BMW M3 Squares Off Against The Tesla Model 3 Performance In A Drag Race

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the Model 3 Dual Motor Performance is better than the BMW M3 and a new video is putting that claim to the test.

In a clip dubbed the “Battle of the 3s,” the Model 3 Performance is pitted against what is billed as an M3 with the Competition Package. The electric competitor has two motors which produce a combined output of 450 hp (335 kW / 456 PS) and 471 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque. This enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and travel up to 310 miles (498 km) on a single charge.

The M3 Competition, on the other hand, has a 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine that develops 444 hp (331 hp / 450 hp). It allows the sedan to run from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.8 seconds when equipped with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

If the car is actually the M3 CS, it features an even more powerful engine with 453 hp (337 kW / 459 PS) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque.  The extra power drops the 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time to 3.7 seconds.

Regardless of which M3 we’re actually looking at, both versions offer similar horsepower to the Model 3 Performance. However, the M3 is significantly lighter as the base model tips the scales at 3,575 lbs (1,621 kg) while the Model 3 Performance comes in at 4,072 lbs (1,847 kg).

Despite being at a weight disadvantage, the Model 3 Performance has a few aces up its sleeve including all-wheel drive and electric motors which deliver nearly instantaneous power. As such, the results of the drag race aren’t too surprising as the Model 3 ran the quarter mile in 11.823 seconds at 114.61 mph (184.44 km/h). The M3 wasn’t too far behind as it made the run in 12.021 seconds at 114.24 mph (183.85 km/h).

The cars also made a second run but, unsurprisingly, the results remained pretty much the same.

Thanks to Brooks for the tip!


  • Six_Tymes

    say what you want, but, you know the M3 owner is pissed

    • Matt

      The (soon to be replaced) M3 is still fast… but an electric motor is faster. What’s your point other than hating on the M3 owner because he put his YouTube channel on the window?

    • Gene

      In the course of 100,000 miles the BMW owner will also spend $20k on gas, S10K on ICE related service. So, actually, he paid $40k more for his BMW. Oh, and all that noise it makes is soooo yesterday!

      • bxniels0

        Isn’t the aural note the car makes part of the pleasurable driving experience? The same with progressive power delivery.

    • Mynameis Taylor

      why would he be pissed?

  • Dennis James

    Forget the M3, did the 720S score a sub-10s time ? It’s incredible, that car.

    About the M3 vs Model 3…nothing unexpected. A Tesla AWD electric car beats a RWD gasoline car for the first mile or so (but what happens after that ?). There is indeed something interesting to see a standard family car beating a “high-end sports sedan built from the ground up as a driver’s car” which also costs like 50% more than the Tesla 🙂

    • Six_Tymes

      and nothing unexpected that a 200+ grand “super”car beat a $72000 car either.

      • Dennis James

        I wasn’t even comparing the 720S with the Tesla, because there can be no comparison. I was comparing it (in my mind) with similar performance cars, not many production cars can achieve 9.7s on the quarter mile.

    • Axiom Ethos

      Forget the 720S, it will get DEMOLISHED by the new Roadster, while still costing more.

      • Dennis James

        On the quarter mile, right ? Because after the first corner, it’s game over…

        • Finkployd

          Why demolished at first corner ? EVs have low center of gravity and smart battery placement gives opportunity for ideal weight ratio. Also seems like the roadster will have three motors, one in the front two in the back; so all wheel drive + torque vectoring… so cornering should actually be quite good

          Not mentioning the “space X package” 😅 cause it sounds like vaporware for now

    • What happens after the first mile? You go to jail, that’s what happens. You don’t drive the Tesla on race tracks, because it’s a family car. Yet, it can outrun most cars on the road in real driving circumstances – which is not 100mph + on a drag strip.

      • Dennis James

        Well, I was referring to the fact that after a mile or so…some corners may come. And then…you go to jail ? :))

        • I was referring to your first post. The Tesla corners well, there are videos about it. Do you really care if it pulls more G in the corner than the Beemer? About the Nürburgring: the NIO EP9 ran a 6:45.90 time, and its a fully electric car. ICE cars are on the verge to die out, that’s just the reality.

  • TheBelltower

    The BMW M3, complete with its dumb aftermarket farty exhaust, got its lunch eaten effortlessly and silently by the Tesla. The TM3 continued to pull away strong right up until the 1/4 mile mark. I do love BMW, but Tesla is the future.

    • KidRed

      EVs are the future. I don’t think Telsa is built to survive against Audi/Mercedes/Jaguar/Porsche, etc when they finally get serious about EVs.

      • TheBelltower

        It’s highly doubtful that VW will be any more serious about EV’s than the dieselgate court mandate requires. They’ve even recently stated that building EV’s are more difficult than they anticipated, and are teasing vehicles that won’t be out for nearly four more years. Mercedes’ EVs have proven to be underwhelming so far. Even their concept EV’s are based on existing ICE-platforms, which makes no sense. As long as these companies fracture their focus by producing and selling ICE vehicles alongside their EV’s, they will never be as serious about EV’s as Tesla.

        • Matt

          Ok so tomorrow all the existing carmakers should lay-off thousands of staff, close their factories, cut ties with most of their suppliers and ignore key markets just so people on the internet can say ‘finally they’re serious about EVs!’.

          Because that is the reality. If Mercedes wants (needs) to share a platform between an ICE and EV then so what? It’s a smart move economically. It’s a transitional period for them and the real proof on whether it was a good idea is when you actually drive an EQ model.

          If it’s bad, then maybe you have a point. Until then, I know nothing the traditional automakers do will be as good as Tesla for Tesla fanboys.

          • TheBelltower

            We shall see. So far most of these “concepts” seem like weaksauce compared to the benchmark which has existed since 2012.

    • Mynameis Taylor

      “Tesla” is then future, or is the ELECTRIC car the future?

      • TheBelltower

        EV’s are the future. So far, Tesla has the only approach that I feel is holistic and sustainable.

  • Honda NSX-R

    As much as I want to like the Model 3, I just wish it had a better looking interior.

    • Gene

      After living with a Model 3 since 2017, all other cars look so complicated and confusing on the inside.

      • Honda NSX-R

        Interesting, I’m guessing it’s designed so that it makes other car interiors too complicated, and have a more minimalistic approach. I just wish the interior looked more like the Model S/X interior

        • I think the Model Y is going to have a bit more. I’m hoping for a HUD at least, that would change things big time.

          • Honda NSX-R

            What do you mean by a bit more?

    • S3XY

      Model 3 interior makes all other cars interior seems outdated and overdone. Nothing but the screen and glass around you. Amazing space age feeling.

      • Honda NSX-R

        I sat in one and it feels kinda weird. It’s like you’re sitting in an office rather than a car. That’s just my opinion though, but I do like the Model S/X interior

  • Seats & a steering wheel

    Predictable outcome. We all know that not much can beat an EV off the line and 1/4 mile dash..but have seen very little in terms of lapping a circuit, skid pan and braking … I reckon the BMW M3 would claw back the advantage.

    • Yes, if you need a car for the race track, go for the BMW for sure. Most people don’t buy cars for the race track though.

      • Matt

        Most people don’t take their cars to drag strips either, come to think of it…

    • Mike Gonzalez

      I agree, there are 0 videos of Model S/X/3 in a circuit and I just wanna know how good they are doing laps

  • GobbleUp

    As a long time M3 owner, I can’t find anything to love with this current gen car. Horrid exhaust, middling performance, bland at best exterior, heavy, boring.

    3yrs and 36k miles on my P90D model s, o issues and insane speed and tech.


  • S3XY

    There’s a new M3 in town.

    • Matt

      Yes there is, should be revealed next week 😉

  • An Existing Person

    Not a surprise when you have AWD and all torque available instantly. After the 1/4 mile, when you want to take a turn, and when you actually want to enjoy driving is where the M3 wins.

  • Matthew Boyd

    The times are what matters, but the M3 driver is getting tree’d each time. Work on theat reaction time then try again.

  • Vassilis

    It drives me crazy when people tune supercars. Those wheels look horrible on the 720.

    • Mike Gonzalez

      I love it

  • B.Stokes

    The M3 is a track car not a drag car. Plus 4 wheel drive always beats 2 wheel drive, especially when the 4 wheel drive is electric. Like they say, you’re not paying $70k for the BMW to drag, you could soup up a 328i and do that. You’re paying $70k for it to turn. Race them on a track and you’ll understand why you’re getting your money’s worth for the M3.

  • Mynameis Taylor

    aesthetically, I’m not a fan of any Tesla, in or out. I don’t care how fast it is.

Lewis Hamilton And Mercedes Look Unstoppable This Year

Mercedes claimed its eighth straight win of 2019 in France, which was concurrently Hamilton’s fourth straight.

Citroen Won’t Give The C4 Cactus Another Chance

The name might return but the quirky crossover is not coming back, says Citroen’s product chief.

James May Thinks The Tesla Model S P100D Is The Greatest Muscle Car Ever

The Tesla Model S P100D is quick but James May isn’t impressed by its interior.

Renault And FCA Are Both Open To Restart Merger Talks

Both car makers want the merge but there’s work to be done before negotiations restart.

Does The Latest Toyota Supra Work As A Four-Door GT?

A longer wheelbase would be mandatory in order to pull off this design in the real world.

Chevy Drivers Can Now Order Pizza Using Car’s Touchscreen

Chevrolet’s Marketplace platform has added Domino’s Pizza as its latest merchant.

2020 Karma Revero GT Looks To Honor The Iconic P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane

Karma Automotive has unleashed two 2020 Revero GT models featuring aviation-inspired wraps, for goldRush Rally Eleven.

First-Ever Lotus SUV Test Mule Spotted Near Company’s HQ

This Lotus SUV prototype is wearing an old Lynk & Co 01 shell in an attempt to fool onlookers.

Lego Technic Model Previews 2020 Land Rover Defender

The new Land Rover Defender will be sold in three- and five-door forms.

All-New Ford Puma Crossover Teased Ahead Of June 26 Premiere

The 2020 Puma will slot between the EcoSport and Kuga and will be made in Romania.