Hybrids have been around for a long time now. The first mass-produced hybrid, the Toyota Prius, was released before the turn of the new millennium and has been a massive sales success for the world’s largest automaker. And while the vast majority of hybridized vehicles have had fuel economy as their main focus, recently, some clever engineers have used hybrid technology to make cars (slightly) more efficient and faster.
The Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1 may be the trio of cars that immediately spring to mind here, but there are plenty of other fast hybrids on the market. Luckily, MotorTrend has tested plenty of them, and we took a deep dive into our spreadsheets to find the fastest accelerating hybrids from 0-60. Anything hybrid goes; that means PHEVs, mild-hybrids, and fully hybridized powertrains are all fair game. With that in mind, let’s get started.
2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD – 4.9 seconds
The slowest car here still makes the jump from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds. The hybridized powertrain together with Acura’s Super Handling AWD is enough to hustle this 4,300-pound luxury sedan to 60 in 4.9 seconds—that’s nearly as quick as a 1997 NSX-T(4.8)! That’s one quick hybrid.
2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar – 4.5 seconds
Looking for a fast hybrid with a focus on safety, too? Well, you’re in luck. The fastest accelerating Volvo we’ve ever tested is a plug-in hybrid. The S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is motivated by a twin-charged four-cylinder engine, and in conjunction with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain it makes a healthy 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque. Together, the systems more than make up for the car’s 4,400-pound curb weight, and fire the S60 to 60 in 4.5 seconds.
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4matic+ – 4.1 seconds
This AMG is the only mild-hybrid on this list. While not a full hybrid, the 48-volt electrical architecture that’s proliferating through the Mercedes lineup shows that, aside from being able to power more electronics, the higher-voltage systems also have performance benefits. In the CLS 53, the 48-volt system powers an electric motor that can spin up a compressor and add up to 7 pounds of boost right away. As a result, the straight-six in the CLS 53 scoots it to 60 in just 4.1 seconds.
Note: There are three other AMG 53s that would make it onto this list, but the engine they use is essentially the same but in a different state of tune. The E 53 AMG coupe did the 0-60 sprint in 4.2 seconds and the AMG GT 53 4-Door did the same in 5 seconds flat.
2015 BMW i8 – 3.8 seconds
The BMW i8 didn’t necessarily revolutionize the sports car, but it did make sporty hybrids much more accessible than the P1 or 918. It costs about a tenth of the P1’s price when new, and is only 1.2 seconds slower to 60. Not bad for a car that’s only got a three-cylinder engine and gets claimed 95 mpg combined.
2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – 3.7 seconds
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is for people who want luxury, power, and that all-important Porsche badge. It’s not the fastest sedan in the Panamera range, but it does offer the lowest possible barrier to entry for a taste of Porsche’s e-hybrid magic. The 4 E-hybrid finishes the 0-60 sprint in just 3.7 seconds, quicker than a lot of bona-fide sports cars.
2017 Acura NSX – 3.1 seconds
The new NSX always draws comparisons to the original car that Ayrton Senna famously helped develop. Compared to that car, the new one is a technological tour-de-force. It links a twin-turbo V-6 with three electric motors. All that combined grunt helps the sport hybrid NSX smash to 60 in just 3.1 seconds.
2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – 2.8 seconds
Have the need for speed and three passengers? The Panamera range has you covered. Despite weighing more than two Mazda Miatas, the heavyweight Porsche gets to 60 mph in less than half as long—an eye-watering 2.8 seconds compared to the Mazda’s 5.7 seconds. For being such a porker, that is insanely quick.
2014 McLaren P1 – 2.6 seconds
The third-quickest hybrid we’ve ever tested is the McLaren P1. Its 904 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque somewhat overwhelm its rear rubber at first, the reason for its ever so slightly slower 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds. But once it hooks up, the P1 flies. It completes the quarter mile in 9.8 seconds. It also joins LaFerrari as one of just two cars MotorTrend has tested that go from 0-100 in less than 5 seconds.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder – 2.4 seconds
The Porsche 918 is a modern marvel. It fluidly combines hybridity, a race car-derived flat-plane-crank V-8, and hair-raising performance into an 887-hp AWD masterpiece. The 918, thanks to that AWD traction, dashes from 0-60 in 2.4 seconds. At the time, it was the fastest car MotorTrend had ever tested to 60. If you discount EVs, it’s tied for first with the last car on this list.
2015 Ferrari LaFerrari – 2.4 seconds seconds
LaFerrari ties for the title of fastest accelerating hybrid we’ve ever tested with the aforementioned 918. However, it’s still the quickest rear-wheel-drive car MotorTrend has ever gotten its hands on. In 2015 , we took our test gear to Ferrari’s home in Maranello and clocked a 2.4-second 0-60 time and ripped through the quarter mile in just 9.7 seconds at Fiorano. That scintillating quarter mile time is a MotorTrend record that will likely stand for a long time to come.
Who said hybrids have to be boring?
The 10 Fastest Accelerating Hybrid Cars From 0-60 MPH
- 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD – 4.9 seconds
- 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar – 4.5 seconds
- 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4matic+ – 4.1 seconds
- 2015 BMW i8 – 3.8 seconds
- 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – 3.7 seconds
- 2017 Acura NSX – 3.1 seconds
- 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – 2.8 seconds
- 2014 McLaren P1 – 2.6 seconds
- 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder – 2.4 seconds
- 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari – 2.4 seconds seconds