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BMW i3 vs BMW M3 – Drag Race

Videos | November 10th, 2013 by 11
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Here is the first drag race between BMW i3 and a conventional vehicle, this time, the BMW M3. At the UK launch of the BMW …

Here is the first drag race between BMW i3 and a conventional vehicle, this time, the BMW M3.

At the UK launch of the BMW i3, a group of journalists had the idea to track the BMW i3 against the M3, in a straight line. With its full torque immediately available, the i3 keeps up with the M3 up to 40 mph, but it loses to the M3 in the 50-60 mph.

The i3’s electric drive-train generates output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton meters, which is immediately available from a standing start. The BMW i3 sprints from 0 to 60 km/h in 3.7 seconds and from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h for efficiency reasons.

The M3 and its 4.0-liter 414-hp V8 runs to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds (4.6 with rollout) and 13.0 at 109.9 mph.

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  • Chuck Vossler

    Impressive, especially given the i3 has driver + passenger and the M3 has only the driver

    • Tommolog

      The i3 is very light and instantly quick when you smash the throttle, particularly in the 0-40 mph zone. However I can’t help but think the M3 driver wasn’t, lets say “doing his best” :)

      • CDspeed

        It sounded like the M3 driver waited a bit long on that first shift, still the i3 did alright.

    • Gavin

      Your doubt the test was fair is understandable….as some journalists on the launch also questioned. That’s why we let them drive the M3 if they wanted. Pro tester couldn’t get the M3 away quicker.

      • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

        Thanks Gavin. You did an awesome job letting them race.

      • Tommolog

        Hi Gavin. Let me first say I love the idea of the event and I have been suggesting that BMW do just this sort of thing! The i3 is very quick and certainly very much fun to drive especially at speeds under 60 mph. Many people don’t equate the fun-to-drive quotient to electric cars so it’s great to see you letting journalists do races like this because it will put the quickness of the instant torque into perspective. That being said, the M3’s 0-35 time is about 2.5 seconds. The i3, as quick as it is takes a full second more – 3.5 sec to get to 35 and will pull away even more as the speed increases so something wasn’t just right -perhaps the drivers? Anyway, thanks for doing this, I really enjoyed it and it really does help to show how quick the i3 is.

  • auaq

    I hate the letter “M” cause I love the letter “i” as in, “I do” in a marriage.

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  • jo-1

    it is less impressive than many would think. I drove the i3 a fees weeks ago and I was surprised by the acceleration until I realized that the subjective acceleration is higher then the real. This is caused by the seats that have far less support then sport seats. Additionally the setting position is higher then in a sports car.

    When you look at the published numbers from BMW you’ll find unfortunately only the 0-60 km/h time with 3,7 seconds.

    Sportauto.de has tested the M3 and got 3.7 seconds from 0-80 km/h

    I’d expect the i3 to get some 2-3 seconds from 0-40 km/h while the M3 manages to make it in 1.7 seconds.

    Obviously not fair conditions and/or just a bad driver – that can happen ;-)

    http://www.sportauto.de/supertest/bmw-m3-test-vierte-generation-mit-420-ps-auf-dem-pruefstand-1036129.html?show=4

    0-40 km/h:1,7 s
    0-60 km/h:2,6 s
    0-80 km/h:3,7 s
    0-100 km/h:4,8 s
    0-120 km/h:6,4 s
    0-140 km/h:8,2 s
    0-160 km/h:10,2 s
    0-180 km/h:12,8 s
    0-200 km/h:15,7 s

    I drive personally a Porsche Cayman S and I know the difference in perceived speed and acceleration and the i3 is nowhere near to my sportscar.

    Straight line accelerations is by the way the least interesting part for me when it comes to driving fun. On top of that my used Porsche costed roughly as much as a new i3 – so it is IMHO a fair comparison.

    While the i3 is a really nice concept it is ugly, boring in cornering and nowhere near to the driving capabilities of a real sports car.

    This video is just misleading – I just wanted to type a few words as my comment.

    Unfortunately i can’t find any trustable sources but if you look at the many published videos for i3 acceleration from 0- 100 km/h you can see that the i3 takes roughly 3 seconds to 40 km/h (it is hard to analyze that more precise from videos) and I did not measure the speed while my test drive.
    The indication is that the BMW should be roughly twice as fast at 40 km/h.
    Beside that I would start with a higher rev of the combustion engine.
    All in all far less impressive then many would want to think – the hype is nothing more then a hype.

    I am really looking forward to the first real world sprint comparison in some trustable magazine or online blog.

    It is funny how many times this video has been posted in various blogs – as said before – for me driving fun is not about acceleration in a straight line but more about the ride quality and cornering capabilities.
    In this domaine the i3 is a really bad car.
    The Tesla S did the Nuerburgring in some 10 minutes – straight line speed is something for showing off but not for driving fun – well – some think it is for fun – I guess that comes from drag races in the US ;-)

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Great comment!! Thank you for the full details!

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