and electric power sources, using whatever is most efficient at the time.
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt is totally redesigned for this year, and it’s come miles in terms of range, functionality, and general user-friendliness, making it even more worthy of a spot on the list of 10 sporty electric cars. The Volt now seats 5 passengers instead of 4, thanks to a redesigned drivetrain that no longer occupies part of the backseat area. The Volt features two electric motors and a battery that provide the car with 149 horsepower; there’s also a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine should the Volt run out of battery charge, but part of the point of the car is that most of the time, it shouldn’t be necessary. The Volt can go up to 53 miles on a full charge, and achieves 106 mpg-equivalent while running on electric power. While the Chevy Volt makes no pretense of being able to compete with actual sports sedans, it boasts surprisingly strong acceleration, good steering, and firm brakes—characteristics that go a long way toward providing a satisfying driving experience.