We’re back with a new EV drag race!
More and more EV models are hitting the market each year, but these three represent some of the more affordable choices you can currently buy. Sure, they may offer the mind-blowing specs you’d expect from, say, a Tesla Model 3/Y Performance or the Porsche Taycan. The Mini Cooper SE, Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf Plus are all front-wheel drive, for a start. Crucially, though, none of them exceed $50,000 (and current incentives peg them in a pretty reasonable range). Being electric, they also offer up healthy amounts of instantaneous torque — and that can really make the difference in a drag race.
For today’s showdowns, we’re throwing in another sporty Mini — the 211 horsepower John Cooper Works GP — just to see if it can outrun the torquier EVs. The Mini SE, on paper, manages 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, which falls just short of its gas counterpart. It’s heavier for having the 32-kWh battery on board, but it is still substantially lighter than the other two. The Hyundai Kona EV, with its 64-kWh pack, manages 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque, giving it the highest torque output of the bunch. Finally, the Nissan Leaf Plus puts out 214 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque.
How do they perform? Check out the video below to find out which one comes out ahead!
There’s something a bit…weird about EV drag races.
It’s still a bit odd doing these, and not really experiencing any noise. That was one reason we pitched the Mini GP take on these three EVs in a drag race. Apart from the added sound, the GP is also (naturally) the lightest car here, coming in about 300 pounds lighter than the Mini Cooper SE. The electric Mini, in turn, is a whopping 800-900 pounds lighter than the Hyundai Kona EV and the Nissan Leaf Plus, so that’s also something to keep in mind.
Still, the straight-line acceleration is impressive if you look at these cars against their gas-powered counterparts. However, there’s one bit of weirdness that always crops up in these electric drag races, and you’ll see what we mean in the video below. Actually, it’s more like you’ll hear what we mean: