Carwow’s latest unusual drag race, brought to you by the German branch of the popular YouTubers, showcases a BMW M3 Competition facing off against two electric powerhouses: the Tesla from California and the Nio from Shanghai. The G80 M3 competes head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3 Performance and the Nio ET5, with each of these high-performance vehicles boasting around 500 horsepower, combining for a staggering 1,500-plus horsepower.
Equally Matched Power
The power spectrum ranges from 490 horsepower in the Nio ET5 to 513 horsepower in the Tesla. In this case, the G80 M3, equipped with the M xDrive all-wheel drive, closely follows the Tesla with 510 horsepower. In terms of torque, the M3 brings 479 lb-ft to the table, the Model 3 Performance offers 487 lb-ft, and the ET5 delivers 516 lb-ft. In the weight department, the G80 M3 comes in at 1855 kilograms, the Model 3 weighs 1919 kg, and the ET5 is the heaviest at 2160 kg.
In the first drag race, which starts at 1:53, the G80 M3 gets off to a less-than-ideal start despite using active launch control. However, in both the second race, commencing at 2:35, and the third race, beginning at 3:30, the combustion engine of the M3 dominates, leaving the electric cars no chance and securing a decisive victory in the quarter-mile sprint. The Tesla Model 3 Performance consistently outpaces the Nio ET5, but all three vehicles operate at an exceptionally high level. It’s evident that electric cars pose a formidable challenge for combustion engines, especially in those critical initial moments.
From 5:00 onwards, the three-way battle transitions to everyday driving conditions with a rolling start. As expected, the BMW M3 struggles in this scenario, requiring several gear shifts during an unexpected kickdown before achieving full acceleration. In contrast, the Tesla Model 3 and Nio ET5 effortlessly unleash their maximum performance and quickly leave the M3 behind.
At 5:35, we witness the remarkable difference in the BMW M3’s performance when all settings are dialed to their sportiest. Nevertheless, the M3 only truly shines when it’s in the optimal gear at the start of the drag race, as seen from 6:35 when it starts at 80 km/h in third gear, enabling it to pull ahead seamlessly right from the beginning.