Tesla Model S P85+ Versus BMW i3 – Race Video

4 days ago by Eric Loveday 16

It’s not your typical Tesla-killing-a-supercar drag race video.

Lookin Out My Back Door

It is a drag race though.

This one features an older Tesla Model S P85+ against a BMW i3.

Unexpectedly perhaps, the i3 appears to get the slightest of jumps off the line. This is likely due to its curb weight that thousands of pounds less than the portly Model S.

But the i3’s lead doesn’t last for long.

Within just a second or so, the i3 vanishes out of the side view of the Model S and then disappears into the background somewhere.

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16 responses to "Tesla Model S P85+ Versus BMW i3 – Race Video"

  1. pjwood1 says:

    Since Tesla’s update weeks ago, all new Model S cars are about as fast as the P85+’s 4.0 seconds, to 60mph. All of them.

    1. Viking79 says:

      Although I like a fast car, I really don’t see the point of a daily driver doing 0-60 faster than 6 or 7 seconds. That is plenty fast to merge with traffic, accelerate faster than most normally accelerating traffic and avoid any sticky situations without being so much power to get you into trouble (driving through the front of a store, for example).

      I do think it is smart of Tesla to make all their Model S faster though, with the release of the 3 they were dangerously similar in specs originally, this will help separate them. It would be very bad if Tesla hurt their sales of their highly profitable flag ship with their less expensive (and less profitable) Model 3.

      1. peetah says:

        i have a P90D model x and i drive like a granny, but you will be happy when the acceleration gets you out of a jamb one day…may even save your life in a passing maneuver or like a video that was posted of a MX that almost got rear-ended and the the acceleration saved him from the cell phone user behind him…

      2. Jason says:

        Not sure what their profits are, but if you make $100 on 1 mil sales, that’s better than $10k on 1000 sales. $100mil vs $10mil in profits.
        As to performance eating into Model S, that is nonsense. Model S should be a higher luxury sedan. Tesla needs to concentrate on improving the luxury feeling in Model S so that is the differentiation, just liked all luxury manufacturers do.
        Or they redesign the Model S so it is easy and cheap to make, then reduce the price margin so Model S is better value. This has to happen at some point anyway, as battery prices decrease that requirement of the higher price decreases.

  2. mx says:

    Well, there’s no shame in coming in second. The i3 has a silky smooth suspension, acceleration, nice Regen, good interior materials, quiet interior, and very fun to drive factor.

    Tesla has all that and much more horsepower.
    If you can’t wait for the Model 3, and some of us could not, there’s no shame in buying and driving this car.

    Also, it has the REX option, because Pennsylvania isn’t California, when it comes to charging infrastructure.

    1. Warren says:

      I tested the P85 acceleration on YouTube when it first came out. Did instrumented tests on my friend’s P90D ludicrous, and drove around in his P100D ludicrous. My friend drives both the BMW i3 and the Teslas regularly as I have. We BOTH agree, although the Tesla has brute strength, in most situations the i3 is more nimble and fun to drive car than the nearly 5000lb Tesla. Its immediacy in steering reaction, small size and turning radius and surefooted RWD (compared to the many FWD EVs) makes it a very spirited and enjoyable everyday car. I have always said that in spite of its small tires, even in wet weather, the i3 doesn’t even spin under full acceleration (as can be seen in the video with its quick jump in wet conditions).
      Just raced up mile high Mt Wilson last weekend again. The RWD rear-engine i3 is such a blast to drive in the 20-60mph corner after corner situation. It’s such a blast, I’m going to go this weekend again!

      Amazingly, whereas my 2011 LEAF SL barely made it to the top of 5300Ft Mt Wilson, driving 15mph with 1 mile of range remaining, I was able to race the i3 up with no problem. And from the top to the bottom, my 4.0+ mi/kWh efficiency was virtually the same a driving the total trip on level elevation.

      As luck had it, on the way down I caught up to a Chevy BOLT. It was fun to watch the differences in the cars. I know driver skill has a lot to do with it, but that Bolt was all over the road and appeared to be lumbering and fighting under steer. Needless to say after about 5 minutes, he moved over into a turn off to let me pass. He then tried to keep up with me, but turn after turn, eventually lost sight of me. The i3 is a blast to drive through the canyons.

      1. mx says:

        Nicely put.

  3. Warren says:

    To infinity, and beyond!

    “Currently, all cars of the world combined drive one light year, every year. That is 9.500.000.000.000 km…is it true? There are 6 trillion miles in a light year (rounded up) and one billion cars on Earth (rounded down from 1.1 billion) so β€œYES” it’s entirely possible. All each car would have to manage is 6,000 miles per year to make this happen.”

  4. TyrrellF1 says:

    Enough already! Electric cars are fast in a straight line but how about comparing them on a twisty track? Handeling is more important than acceleration.

    1. ffbj says:

      Due to it’s extremely low center of gravity Tesla models handle great. One’s a sedan & ones an suv so they don’t handle like sports cars, but close. They are best handling vehicles in their segments.

      1. theflew says:

        Actually in the autocross video from last week the Tesla’s power was reduced due to motor temperature. So yes it has good straight line performance and has a low center of gravity. But on/off acceleration on a twisty tracks is not it’s best scenario.

      2. Dan says:

        Not sure if low center of gravity or drag race timing will be the defining characteristic in the narrow streets of Boston or the cobblestoned streets of Europe. The i3 has a different kind of street-smarts that helps it thrive in urban environments.

      3. pjwood1 says:

        I remain impressed, that Tesla chose to put Bilstein shock abosorbers in its coil suspended cars, stock. Most of the German makers are supported by Bilstein, but having to upgrade on your own is still pretty common.

        Apart from the low cg is where you put the weight, front to back. The Tesla starts with a gravity center as low as the classic Ford GT40. We can talk about having fun, wiping the tail of a 911 all over the place, but optimally putting the weight between the axles makes the Tesla’s (or, FTM the i3’s) poise much better on two-lanes, exit ramps, etc.

        Going hard into a turn with a front-engined car, after you’ve done the same thing with a “skateboard” battery, just doesn’t compare. Tesla gets away without using multiple suspensions, in my opinion, because the car doesn’t have to deal with the rolling, side to side, transients others do. You don’t have to make them rock-stiff, to get a sporty result.

  5. franky_b says:

    What’s next, a Tesla versus the i-Miev? 😐

    In real life situation, you basically mean the Tesla will have to wait 2 sec longer at the red light?

    All those drag races make laugh…

    Remember this one?

  6. Tummy says:

    We have had two 2014 i3s and 7 months ago got a 2016 Model S 60. Even our 60 is much faster than the i3s. In the video it looks like a wet track. I notice our Tesla reducing power during acceleration much more aggressively than our i3 in wet conditions. i3 put the power on much more gradually, but doesn’t have much wheel spin. My understanding is the original P85 have trouble putting the power down with only RWD and that is what limited the acceleration.

  7. Victor says:

    This is funny!😁

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