Despite the high-performance charger, there’s still time to sneer at the usual petrol-blooded nerds, who are quick to calculate that tapping a 60-liter Super Plus hardly takes longer than registering at a charging station. We know the “pressure boost” of a turbo engine – but this is different.
BMW i4 M50 looks more durable
There are all sorts of theories about how things will turn out on the handling track, which of the two will burn faster lap times to the asphalt; but no one really has a clue. Neither the new i4 M50 nor the Model 3 Performance ever set a reference time.
BMW pushes over the front axle
With freshly charged batteries, the Model 3 and i4 are finally at the limit of a dry handling track. First, the i4 can feel the course. In a switchback, the mob of the chubby little boy attacked for the first time.
It’s good that the cells are deep in the floor of the car and there’s a lot of traction. Inertia can still be felt as the i4 M50 calmly pushes the front axle at overspeed.
Machine design in front
Rear engine design
overall peak performance
Dirty/clean battery capacity
brake in front
disc brake material
Front – rear wheel size
Front-rear tire size
Standard consumption • Standard range
Base price (before funding)
20 inch wheel set
Sports Chair/Upgrade Sports Chair
Price of the test car (evaluated)
v. 8.5 x 20″ – 10 x 20″ hours
v.255/35 – j. 285/30 R 20 Y
21.9 kWh/100 km • 430 km
Pirelli P Zero Elect TO
16.5 kWh/100 km • 547 km
On the other hand, it’s also unusual how undramatic and quiet this can be when the driving sound created by Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer is muted.
The Bavarian racer mastered the right-left long combination quite quietly, skillfully deflecting turning turns with finely adjustable brakes and precise steering, without the air spring rear axle getting too light.
But in the long left-hand corner, it’s clear that the ESP doesn’t really want to give up power even in M-Performance mode. As long as the steering sensors register only a few degrees of steering, power is cut off brutally. Not worth getting white and blue with the letter M in the name. Unnecessary disappointment as the mechanical setup feels very promising. So the i4 leaves a precious tenth, if not a good second.
After activating track mode on the Model 3, there’s joy: the wheezing cooler cools the battery so the Model 3 can do justice to its additional name, too. Feels a bit like a good old world combustion engine for petrol-blooded nerds.
And performance is now in demand, however, the i4 has shown weakness. The tablet-sized table view now permanently shows the chassis with the motor, brakes and of course the battery on the left – all green, i.e. departure.
Tesla easily drifts sideways
The thinking body can sense the three tenths it takes Tesla less to catapult itself into 100 things. But the right foot clearly feels that the brake pedal does not have a strong pressure point. You sit just half a centimeter higher than on the i4 M50, but you feel you fall deeper into the front armchair, which also offers lateral support for the driver and front passenger.
However, the ride aboard Conti with the Model 3 is not unpleasant. Especially around the vertical axis, the mid-range Tesla feels very agile, driving much more direct compared to the i4 and also having a much looser rear, which can be moved sideways with the accelerator pedal without much coaxing.
Minimal intervention by the ESP remains visible even in race mode, but the Model 3 is far from the i4 M50’s massive throttle power.
More serious is that the brake pressure point moves further down from curve to curve. Slightly inspiring confidence, besides, the brake system suffices after just one quick turn, an alarm on the screen in red and a warning message “Brake too hot”. The fun is gone.
The assumption: In order to stabilize the proper path, the cover may be permanently in some parts, which naturally generates intense heat. However, if the Model 3 is only pushed to the 80 percent limit, the fun with the Stromer on the slopes lasts much longer. In the end, Tesla crossed the finish line almost a tenth of a second early.
Duels decided by electronics
An unsatisfactory residual taste remained because this duel was decided by electronics. Both the i4 M50 and Model 3 Performance should get more out of themselves without any control intervention. Anyway: With the i4 M50, Stromer wins in the end, skillfully celebrating sporty driving in the classic sense.
But even before this knowledge actually flows, an even more important fact comes to mind: the battery is almost completely empty. That’s why this circuit duel ended earlier than usual – at least an hour. And by increasing the pressure.
2. Tesla Model 3: With a sharper chassis, sportier seats and more stable brakes, it will be a winner. 265 points