The 2019 New York International Auto Show's status as one of the globe's most important automotive events isn't the only reason to parade electric vehicles in front of New Yorkers. EVs, in particular, are good at city travel, and if you're going to drive in one of the worst cities to own a car, it might as well be quiet and "inexpensive" to run.
Some of these are small, some are large, some are designed with efficiency in mind but others simply want to explore. Regardless of what purpose they have in mind, they're all electric and they all turn heads. Without further ado, behold the top five electric cars that stole the limelight in the Big Apple.
Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Concept
What looks like a frog, and make you want to send it off a jump like one? The Volkswagen I.D. Buggy concept car, of course, which made its North American debut in New York. It has a 201-horsepower electric motor that powers the all-terrain tire-clad rear wheels, plenty of ground clearance, and no roof. In short, it's the perfect car for everywhere, except NYC.
An electric pickup truck will sound like sacrilege to many until they see the R1T's refreshingly simple design, and read of its capabilities. Rivian promises that the ready-for-anything truck in its baddest form will have a magnificent 400-plus mile range on a single charge of its 180 kilowatt-hours (kWh) battery, and be capable of towing a serious 11,000 pounds. They aren't supposed to reach the market until late 2020, but if the R1T indeed reaches production, it'll be by a country mile the most unique pickup out there.
Think the above, but as a three-row SUV instead of a pickup. All those off-road, towing, or range capabilities, but with more people on board with whom to share the experience. Like the R1T, the Rivian R1S is probably going to be mighty quick despite its weight, with 754 horsepower and 826 pound-feet of torque. Again, expect a late 2020 launch at the soonest, for a pre-tax credit price starting at $72,500.
Throwing a Jaguar I-Pace in a battle of spreadsheet specs with segment leaders may not make it look all that good, but as The Drive's Mike Guy can attest, it's a car that'll keep you up at night. That sloping rear to its roofline may slightly impact the I-Pace's practicality, and look a little weird in photos, but the I-Pace is something of a stunner in person, broader and lower than any photo gets across. Also, it won the World Car of 2019.
And here comes Audi, its E-Tron crossover boasting advantages just numerous enough to sway buyers its way. It has slightly better range, more traditional styling, and a tad more badge cred than the Jaguar does, if not quite its performance, being down about 39 horsepower. A little power goes a long way in EVs, though, and 355 horsepower with 414 pound-feet of torque is still more in practice than it sounds to be on paper. Plus, it started being delivered to dealers nationwide this week.