High Performance Electric Cars and Hybrid Vehicles 2011

Do you have a little extra to spend on your next car? Do you want something with a little “extra something” under the hood? What if that “extra something” is an electric or hybrid powertrain?

Hybrid and electric cars have caught on in a major way. Most major automakers are now offering hybrid options for select models and the technology is improving all the time. It’s now possible to find high-performance electric or hybrid sports cars and luxury sedans. If you’re in the market for a car like this, keep reading. Here’s a rundown about what’s rolling off the line for 2011.

High performance electric hybrid

The SSI 65 Coupe

Tesla Roadster 2.5 – This all-electric Roadster from Tesla is an update of their signature car. Offering an insane 295 ft-lbs of torque and 288 horsepower from its AC motor, the Roadster goes from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds and, at peak performance, the battery will give you a range of 245 miles. It features rear-wheel drive, regenerative braking and reviewers have been greatly impressed with its responsiveness. You can also custom-tune your suspension. Pricing starts at around $112,00.

Lexus GS 450h – This hybrid features a 3.5 L V6 engine with an electric drivetrain. Lexus and other reviewers make the claim that it “performs like a V8.” Fuel economy is 22 mpg city, 25 mpg city. It gets from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds and features rear-wheel drive. The 450h is certified as a Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle. Reviewers also note that while it doesn’t have the handling of some of its competitors, its fuel economy and retail price of $58,000 make it appealing.

Fisker Karma – After some legal and financial wrangling, the Karma should be rolling off the assembly line soon. Featuring two electric motors which power the drivetrain and a 2 L inline 4-cylinder engine, which acts as a generator, the Karma can travel up to 50 miles on electricity alone (or as they call it “stealth mode”). Fisker also claims the Karma has 403 horsepower, although Auto Week tested it and it was “only” capable of 320. The Karma goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds in electric mode and at 5.9 with gas- engine assistance. Wood trim comes from downed wood, among other super-eco-conscious options. It will retail starting at $95,000.

Mercedes Benz S400 – This is a hybridized version of Mercedes Benz’s S series of large, luxurious performance sedans. It features a 3.5 L, V6, electric-assist engine which produces 295 horsepower and reaches 60 mph from 0 in 7.2 seconds. Regenerative brakes recharge the S400’s batteries and it gets 19 mpg city and 25 highway, a modest amount, but impressive considering the size of this car. The S400 features rear-wheel drive and a 7-speed automatic transition. Price starts at around $87,000.

2S.S.I.C. Electric 65 Coupe – This is an all-electric approximation of the 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and may be the fastest car in the world. It comes as a kit from SSI Racing of San Diego, CA. This means that it’s custom-built. It goes from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds, due to its ability to generate 1,300 ft-lbs of torque. Its battery gives you a range of anywhere from 100 to 300 miles per charge. The model featured in this video is customized for drag-racing, so it’s rear-wheel drive, but SSI also builds street-legal 65 Coupes that could use all-wheel drive. Base price is $120,000. With options, you could trick it out at around $250,000.

What’s your favorite high performance electric car, or hybrid car? Did we miss anything?

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