ConsumerReports test drives, reviews and compares the BMW i8 and the Tesla Model S. Without a doubt the two green cars cater to different customers, but their looks and technology make them stand out from the pack.
Tesla offers the Model S with two configurations: a 60kWh battery and EPA rated at 208 miles of range and the 85kWh battery rated at 265 miles. The 60kWh version starts at $71,070 and the 85kWh costs $81,070. There is also a performance version, P85+.
The top-of-the-line P85 comes with with 416 hp, 443 lb-ft of torque at 0 rpm, some handling tweaks, a jumbo 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack rated at 265 miles of range per charge, and a starting price $95,740.
BMW i8 uses a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a turbocharged three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and BMW eDrive technology in the form of an electric drive system. The 1.5-liter combustion engine develops 170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels of the BMW i8, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric drive sends its power to the front wheels and allows an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).
Which one is a better buy? Let’s find out.