Mercedes Vision AMG: The future of AMG is electric

BMW i4 vs Tesla Model 3 in direct comparison

Our procedure started almost an hour earlier than usual today, as both e-cars had to go to a charging station before we headed to the Contidrom to take the time, of course, to be 100 percent charged.

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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, Tesla

The BMW i4 M50 and Tesla Model 3 Performance both have over 500 hp and deliver stunning performance, especially in terms of longitudinal dynamics.


On a 120-kilometer trip from the Hamburg editorial garage to pre-Hanover, the full throttle power of the two electric cars was checked, and the batteries were empty when charging began. With a top speed of 261 km/h, the Model 3 Performance clearly beats the i4 M50, which is limited to 225 km/h.
But: The Model 3 can’t make a full pot. In fact, limousines with “Dual Motors” only reach this value under optimal conditions (batteries are fully charged and do not overheat).

BMW i4 M50 looks more durable

Soon the top speed was more like 230 km/h, then just 210 km/h. And after an even more casual part it goes beyond 240 p.m. The i4 M50, while usually slower, maintains its continuous Vmax over long distances, making it appear more durable in the left lane than its American rival. More confident on top of that, as the Model 3, which always makes very sharp turns, rattles its occupants noticeably at high speeds.
In addition, there is more sound pressure in the ears in the Tesla. Apart from the bezel-less windows, the i4 is quieter and, with its more indirect steering and fuller position, looks like it’s intertwined with tar even above 200 km/h.
Tesla Model 3

The cockpit is greatly reduced: Even the speedometer or heads-up display is missing in the Model 3.


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.

The performance of the Model 3 achieves a first-stage victory on the scales: at 1,855 kilograms, it is at least 420 kilograms lighter than the i4 M50 – not a good sign for BMW.
The Model 3 doesn’t take advantage of much less mass when accelerating: it’s three tenths faster at 100 p.m., but the Ami loses more than a second from 100 to 200 km/h to the i4 M50.

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.

Crossroads

Machine design in front

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performance ahead

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Rear engine design

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rear performance

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Torque front/rear/total

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overall peak performance

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continuous strength

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battery

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Dirty/clean battery capacity

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AC/DC charging

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transmission

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drive type

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brake in front

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rear brake

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disc brake material

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Front – rear wheel size

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Front-rear tire size

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tire type

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Mae L/B/H

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wheelbase

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luggage volume

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Standard consumption • Standard range

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emission standard

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Base price (before funding)

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20 inch wheel set

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Ceramic brake

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Sports Chair/Upgrade Sports Chair

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adaptive chassis

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Exterior-Carbonpackage

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Price of the test car (evaluated)

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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


Of course, the BMW M4 runs a lot smoother through tight corners, although it’s no longer light at around 1.8 tonnes. Several sandbags appeared to have fallen from the trunk at the bend exit. The I4 charged into the next long straight as if released, pressing the driver firmly into the seat beyond even 160 p.m.

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.

BMW i4

New iDrive 8: big, curved screen, a little more complicated, but still easy to use.


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.

BMW, Tesla

The Model 3 looks light, but the brakes don’t inspire confidence. A much heavier i4 arrow through Contidrom in a much more controlled way.


Improper steering, on the other hand, proved counterproductive. Despite offering three different levels of hardness, it always acted a little too nervous and wasn’t enough to bear the weight of the current front tires.

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.

1. BMW i4 M50: Despite the enormous mass and permanent electronic controls, the i4 is a sportier car. 271 points
2. Tesla Model 3: With a sharper chassis, sportier seats and more stable brakes, it will be a winner. 265 points