Cars

A BMW M3 Needs More Than 1,000 HP To Keep Up With a Tesla Model S Plaid

The Tesla Model S Plaid has proved to be a formidable drag racer. The electric sedan’s triple-motor setup gives the car 1,020 horsepower, putting it in the same performance category as modern-day hypercars. But it’s not invincible. A new video shows a gas-powered vehicle, a tuned BMW M3 Competition, can still challenge the ultimate EV for wins.

The M3 that lines up alongside the Tesla makes 1,039 hp, more than double than it did when it left the factory. Tom Wrigley Performance and R44 built the BMW, increasing the horsepower through several upgrades to the twin-turbo straight-six engine. Those included improved cooling, a new exhaust system, upgraded turbochargers, and more performance goodies.

The M3 had to run on ethanol to maximize its output against the Tesla Model S. The EV’s triple-motor setup was slightly less potent than the BMW, but it did come to the race with all-wheel drive.

The pair competed in three drag races, and the first run hinted at the fight to come. The BMW won the opening race, crossing the finish line in 9.7 seconds to the Tesla’s 10.2-second time. The Tesla won the second and third races, beating the M3 by 0.1 seconds – 9.7 vs 9.8 seconds – but the BMW crossed the half-mile finish line ahead of the Model S.

The BMW redeemed itself in the rolling race because the Tesla hit its speed limiter at 165 miles per hour. However, the porky EV won the brake test twice, stopping at a shorter distance than the M3.  

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