BMW i3 vs. Tesla Model S P85 – why not!

In this blog: They are not quite alike, but some people find it interesting to compare Tesla Model S P85 and BMW i3.

These are both so "open" – BMW i3 with all this roominess at the front seats and the brave move by BMW, and Tesla Model S being created by a group of such open minded people, dared to put 17" screen inside to replace the boring center console buttons, and more. Why we decided to compare these EVs? It was an Youtube video actually that catched our eye right because someone put them both together on a track...

But let us first say Thank You to our friend Emo, who did some test drive videos for back in 2013, when Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF were yet to come to Bulgaria. Thing is we're still waiting for them, but that only motivates us work as efficiently as we can to help bring them to our country.

Emo managed to get an i3 out for a spin together with his girl Ashy – this may very well be the virst Bulgarian BMW i3 video. It's really just a spin, not a test drive, but we're happy to have it the way they made it – thanks guys! We're working on it and will soon upload it at our Youtube channel.

Back to the our i3 vs. Model S case here, in the video below a Tesla Model S P85+ owner, namely Christian Koenigsegg himsef, got biehind the wheel of BMW i3, to share his opinion on the bavarian EV compared to his Model S. You'll see it all in the video, but here some bits we found interesting.

First, the accelleration that we're all so devoted to. In the video i3 fares pretty well on the drag test and is not far behind Model S in the first couple of seconds. We wondered why? After all Model S P85+ is 3 seconds faster. And the reason is in an another element – the 0-50 km/h accelleration.

That's where you feel the real torque of the EVs (especially more powerful ones) – in the first couple of seconds or in the 0-50 km/h accelleration. That's because all the torque the electric motor provides is available instantly. So here how our EVs here accellerate from 0-50 km/h:

  • BMW i3 – 3.7 sec.
  • Tesla Model S P85 – 1.7 sec.

Pretty solid difference, but, again, as you can see in the video, despite i3 is running slightly behind, it's really close. At some point Model S pulls ahead of course. Which reminds us of another video where BMW i3 is slightly quicker from the start than BMW M3...

Weird as we've seen lots of forum posts claiming Model S is much faster in the beginning and once you get past 60 km/h point it's not that noticeable (at least compared to regular Model S). So it might have something to do with the drivers' capabilities in the above video...

Looks like BMW i3's accelleration is very obsessive and our friend Emo says "i damn is". With i3 not ccoming to Bulgaria anytime soon we'll have to try again to get one for a test.

It's because of the weight – with it's carbon fibre frame and panels i3 weighs only around 1200 kg. That's really light for an EV and Tesla Model S weighs almost twice as much at 2100 kg. Imagine one with the lighter 40 kWh battery and some components removed, but powerful as P85+! That could be one mean EV getting to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds...

As different as they are some people even compare i3 and Model S in ride quality. We've seen reviews in i3's favour, being such a masterpiece of fine engineering. Yes, there's people thinking i3 rides better than Model S.

But is there something these two have in common? Yes, there is such a thing and it's the charging connector :) – at the end of the video you can see the guy charging i3 with Tesla's cable :).

To summarize our comparison here, to us it's possible mostly because of how innovative these two EVs are. For Tesla this is for they had the courage to create a car no one thought will make it to the market, and BMW for breaking german trio's status quo by creating a brand new design and using unconventional materials instread of some EV version of an existing model of their lineup.

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