I drove an electric car for the first time under intense conditions — and it performed better than I expected

A Chevrolet Bolt EV is not the first car you might think to use on an autocross track.

Autocross is a timed competition in which cones are arranged, often in a flat and spacious environment like a parking lot, to create a course that tests a driver’s ability to make a number of tight turns with precision. A modestly-priced car might not seem like the most logical choice for this sort of event, but on a 2017 list of the cars best suited for autocross, the automotive publication Road & Track included affordable vehicles like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Civic alongside the Porsche Cayman and Chevrolet Corvette.

Like the Fiesta, the Bolt is light and compact, which helps with agility and tight turns. And its 266 pound-feet of torque tops competitors like the Nissan Leaf (236 pound-feet) and the BMW i3 (184 pound-feet). While it won’t provide blistering acceleration (it takes 6.2 seconds to go from 0-60 mph) or race car-level handling, the Bolt can navigate tight turns and frequent changes in speed without spinning out of control.

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