TOP 5 most powerful plug-in hybrids

1BMW i8

266kW A 96kW electric motor adds to the feisty 170kW 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol to provide 0-100km/h performance claim of 4.4sec. 570Nm of torque ain’t bad, either. Looks meaner than it goes.

2BMW X5 40e

230kW Electric-only range of 31km is nothing special, but the X5 40e – with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and 83kW electric motor – makes up for it with decent power and 450Nm of torque.

3BMW 330e

185kW Rounding out the BMW-e-thon is the new 330e, with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and 65kW electric motor. Closely matched to the 330i on outputs, the 330e can also drive 37km on its electric motor alone.

4AUDI A3 e-tron

150kW A 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine blends with a 75kW electric motor for a combined 150kW, which is perky enough in the A3 Sportback’s compact five-door body.

MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV

149kW Only the second plug-in hybrid to come to Australia (behind Holden’s nowgone Volt), the Outlander PHEV traded its third row of seats for battery space.