As much as some motorheads try to ignore the onslaught of electric vehicles, there’s little doubt EVs and their infrastructure will soon become part of everyday life. With big names like Porsche Taycan, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Audi e-tron, and the various Tesla models, the future of EVs looks sporty indeed. In fact, these models and others were among the contenders for the 2021 Car and Driver EV of the Year award.
And despite disappointing specs for the 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S and its failure to win this year’s award, it still delivers an electrifying ride.
Winner of the 2021 Car and Driver EV of the Year
Unless you live someplace with no TV or internet, you’ve probably heard of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. By all accounts, it’s an impressive piece of technology that raises the bar for EV makers. In fact, it’s so good that Car and Driver recently named it the 2021 EV of the Year based on value, fun, and mission fulfillment — the same criteria used for Car and Driver‘s 10Best Cars and Trucks for 2021.
C/D calls the 2021 Mustang Mach-E “fun to drive.” And considering its available all-wheel drive, a big-battery version that produces up to 346 hp, and the ability to hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, we’d say it seems impossible for this EV not to be fun. And with an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles on a full charge at 75 mph and an actual Car and Driver-tested 250 miles, the Mach-E’s driving fun will keep going for hours.
The Porsche Taycan 4S is a top-ranked contender
In Car and Driver‘s long-range testing, the Porsche Taycan 4S came in third — behind the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus and the Mach-E — with 220 miles. The Taycan 4S that C/D tested cost $111,730 tipped the scales at 5,128 pounds. Those are unattractive specs, but the 4S wears them well.
It exhibits respectable performance with a 3.4-second 0-60, 11.7-second quarter-mile at 120 mph, and a governor-limited top speed of 155 mph. In addition, the Taycan 4S has impressive traction with its substantial weight, braking from 70-0 mph in 147 feet and holding the road at 1.03g on the 300-foot skidpad.
As stated, the Taycan 4S provides respectable performance, but it really stands out from a driver’s perspective. Car and Driver used phrases like “talkative, perfectly weighted helm” and “the way its controls cocoon the excellent driving position” to describe the driving experience, saying, “Taycan’s essence revolves around its pilot.”
Other contenders for EV of the year
The Tesla Model S Long Range Plus achieved the most miles on a full charge in the 75-mph test with 320 miles, about 80 percent of the EPA-estimated 402 miles. The C/D test model cost $70,620 and weighed in at 4,824 pounds. Performance is good for the price, reaching 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, finishing the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 116 mph, and hitting a governor-limited 159-mph top speed. Traction is good, with the Model S stopping from 70 mph in 172 feet and holding the road at 0.86g on a 300-foot skidpad.
C/D calls the Kia Niro EV “too often overlooked.” Delivering 210 miles in the 75 mph highway test, the Niro has a “reassuringly firm” ride with steering that “feels right,” Car and Driver reports. Though the Niro doesn’t deliver heart-pounding performance — reaching 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 94 mph, and a governor-limited top speed of 107 mph — its $40,265 base price or even the as-tested $47,145 make those numbers seem downright perky.