When I first heard about the technical solution proposed by the Koenigsegg Regera plug-in hybrid hypercar, it really peaked my interest. There’s nothing particularly special about how Koenigsegg married a twin-turbo V8 and three electric motors (it’s been done before), but what’s cool about it is the fact that it has a single drive ratio for the internal combustion engine that takes it from naught all the way to 249 mph. That’s like starting in top gear and then accelerating towards peak velocity, but what’s even cooler is that thanks to a special exhaust, it actually sounds awesome while accelerating, at any speed.
BMW i3 REx
BMW launched the i3 either as a full electric vehicle or as a range extender. Any i3 is cool (or at least quirky and unusual), through a combination of its boxy, upright shape, its interior that appears to have been designed by Zen buddhists (if specced right) and surprisingly enjoyable handling. The range extender has a 647cc straight-two motorcycle engine that gives the latest i3 REx a total EPA range of 200 miles.
Yes, there’s another BMW that made this list, the i8. With it, BMW wanted to prove that plug-in hybrids can not only look cool, but also drive quite nicely too, even though they are still efficiency-minded automobiles. But even if it’s a car with many qualities, the i8’s party piece remains its dramatic, over-the-top look that makes it look like a concept that somehow made it onto the road - even if it’s a few years old now, you can’t not look when one drive past.
Cadillac decided to repackage the first-gen Chevrolet Volt in as a better looking, two-door car with a bigger price tag. It might have sounded like a good idea, but it was a huge flop, from a sales standpoint. That doesn't make the Cadillac ELR a bad car, though. I’m not sure I’m in the minority here, but I quite fancy the way it looks and I think there is nothing else like it on the road, plus since only 2,958 were ever made, it’s a very rare car and a possible future classic.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
If you like wagons, the Porsche brand and plug-in hybrids, then the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is definitely an interesting car. It’s the most powerful version of the load-lugging Panamera, packing 670 horsepower, a sprint time to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and an all-electric WLTP range of 22 miles. It also handles very well, is roomy inside and remarkably practical too - if you have €196,000, it’s not a bad way to go.