Thunder and Lightening: BMW i8 vs. Tesla Model S P85D

Posted on August 13, 2015 by Matt Pressman

There has been some recent press comparing the Tesla P85D vs. BMW i8. Yes, they're both plug-in electric cars. However, the BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid with only has 23 miles of all-electric range before its gas engine takes over -- so comparing the two cars is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. And, with Tesla's ludicrous speed coming, all bets are off. But, that still hasn't stopped the media from pitting these two futuristic vehicles against one another.

Instagram: daily_tesla

Most recently, Top Gear* gave an amusing take on this unique rivalry, proclaiming the Tesla Model S is: "The world’s best electric car. Alongside it is perhaps BMW’s greatest achievement to date, the mind-blowing i8... The Model S has been irritating automotive aristocracy since 2012, but it’s the ‘P85D’ moniker that’s critical for the car’s online stardom and alarming, pulverising acceleration."

How do they describe the P85D? "It’s the instantaneous nature of the acceleration, rather than its sheer quantity, which uproots your intestines and peels back your eyelids. In fact, I’m not sure ‘acceleration’ is the right term. That implies gaining speed, which the P85D doesn’t, really. It’s trundling one moment – zooming the next. Christening the power delivery ‘Insane Mode’ is a tad gratuitous, but Tesla deserves to willy-wave a bit. Nothing on four wheels is as softly spoken, but wields such a large stick."

Moving on to the BMW i8, Top Gear figures that cornering/handling might even out the equation: "I stagger from the Model S and tumble into the i8’s hammock-low seat. Immediately it feels sedate – vulgar even, when its fossil-fuel motor thrums into life in the middle distance... [but] At 2,106kg, the Model S is a whole Caterham heavier than the i8, and requires plenty of space to shed its prodigious pace. You’re expecting me to tell you that means it’s utterly pants the rest of the way around the track, aren’t you? So was I. Got the thing stopped, turned in, heard the tyres groan and congratulated myself on predicting the Tesla would roll over onto its recessed doorhandles. Wrong."

*Source: Top Gear

Why? "Because the Model S’s 18,650 cells live under the cabin floor in the bombproof ‘skateboard’ chassis, its centre of gravity is snake-low. Since it’s four-wheel-drive and hefty, I was driving it like a big Audi, juggling the mass transfer and expecting understeer. But because the heavy bits are slung along the length of the chassis, there’s naught but fresh air where, say, an RS7 houses a bloody great V8. So the nose simply tucks in, and you can carry quite extraordinary speed. Uncanny, wondrous, range-decimating speed."

Alright, so let's get to it. How do these two speed demons compare in a head-to-head drag race? Let's find out...

Source: Drag Times

And, to complete this head-to-head comparison, we, at EVannex, also took a stab at comparing these two rivals... in an infographic. Be sure to check out our findings, click the red button below.

Infographic

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*Source: Top Gear

Posted in Electric Vehicles, Model S, P85D, Tesla, tesla news, TSLA


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