Video: BMW i3 Versus BMW M3 0 to 60 MPH

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 11

The BMW i3 is no match for the BMW M3 in terms of outright performance or top speed, but when it comes to the 0 to 60 MPH dash, the i3 almost holds its own against the far more powerful M3.

i3 Versus M3

i3 Versus M3

There’s no way an i3 will beat an M3 in the 0 to 60 MPH category, but as this video shows, the i3 can at least sort of compete.

Officially, the M3 does the dash in approximately 4.7 seconds.  Whereas the i3 is listed at 7.2 seconds.

Using those figures, we have to assume that either the M3 isn’t being fully pushed to the max in this video or that the i3’s time is actually much quicker than 7.2 (BMW is notorious for being conservative on its 0 to 60 MPH estimates).  Our guess is that the M3 driver isn’t pushing it to the max.

Either way, it’s still fun to watch the i3 try to take down the M3 – aka the true “Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Here’s what Business Car Manager, the uploader of this video, says of the i3 versus M3 event:

THE UK launch of the BMW i3 – call it the German take on the electric car – saw groups of journalists driving out to ex-F1 circuit Brands Hatch in a fleet of brand new i3s.

When we got there, we were unleashed on the track. 

In an unexpected twist, BMW lined up professional instructors in a pair of V8-powered M3s, the idea being that we’d drag-race them from a standing start to 60mph, the classic Sweeney traffic-light test. 

In the clip here, we opened up the windows of the i3 and filmed out of the driver window. 

Apart from the wonderful theatre of the M3 V8, which howls gloriously, you can see that the i3 stays ahead initially because its wall of immediately available torque, delivered with no gear changes and crossed with low kerb weight, makes it a true super-car baiter in the 0-40mph stakes.  

The M3, initially bogged down by its higher weight and inertia, settles into its stride and eventually takes the i3, but only in the 50-60mph segment. 

The day before, on a sopping wet track, the i3 gripped better and beat the M3 all the way to the chequered flag. One of my colleagues disbelieved the result and asked to drive the M3 for himself, having accused BMW of under-driving the M3.

He lost!

Source: Business Car Manager

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11 responses to "Video: BMW i3 Versus BMW M3 0 to 60 MPH"

  1. kdawg says:

    That M3 sounds like $#*@

  2. Tesla Fan says:

    Haha overrated M3, electric is the best, Top speed is irrelevant and useless, its all about acceleration.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Indeed, at least in the US. Americans would be much better served by vehicles with top speeds of 100mph, but which could get there in 10s or less.

  3. HVACman says:

    Did you see the i3 driver’s face and hear their comments? “Incredible!”

    Forget the green and economic aspects – one s@#t-eating grin at a time, EV’s are winning the battle for drivers’ hearts.

  4. Curtis Ling says:

    even my mums 4×4 [4g69 2.4L inline 4 0-60 mph [0-100kph] 11.3 sec] will outdo an m3 off the line its all about power delivery
    since the m3 needs to rev all the way for the power to come in its slower off the line

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    The i3 is closer to 7.0 seconds from 0-60MPH. The Euro test drives posted 0-62MPH at 7.2 seconds. So numbers in the upper 6 second range may not be unreasonable.

  6. I’m really sorry to burst bubbles, but I was at the event covering it, and the M3 was driven really badly. Lots of squiggling about: I suspect traction control was off.

    What you also can’t see here is that the M3 waited a half second or so before going after the race began. I was watching from behind on Friday’s press day. When I waited for the M3 to start moving, I was left a long way behind.

    I’m all for EVs proving they’re better than gas cars, but this was a completely set up, false race. Let’s reserve the whooping for situations where EVs really DO beat gassers 🙂

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Admittedly, I have a lust for BMWs and do own an old used one, though it doesn’t plug-in.

      Anyways, having driven an M3 on various occasions and even being in the passenger seat with a pro driver behind the wheel, I will say that with traction control off is when you’ll post the quickest 0 to 60 mph time. Though it requires loads of skill to do this without loosing all the traction.

      What I suspect you’re seeing here in this video is a race where the M3 gets an awful holeshot and the i3 gets off the line perfectly.

      9 times out of 10 the M3 will win this race, but on the rare occasion that it doesn’t get off the line well, the i3 stands a chance.

      What BMW did was capture/create that rare occasion for the world to see.

      No problem with that. As even the video shows the M3 had trouble getting off the line. It’s not like BMW is hiding this fact from our view and, as I clearly stated, there was definitely some launch issues with the M3.

      The 0 to 60 mph is all about getting off the line. The M3 struggles to do that in this video and therefore barely catches back up.

      Traction control on would have limited power too much and really hampered the M3.

      I believe that this video accurately shows how huge amounts of power are incredibly difficult to put down. Whereas the i3’s limited power can, 9 times out of 10, be put down to the ground near perfectly.

      It’s a lot like how a Ducatti motorcycle ( 0 to 60 mph in a theoretical 1.5 second) can never achieve that in the real world and instead gets whopped by a Dodge Viper (0 to 60 mph mid 3s)

      1. Aaron says:

        Much of that has to do with the driver and power/weight ratio of the bike too. My Suzuki Bandit 600 kept up with an M5/Viper drag race here in Dallas. Having a 12K redline helps a lot too, since I can do nearly 70 MPH in first gear of a 6-speed transmission.

  7. Dan Frederiksen says:

    The i3 is done by evil men. Engineered to not make their crap ICE cars look bad.
    Otherwise it would be trivial for an electric car to humiliate the dumb M3 and cheaply too

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    hmmm… Are we looking at the same video? Once the M3 revs up, it left the i3 in the dust… It is only a 0-60mph where the M3 started almost 1 sec later than the i3 did…

    If it was both aimed at a light, it wouldn’t be close…

    However, in the real world, you might be able to “surprise” them since they can’t hear you coming or be ready for you…