BMW i Series Model S Tesla

The Electric and Hybrid Showdown: i8 vs Model S

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Editor’s Note: Do not attempt to recreate anything seen in the video below unless on a closed course under professional supervision. The editors at the duPont REGISTRY do not condone any illegal street activity, and remind you to always obey local traffic laws.

It’s 2015, which means cars capable of reaching insane speeds and absurd acceleration no longer need an engine or massive quantities of gasoline to do so. Case and point, the BMW i8 and Tesla Model S P85D.


BMW’s new hybrid beast still utilizes a gasoline engine, but the 1.5-liter TwinPower inline three-cylinder engine gets its true assist from the electric motor. Combined they create an impressive 357 hp and 420 lb-ft, all of which is required to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

The Model S P85D does not use an engine. Its battery pack stores 85 kWh of energy, and two electric motors create a 691 hp and 864 lb-ft. It can reach 62 mph from a standstill in just 3.2 seconds – mostly thanks to the fact that torque is instantly available.

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So when the two are matched up on the road, who wins? DragTimes added a video to YouTube July 19 showing a test of the two against each other, with both the Tesla and the BMW’s points of view included. Is the power of the P85D’s Insane Mode enough to push it past the i8, or does its 4,936 lb curb weight prevent it from overtaking the 3,455 lb i8?

Check out the full spec comparison of the two below, let us know who you think the winner is and then watch the video above to see who wins.


Engine: Two electric motors

Transmission: 1-speed

Horsepower: 691

Torque: 864 lb-ft

Curb Weight: 4,647 lbs

Length: 196 inches

0-62 mph: 3.2 seconds

Top Speed: 155 mph

View Model S’ For Sale


Engine: 1.5-liter TwinPower I-3 & electric motor

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Horsepower: 357

Torque: 420 lb-ft

Dry Weight: 3,455 lbs

Length: 184.9 inches

0-62 mph: 4.2 seconds

Top Speed: 155 mph

View i8s For Sale

(Source: YouTube)

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