2014 CAR review: top 8 cars that changed our minds about electric power

Published: 29 December 2014

BMW i3 

1) BMW i3: The electric reality

Deliberately or otherwise, BMW waited for the likes of Nissan and Vauxhall to make their electric mistakes before embarking on its own electric city car. The i3 works because even if you eschew its green creds you have to love its stunning connectivity, practicality, sassy looks and super cabin. Also, for the terminally range anxious, there’s a range-extender version.

 Toyota TS040: The racer

2) Toyota TS040: The racer

Ground-breaking petrol hybrid endurance racer came third at Le Mans. We have to love it: it has a supercapacitor on each axle!

 BMW i8: The obsession

3) BMW i8: The obsession

We love this car not because it’s perfect but because everything has been thought about and then thought about some more. The heavy lithium-ion batteries are the car’s spine, to assist weight distribution, and that weight is mitigated by aluminium and carbonfibre. Magnesium and foam technology inside further cut weight. Plus, of course, 135mpg, 49g/km and scissor doors? You need to ask?

 Mercedes W05: The F1 conqueror

4) Mercedes W05: The F1 conqueror

While the wider debate about F1’s new regs and the lack of engine noise rages on, Merc built a hybrid racer so utterly brilliant it even made Nico Rosberg look like a decent driver.

 McLaren P1: Hyper-plug-in!

5) McLaren P1: Hyper-plug-in!

An F1 car for the road that you can plug into the mains? How otherworldly is that? Designed by a computer, looks like a spaceship.

 Porsche 918: The one that started it all

6) Porsche 918: The one that started it all 

We first broke the news about this car – part supercar, part race car, part vision of the future – in the spring of 2010. ‘There has never been a car like this,’ we said. This year we drove it. And we were right.

 LaFerrari: The Successor

7) LaFerrari: The successor

With Enzo to live up to, Ferrari had to innovate and amaze. So it risked mating a V12 to an electric motor, with blissful results.

 Tesla Model S: The threat to the establishment

8) Tesla Model S: The threat to the establishment

Honestly? It’s taken us a while to fully understand how good this car is. Tesla’s previous effort was a slightly iffy Lotus-alike, but the all-electric Model S is simply astonishing: refined, beautifully built, amazing to drive and with a huge computer screen instead of a centre console. Germans beware!

Click below for the rest of CAR's top 100 moments of 2014:

The nine best sports cars of the year
Four seismic Nurburgring laptimes
Top six people we talked about
Six wishes for 2015
Six back-from-the-dead stories
Six things we said goodbye to
Top 10 motorsport moments
Seven things we never thought we’d see
Six biggest disappointments
Top five tech trends of 2014
Top 10 quotes of 2014
10 great CAR magazine features from 2014

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