The Top Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Changing The Luxury Market

January 16, 2023

Featuring smooth acceleration, instant torque, and no engine noise, it’s surprising that luxury auto-makers have taken this longto enter the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle markets. While Tesla has run relatively unopposed in the luxury electric classes, traditional names are finally starting to make their way onto the field. With Jaguar, Porsche, and Mercedes entering the fray, Tesla may finally see some competition.

Volvo XC90 T8

Volvo is one of those automakers that doesn’t always seem to have a clear vision of their place in the market. While Volvo doesn’t play with the ultra-luxury players like Rolls Royce or Bentley, their vehicles often compare nicely to entry-level luxury competitors such as the Mercedes C-Class and BMW’s 3-series. Technically a luxury-hybrid, the XC90 T8 is no exception to Volvo’s confused history. Featuring a super-charged and turbo-charged two liter V-4, this hybrid crossover comes with leather upholstery, a full suite of navigation and infotainment screens, crystal accented shifter, and third-row seating so the whole family can ride in quiet luxury.

Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron

Audi’s entry to the Hybrid marketplace comes in the form of this redesigned A3. Hitting dealerships with a relatively low price point of around $40,000 for the base model, this luxury hybrid is in direct competition with the Chevy Volt and BMW’s i3. The hatchback design is both sporty and practical, while the 1.4 liter DOHC engine and electric drivetrain push this car from zero to sixty in 7.4 seconds. While the A3 Sportback e-Tron doesn’t try to compete with the ultra-luxury vehicles, its modest price combined with Audi styling, make this hybrid a surprising competitor for those looking to enter the hybrid market on a budget.

BMW i8

When engineers are given the opportunity to truly enjoy their craft, the world receives the i8. The supercar inspired exterior belies a combined 360 horsepower hybrid drivetrain that can push the i8 to sixty miles per hour in just four seconds. While the horsepower may not hold up against some other cars in this class, the i8 still drives like the supercar it was modeled after. The butterfly doors lift from the car’s low slung frame to expose a beautifully crafted interior, complete with leather trim and touch screen displays for navigation and entertainment. While the six-figure price tag is sure to keep some buyers away, the i8 combines the conservation of a hybrid with the performance of a luxury sports car.

Porsche Panamera Turbo e-Hybrid

Another hybrid, the Panamera took the best of both worlds and combined them to create one of the sportiest roadsters out there. Featuring a 4.0-liter V8 engine in combination with a hundred kilowatt electric motor, this 680 horsepower monster can reach sixty miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds. Passengers in the back can keep themselves -entertained with the two removable ten-inch touchscreen displays that attach to the back of the front seats. The tablets are connected through the vehicle’s wireless system, allowing the passengers to control their climate, change the music or surf the internet.

Tesla Model X

Perhaps the luxury EV of the year, no list would be complete without Tesla’s newest addition to their pioneering lineup. The Model X is Tesla’s first full electric SUV. Featuring autonomous driving capability, a massive windscreen for an unobstructed view, and a nearly three hundred mile range, the Model X set the standard for what a fully electric vehicle should be capable of. The falcon-wing doors, a modernization of the DeLorean gull-wings, have multiple sensor systems to keep from damaging the vehicle or its surroundings. The airbag suspension and all-wheel drive mean this ESUV can go almost anywhere.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Mercedes-Benz looked into the future when they were designing the EQA Concept. The exterior is sleek and smooth. Without the need for a radiator, the engineers opted instead for a dynamic and animated display. Instead of the chrome star that has become indicative of Benz, the star is lit up. When the vehicle is in sport mode, the grille display features a flaming wing. However, that wing is replaced by the traditional Panamericana vertical bars when switched to sport plus. Utilizing laser fiber lights, instead of the industry standard LEDs, the EQA’s lights manage to give a sense of depth and try to emulate the look of wound wire – a nod to the copper that runs through the vehicle.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar’s flagship entry into the electric vehicle marketplace, the I-Pace is a fully electric SUV. Built from the ground up to take advantage of its electric nature, the I-Pace’s most striking feature is the massive cabin that eats up the space where an internal combustion engine would be in a traditional vehicle. Featuring several touch screens, a massive twelve-inch navigation display and a Heads-Up Display that projects the speedometer and other information directly onto the windscreen, the I-Pace is as technologically advanced as it is luxurious. With a range that is projected to reach three hundred miles, the I-Pace looks to set the standard for what it means to be a luxury SUV in the era of the electric car. Click here for our full breakdown of the I-Pace’s features.

Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept

Another concept car, the Bentley Speed 6E is the pinnacle of panache. This roadster features a quilted leather interior, wood and copper highlights, and a yolk inspired steering wheel. A curved OLED touchscreen display that runs from the center of the dash to the shift-stick, where everything from navigation to music can be accessed. Bentley has also included induction charging capabilities, so their customers can avoid handling dirty cables when they park for the night. Bentley claims the Speed 6E will be able to drive from London to Paris on a single charge, giving the car a range of about 300 miles. While prices have yet to be announced for the Speed 6E, it is safe to assume they will be expensive since Bentley’s lowest-priced models begin at $180,000.

Aston Martin RapidE

James Bond's favorite car company has verified that it, too, will be entering the EV marketplace. Aston Martin announced that the RapidE will be their full electric model. Slated to enter production in 2019, we don't know much about this performance EV yet. The rumbling 6 liter V12s of Aston Martin's past are being phased out and replaced with an all-electric drive system. While very little is known about Aston Martin's plans for this vehicle, the prototype for the RapidE uses the Rapide S's (note the lower case 'e') body and frame. The RapidE will only be a limited run, however, with only 155 cars slated to be produced.


NIO, one of China’s newest auto makers, seemed to come out of nowhere with their own electric SUV, the ES8. Criticized as a Model X knock off, the ES8 boasts a range of 220 miles and a price tag of about half that of Tesla’s SUV. The interior is clean and innovative if not a little bland; the passenger seat features a recliner style footrest, and the dash features a large touch display that mirrors the center-dash tablets Tesla is fond of. While this relatively new company from China has caught the attention of the media, no announcement has been made for a North American release of the ES8, yet.