Hey there! Looking for a new electric SUV that can deliver speed along with practicality? As EVs become more popular, there are now many models that combine family-friendly space with sports car acceleration.
To help find the right fast electric SUV for you, I‘ve researched the top 7 quickest options available for 2023. Below I‘ll provide detailed overviews of each vehicle along with key stats like 0-60 times, range, pricing, and notable features. I‘ll also analyze buying considerations and provide my perspectives as an EV analyst. Let‘s dive in!
1. Tesla Model X Plaid
Without a doubt, the Tesla Model X Plaid is the speed king when it comes to electric SUVs. This cutting-edge EV can rocket from 0-60 mph in a head-snapping 2.5 seconds thanks to its 1,020 horsepower tri-motor powertrain. That makes it the fastest accelerating production SUV on the planet.
To give some perspective on just how quick that is, the Model X Plaid hits 60 mph over 1.5 seconds faster than high-performance gas SUVs like the Lamborghini Urus (0-60 in 3.9s) and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (3.9s). It leaves other eco-friendly EVs in the dust too, beating the next quickest electric SUV, the Rivian R1S, by a full half second in 0-60 times.
According to Tesla, the Model X Plaid can even complete a quarter mile sprint in just 9.9 seconds – a feat managed by only a handful of exotic supercars costing over $1 million.
But it‘s not just straight-line speed that impresses. This all-electric SUV also boasts:
- 348 miles of max driving range on a full charge
- Seating for up to 7 passengers
- Advanced self-driving capabilities via Tesla Autopilot
- Up to 1,020 horsepower from three high-performance electric motors
- 282 cubic feet of max cargo space with 2nd/3rd row seats folded
Clearly, the Model X Plaid combines extreme performance with everyday practicality. But this cutting-edge EV tech doesn‘t come cheap – the Model X Plaid starts at a lofty $138,990. For buyers willing to pay a premium, though, it‘s the undisputed champion of both speed and practicality in an electric SUV package.
2. Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition
Next on our list is another icon reborn for the EV era – the Mustang Mach-E GT. When it comes to blending sports car acceleration with an electric crossover SUV, this muscular Mustang hits a sweet spot.
With its dual-motor AWD powertrain producing 480 horsepower, Ford says the Mach-E GT will rocket from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds – just a tick slower than the mighty Model X Plaid. For comparison, that‘s speedier off the line than sports coupes like the BMW M4 and Lotus Evora.
To sharpen handling at higher speeds, Ford fits the Mach-E GT with high-performance Brembo brakes, lowered sport-tuned suspension, and sticky Pirelli summer tires – similar rubber used on supercars.
So this electric Mustang delivers joyful acceleration while remaining sure-footed in the curves. As Ford put it, they aimed to make the Mach-E GT "turn like a Mustang, corner like a Mustang, and have the acceleration and performance of a Mustang."
For tech, the Mustang Mach-E GT includes Ford‘s latest SYNC 4A infotainment system displayed on a large 15.5” touchscreen. An available Bang & Olufsen sound system provides a premium audio experience. You also get wireless smartphone charging and WiFi hotspot capability.
While not as spacious as some larger SUVs, the Mach-E still provides ample room for 5 passengers and storage for daily cargo needs. The 88 kWh battery enables 270 miles of range on a full charge. Not bad given the performance output.
Starting at $69,900, the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT gives buyers a thrilling electric SUV option without breaking the bank.
3. Rivian R1S
The Rivian R1S is one of the most hotly anticipated EVs set to launch in 2023. This newcomer SUV packs acceleration on par with exotic supercars thanks to its quad-motor AWD powertrain.
Outputs of the R1S powertrain depend on the chosen battery pack. But with the flagship Large pack (180 kWh), total power climbs to a mammoth 835 horsepower enabling a 0-60 mph sprint of 3 seconds flat. To put that into perspective, the R1S in this top configuration can accelerate to 60 mph quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan Evo!
Built on Rivian’s skateboard platform, the R1S combines long-range battery capacity with legitimate off-road capabilities. The Large 180 kWh battery can deliver up to 316 miles of range (or 260+ miles with the available 21” wheels).
Rivian further backs up the R1S performance claims with tank-like strength – the chassis is made from a lightweight alloy and carbon fiber to achieve an impressive 5,890 lb tow rating.
For passenger space, the R1S provides 3 rows of seating for up to 7 occupants. A gear tunnel running through the chassis gives extra storage for luggage, camping gear, or sports equipment.
Starting at $78,000 and launching in early 2023, the R1S promises to be one of the most capable and quickest electric off-road SUVs available. This all-new EV brand certainly seems poised to give even the Tesla Model X a run for its money.
4. Tesla Model Y Performance
You‘re probably noticing a trend here. Tesla clearly leads the pack when it comes to speedy electric SUVs. The Model Y Performance slots into 4th place on our list, just behind its big brother, the Model X.
Sharing the same powerplant and chassis as the Model 3 Performance variant, the Model Y Performance sees just a slight drop-off in acceleration – still blazing to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
Available in 5 or 7-seat configurations, the Model Y Performance provides greater cargo versatility than the Model 3 sedan thanks to its compact SUV/hatchback-style body.
Dual electric motors and an advanced AWD system help rocket the Model Y Performance ahead of most cars on the road. And similar to the Model 3 Performance, drivers have access to Tesla‘s Track Mode which allows finer control over vehicle dynamics for closed circuit driving.
Inside, a minimalist cabin relies on a large central touchscreen display for both infotainment controls and traditional gauge cluster functions. This lack of buttons combined with premium vegan leather trim give the Model Y an elegantly modern aesthetic.
Offering seating for up to 7 passengers plus all of Tesla’s latest technology, the Model Y Performance achieves an impressive blend of space, performance, and tech.
5. Audi e-tron S Sportback
For buyers seeking electric performance with luxury brand prestige, the Audi e-tron S Sportback is a compelling choice. As Audi‘s flagship electric SUV, the "Sportback" variant of the e-tron receives a significant performance boost.
The e-tron S Sportback uses two powerful electric motors – one powering each axle – to produce a combined 496 horsepower and 713 lb-ft torque. This allows for sports car-like acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds – properly quick by any measure.
According to Audi, the e-tron S Sportback can also rocket from 50-75 mph in just 2.9 seconds thanks to the instant torque of its electric drivetrain. That makes highway passing maneuvers or merges an effortless affair.
The 95 kWh battery provides over 200 miles of real-world driving range. And with its 150 kW charging capability, the e-tron S can add 54 miles of range in 10 minutes at DC fast charging stations.
Inside, Audi‘s elegant and futuristic cabin provides seating for up to 5 passengers. You‘re surrounded by quality leather-trimmed seats, aluminum accents, and dual touchscreen displays powered by Audi‘s latest infotainment tech.
With a starting price of $86,900, the e-tron S Sportback delivers electrified performance for eco-conscious luxury buyers.
6. Mercedes-Benz EQC
Mercedes makes its debut in the high-performance EV SUV segment with the sleek and stylish EQC. Motivated by dual electric motors producing 402 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque, Mercedes says the EQC can sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
The 80 kWh lithium-ion battery provides a generous 259 miles of max driving range – not bad given the high-output motors. Reflecting Mercedes’ heritage for luxury and refinement, the EQC features dramatic exterior styling and flowing body lines.
Inside the thoughtfully designed cabin, occupants are treated to the latest Mercedes tech including dual 10.3” infotainment displays and multi-gesture capable touchpads. Natural language voice controls let drivers access comfort, navigation and entertainment features conversationally.
With seating available for 5 passengers and a cube-like storage area, the EQC balances performance and practicality. Starting at $67,900, it brings quick acceleration to buyers seeking electric luxury transportation from a prestige brand.
7. BMW iX
Rounding out our list is the first electric SUV offering from BMW. Revealed in 2020, the BMW iX enters production in early 2022 as BMW’s EV technology flagship.
The iX packs not one but TWO powerful electric motors – one on each axle to enable AWD. Combined power output is over 500 horsepower allowing for sports car rivalling acceleration. BMW estimates 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds.
But unlike some other fast EVs, the iX doesn’t compromise daily usability. Its curvaceous yet efficient exterior shape is said to provide an exceptional 324 miles of max driving range. That’s among the longest range of any EV SUV on the market.
Inside, a next-gen dashboard does away with traditional gauges in favor of a curved 1.6 meter wide display that houses both instruments and infotainment functions. The minimalist interior and natural leather surfaces give off premium, lounge-like vibes.
You‘ll also find the latest driver assistance and parking features accessed via both touch controls and natural speech interactions. There’s room for 5 passengers and ample front & rear cargo space thanks to the flat battery integrated into the floor.
Retailing for $85,095, the BMW iX brings together speed, luxury, and usability in a distinctly modern EV package.
The high-performance electric SUVs listed above clearly demonstrate the rapid pace of progress in EV drivetrains. But how popular are these new vehicles among mainstream buyers? And what is the long-term outlook for electric SUV sales?
According to Experian automotive data, electric SUVs nearly doubled their share of total EV registrations in the US from 2020 to 2021. The chart below shows the surging interest in electric SUVs vs sedans:
|Vehicle Type||2020 EV Registrations||2021 EV Registrations|
Based on this rapid growth in demand, analysts predict EV SUVs will dominate electric vehicle sales moving forward. According to research firm IDTechEx:
"By 2027, SUV BEVs will take the majority share of all BEV sales at over 50% market share."
The appeal of SUVs stems from their blend of passenger and cargo room in a versatile form factor. Combine this practicality with instant torque and cutting edge tech, and it‘s easy to see why EV SUVs are skyrocketing in popularity.
Established automakers like Ford, VW, and Hyundai all have electric SUVs in the pipeline to complement Tesla and Rivian‘s offerings. So consumers will soon have even more choices spanning a wide range of prices and styles.
If you’ve got an electric SUV on your shopping list, consider the following factors while evaluating options:
Acceleration – If blazing 0-60 times are a priority, the Tesla Model X Plaid is untouchable. But several EV SUVs now dip into the 3 second range or close to it. Even “slowest” models hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds.
Top Speed – Most electric SUVs are still limited to between 110-125 mph for top speed due to battery cooling and stability concerns. But a few like the Model X Plaid (163 mph) clear the 150+ mph mark rivaling gas supercars.
Range – Look for at least 200+ miles from a full charge for regular commuting and weekend trips. The latest EVs are pushing 300+ miles of real-world range as battery densities improve.
Charging Network – Tesla still holds a wide lead in charging infrastructure, especially for long distance travel. But other brands are expanding fast charging station access.
Cargo Space – If gear hauling is important, compare rear storage dimensions and options like fold-flat seats. Roof racks can also increase total cargo capacity.
Seating Capacity – Standard 5 passenger seating suits most buyers. But larger families may want to consider 7-seat options like the Model X or R1S.
Off-Road Ability – A few models like the Rivian R1S provide legitimate off-road credentials. But most fast electric SUVs lack all-terrain chops due to low ride height.
Styling – Electric SUVs span sleek futuristic designs to more traditional SUV form factors. Pick the look that best fits your style preferences.
Price – Current options range from around $70K to $140K+. Factor in available tax credits and fuel savings over 5-10 years of ownership.
I suggest taking your top one or two contenders on an extended test drive if at all possible. This will provide you with the best sense of daily usability factors and, even more importantly, the visceral acceleration experience!
While today‘s EVs already offer supercar-smashing performance, future models are poised to push acceleration, range, charging speed, and driver assistance to new heights.
Here are just a few of the exciting developments we can expect over the next 5 years as electric vehicle technology keeps evolving rapidly:
- Solid state batteries with 2-3x the density of lithium-ion, enabling 500+ miles of range in performance EVs
- Ultra-high output electric motors achieving over 1,200 horsepower in top-end models
- 800+ volt electrical architectures allowing sub 15-minute charging times
- Quad- and penta-motor AWD systems for insane grip and acceleration
- Extended high-speed highway autonomy and advanced self-driving capabilities
- Enhanced mixed reality and augmented reality interfaces for greater driver engagement
- Vehicle-to-grid bi-directional charging enabling EV batteries to power homes and the grid
Brands like Tesla, Lucid, Rivian, and NIO are pushing the boundaries of EV performance and tech. While startups aim for the high-end market, traditional automakers like Ford, VW, Mercedes, and BMW are responding with quick electric SUVs targeting mainstream buyers.
So in the coming years, expect even more options for performance EV shoppers. Buckle up – the electric future is sure to be a wild ride!
Let me know if you have any other questions as you explore options for upgrading to a fast electric SUV. I‘m always happy to chat more about EV tech, trends, and buying considerations. Wishing you a smooth ride ahead!