BMW i3, Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF, VW e-Up!, Opel Ampera And Mitsu i-MiEV Extreme Water Testing – Video


Ever wanted to know how today’s plug-in cars handle the combination of extreme weather conditions and aggressive driving?

Well, Report Verlag has pulled together today’s most popular EVs, some courageous drivers and a heck of a lot of water to put together one of the best videos we have seen yet on ‘wet driving’.

...And We Are Backwards

…And We Are Backwards

Included in the test are:

  • BMW i3
  • Tesla Model S
  • VW e-Up!
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Nissan LEAF
  • Opel Ampera

The testing took place at the ARBÖ driving safety center in Vienna.

What did we learn other than extreme driving is probably one of the coolest jobs ever?  Not all EVs are created equal – especially when you are talking about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV…which seems to be giving the driver all the ‘action’ he can handle.

Hat tip to Michael!

Category: BMWMitsubishiNissan, Opel/Vauxhall, Tesla, Videos, VW,

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41 responses to "BMW i3, Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF, VW e-Up!, Opel Ampera And Mitsu i-MiEV Extreme Water Testing – Video"
  1. David Murray says:

    Uhhh.. The music is making my ears bleed.

    1. scoops says:

      It’s called Jazz.

      1. krona2k says:


        1. Aaron says:

          I kinda liked the porn music. Soothing.

      2. BraveLilToaster says:

        Yeah. Exactly. That’s the problem.

  2. Blind Guy says:

    Water-tight = air-tight = noise-tight, JMO. You can’t block all noise, vibration, but getting rid of air-flow through crevices makes me happier!

  3. LEAFER says:

    What experince do I3 drivers have in heavy rain? any real world comments?

  4. Nelson says:

    Looks like the BMW i3s slim tires could be a drawback on wet road emergency maneuvers.

    NPNS! SBF!

    1. kdawg says:

      That’s what I saw. i3 struggled w/most of the test.

      Funny, the Model S seem to not even notice the ground was wet.

    2. IDK says:

      +1 I was thinking the same.

  5. John says:

    nice video except for the stupid background music

  6. ELROY says:

    This test is a nothing compared to the Nissan LEAF test I saw on video:

    1. offib says:

      I think that has more to do with water-proofing rather than extreme maneuvering.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      Yeah, the Volt had a very similar trough test like this as well.

    3. MDEV says:

      Can Tesla pass this test?

    4. Curtis Ling says:

      in such conditions the resitance in water will easily keep the car in place

  7. Suprise Cat says:

    Different driver for each car means it’s a driver skill test, not a car test.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      I agree. Use only one driver to reduce the variability. I don’t think this test really proves anything.

  8. MDEV says:

    And that is why you pay 70K plus for Tesla S

  9. offib says:

    Why do the majority of the commenters here hate the music provided? What’s wrong with Jazz? Yes it’s a bit mad but it’s not catastrophic like plenty of the new and popular music out there (thank God Dubstep died off with the year 2012). Honestly, this isn’t too bad, but I guess being European has something to do with that.

    1. David Murray says:

      I don’t like the music. I could tolerate it if it were just for an intro or something. But this is a long video and it just keeps on and keeps on. After about 5 minutes I could watch no more just because of the music.

  10. El Prasito says:

    Wow, it’s shocking how poorly the i3 performed considering it was hailed as having all kinds of advanced safety features.

    Seems like the Tesla didn’t even notice that the road was wet… 😉

    I agree with a prior comment that the test should have been performed with the same driver to insure some degree of consistency. There’s a good chance that the i3 driver was too new to his car, or he simply wasn’t very skilled…

  11. Jouni Valkonen says:

    It is curious that people put Model S and Mitsubishi iMiev into same test. Like there was something in common with those two cars!

    1. MLucas says:

      Yes, there is – they are both electric cars. This isn’t a comparison test, more of a test of how all electric cars do in the water. I’ve never been shocked while using my EV. I guess people need to have that proven to them.

  12. Alex says:

    Sorry but the test is useless because of the fact that the driver is the main influence in this test. And they were different.
    Second, of course the weight and height of the car is very important. The Model S and Opel Ampera (Chevy Volt) give you much more time and need less counter steering. But its not said any of the smaller cars are bad in rain.

  13. Aaron says:

    WOW! That BMW i3’s REx is NOISY! You can hear it as it pulls away around 10 seconds into the video.

    Interesting that the BMW and the i-MiEV had so many spinouts. I was impressed with how well the i-MiEV’s traction control and anti-lock braking worked in the snow. Maybe not so much with aggressive wet driving?

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      You have good imagination since the tested car is a i3 BEV, not REx. You can tell since it doesn’t have a gas port on the front right fender.

      1. offib says:

        I tried to hear it, nothing really but that wouldn’t make the difference as yes, it is the BEV. There’s no petrol flap on the front wing of the car.

  14. Chris says:

    I’m surprised the i3 acted that way…makes me wonder if the DSC was disabled as in completely off. When I was with Erin on the track she literally threw the i3 at the water and it stuck….we did this at least 8 times – check the vid at around 45 seconds

    1. MLucas says:

      I believe the ASC (Active Stability Control) has been turned off in several of these tests. Especially with the i-MiEV. I drive an i-MiEV through snow, ice and rain for two years and I’ve never had it break loose on me. The ASC is very good on the i-MiEV. I’m regularly in the fast lane passing slow going front-wheel drive cars without ASC. I know they rigged this one, probably another chance to bash the i-MiEV.

  15. ffbj says:

    Jazz is like the anticipation of something that will happen but never does.

  16. Alaa says:

    The BMW I3 has very thin tiers and thus little traction. Similarly the Mitsubishi. They put two things together that make a deadly combination. High acceleration and very poor stopping power due to the poor traction of the wheel on the asphalt. It is not the speed that kills it is being unable to STOP. Also the short wheel bass has a factor together with the center of gravity. You can see from the video that the Tesla is the best performer since it has a long wheel base low center of gravity and wide tiers thus proportional proper traction.

    1. tim says:

      Typical stopping distance on dry pavement is 45 feet from 30 MPH to zero. My i-MiEV stopped in 25 feet. Regenerative brakes alone can quickly bring the car to 15 MPH.

  17. fwiggle says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that the cars each acted the way they did, Imiev is a tiny car with tiny tires, its light weight, and is more prone to hydroplane. Tesla is a heavy car, with larger tires, of course it will handle the water better. I3 a sport utility, its got weight higher up… It wouldn’t surprise me if it were to fall over instead.

    1. tim says:

      You sort of have that backwards. Narrow tires are LESS likely to hydroplane and get better traction in snow. The i-MiEV is not as light as you think.

  18. Anon says:

    Where’s the Ford Focus? I thought they were building and selling them there now?

  19. MLucas says:

    This is rigged, the i-MiEV’s Active Stability Control was turned off. I’ve never had my i-MiEV break loose and I drive it through heavy rain, ice and snow and never had it do this. I’ve turned off the ASC in a parking lot and got the same results as you did. Nice job on bashing a very good EV. You guys blow.

  20. Jay Donnaway says:

    Boo, hiss. This was not a test, this was a setup. Turn off the ASC and ABS and yes, an i-MiEV can pirouette better than Baryshnikov, but leave it as the maker intended, and the car is better than most other subcompacts in rain, snow and ice thanks to RWD and a low center of gravity. Push it hard and the car understeers, but very predictably, and it does not break loose. The rear can lose traction momentarily during full regen on hard off-camber durns, but ASC corrects that immediately.
    Soggily from Seattle,

  21. RobertC says:

    I was able to get similar results with an i-MiEV this winter by turning the Active Stability Control off in an empty snow covered parking lot. While driving I turned the steering wheel hard and pressed the accelerator to the floor to do some really fun spins. The faster I went before turning the steering wheel, the more I could get the car to spin. My spins were way better than those shown in the video.
    So you don’t need a job as an “extreme driver,” and you really don’t need to be all that “courageous.” You just need a small rear wheel drive vehicle like the i-MiEV!

  22. Curtis Ling says:

    no surprise both the i3 and imiev have the narrowest tyres so no wonder they perform so poorly

    however even normal gas cars (fwd) have problems in the rain because the tyres are terrible and fwd is just bad. you hit the acc too hard and you get wheel spin (in the dry that can happen but not unless you floor it or do a neutral drop)

    personally i drive a 4×4 with All-season all terrain tyres. ever though i don’t offroad much i found in the reviews section that some were having issues in the wet with the highway terrain tyres (which look less chuck then the oems).

    Honestly though my mileage pretty much is the same between the oem tyres (highway with slight said pattern bias) and the more aggressive all terrains. The ats give much more grip in the wet and is about as quiet.

    This might be off topic but i think tyres are getting too sporty these days most of them are not good for wet (not chucky enough). And i dont see why they are. I mean if you look at most old muscle cars and cars they have fairly chunky patterns and likely higher rolling resistances.

  23. car service says:

    Never seen testing like this. Looks pretty cool though!