There was a time when all-wheel drive was the exclusive realm of trucks: pickups and SUVs designed to venture far off the beaten path. But these days, you can get all sorts of vehicles with four-wheel traction: sports cars, convertibles, sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, and, yes, electric vehicles.
While most EVs transmit their power and torque to the road through one axle, there are a fair few on the market now (or coming soon) that offer the rare combination of electric propulsion with traction at each corner.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Hybrids with AWD
So if our recent list of all-wheel-drive hybrids wasn’t electrified enough for your liking, here are 10 all-wheel-drive cars and trucks that run on battery power alone – no fossil fuels required – ranked from the least expensive to the most (short of exotic, multi-million-dollar supercars).
The most cost-effective and compelling options come from Tesla, whose entry-level Model 3 starts at under $40,000 in standard-range, rear-drive form. Step up to the Long Range model for just under $50k and you get dual motors – one at each axle, driving all four wheels – and its range climbs from 240 miles to 310. The top-of-the-line Performance model pushes $60k and gets that same range, but drops the 0-60 time down from to just 3.2 seconds.
Dig the Tesla Model 3 but prefer the taller form of a crossover? The new Model Y could be just the ticket. The baby brother to the Model X is a little heavier than 3, so its range and performance suffer slightly – and you’ll pay a little more for it, too. The rear-drive Long Range model starts at $48,000 and delivers the best range of 300 miles. With Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, it goes for $52k and 280 miles but drops the 0-60 time down from 5.5 seconds to 4.8. And for $61k, the top Performance model delivers the same 280-mile range but will sprint to 60 in just 3.5 seconds.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Home EV Chargers
Volvo’s electrified brand is following up on the upscale Polestar 1 hybrid luxury coupe (itself soon to begin production) with the new Polestar 2. And this time it’s not only (relatively) more accessible – it’s all-electric, too. With typically Scandinavian minimalist, angular design, the five-door fastback promises a 0-60 time of under five seconds and a range of 275 miles. The launch edition is hitting the West Coast first for $63,000, but we’re expecting more affordable versions to proliferate across the country from around $45k.
A newcomer to the field, American startup Rivian is gearing up to launch its Electric Adventure Vehicle in two forms: the R1S sport-ute and the R1T pickup. Both are based on the same underpinnings and promise similar specifications in an effort to shake up the truck market dominated by conventional automakers and beat Tesla’s forthcoming pickup to the punch. At around $70k, they won’t come cheap, but they aim to deliver with range as high as 410 miles and a 0-60 time as low as three seconds flat.
The first dedicated electric vehicle from Mercedes’ new EQ line is a crossover. The EQC is about the size of the conventional GLC, but with batteries and electric motors in place of an internal-combustion engine, and more futuristic styling to set it apart. So far Daimler has only quoted a 279-mile range on the outmoded NEDC standard, but we’re anticipating a 0-60 time of under five seconds and a sticker price in the low $70k range. Expect final figures to be announced before it reaches showrooms next year – around the same time that BMW will introduce its own challenger in the form of the forthcoming iX3.
ALSO SEE: 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Review
Among the first electric vehicles to come from an established luxury automaker, the I-Pace is the initial salvo in an onslaught of EVs in the pipeline at Jaguar Land Rover. Like so many on this list, the electric Jag is positioned as a crossover, even if it’s closer in form to a hatchback. But whatever you call it, it’s a pretty slick piece of kit that was quickly named World Car of the Year. It’s even yielded a racing version for an undercard support series of the Formula E championship (in which Jaguar also competes).
ALSO SEE: Jaguar I-Pace Review
The original Tesla (discounting the Lotus-based first-generation Roadster) is still one of the best electric vehicles on the market. Unlike its smaller stablemates, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive now comes standard, starting at $75k with 285 miles of range and a four-second 0-60 time. The Long Range version will hit 60 in 3.7 seconds and go for 370 miles on a charge for $85k. The Performance model can be yours for $96k, sacrificing 25 miles of range for a three-second sprint. But splash out $116k and you get Ludicrous Mode, electrically rocketing to 60 in a mind-blowing 2.4 seconds (while maintaining the Performance model’s quoted range).
Audi has entered the EV game with… you guessed it: a crossover. The debut E-Tron is larger than its rivals from Mercedes and Jaguar – and bigger, in other terms, than the conventional Q5, but not as big as the Q7 and Q8. It consequently delivers a somewhat lackluster 204-mile range and a 5.5-second 0-60 time. But sure as our climate is changing, you can bet there’ll be more EVs to follow from the German automaker in an array of shapes and sizes.
Find the new Model Y too small for your liking, or not prepared to wait for it to start rolling off the line in Fremont next year? Tesla can hook you up with a Model X – the one with the trick “falcon-wing” rear doors – but it won’t come cheap. Pricing starts at $81k, which nets you 255 miles of range and a 4.6-second 0-60 time. Step up to the Long Range model and you get 325 miles and a 4.4-second run for $91k. The $102k Performance model goes for 305 miles and a 3.4-second sprint. Splash out an extra $20k and you can experience the Ludicrous acceleration of 2.7 seconds, if you can stomach the sticker price.
Porsche has embraced electrification like few others, at one point offering more plug-in hybrids than any other automaker in the business. Now it’s taking the next step by introducing its first full EV. The Taycan is slated to be revealed in September, and is expected to closely follow the lead set by the Mission E concept (pictured), with a range of over 300 miles and a very Porsche-like 0-62 time in the low-three-second range. And there will be more to follow, including a more rugged version and an all-electric variant of the next-generation Macan.