Top Gear Finds Out If The Tesla Model 3 Is A Proper BMW M3 Rival

The BMW M3 has long been the king of the sports sedan segment but can the all-electric Tesla Model 3 Performance beat the M3 at its own game?

To see, Top Gear pitted the duo together for a series of performance tests to see if electric powertrains really are the solution to building enjoyable and quick sports sedans.

The comparison begins with a drag race between the duo. Whereas the BMW pumps out 425 hp from its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine, the Tesla has a combined 450 hp. Unlike the BMW, the Tesla is all-wheel drive and the lack of a transmission means it can defeat the BMW in a straight line.

For the next test, Top Gear set out to see which of the two can accelerate and then brake the quickest. Thanks to its electric powertrain, the Tesla was once again able to walk away victorious in this test. In the final performance test, the two lapped a twisty circuit and while you may expect the M3’s lighter overall weight to give it the advantage, it was actually the Tesla which came out in top.

Last but not least, the two were put head-to-head to see which performs the better powerslides. The BMW M3 came out on top in that little test.

While the Tesla may have the BMW beat on paper, Top Gear argues that it is the M3 which is the more enjoyable car to drive. We couldn’t agree more.


  • Six_Tymes

    judging by sliding (drifting)? I just lost respect for this top gear

  • Arthur Burnside

    Yeah, right – pick your car on the basis of driving maneuvers that you will never experience. A much better criterion is ride comfort and interior comfort

    • Dylan Wentworth

      The point is to demonstrate if it’s just as much fun to drive. What more is there to cover?

    • TheBelltower

      I think you are mistaking what this comparison is. This isn’t a competition between Buick and Lexus.

  • Marc Gruben

    Performance test?? Sheeeit. How about we drive both cars flat out on the Nurburgring until the Tesla runs out of power, and the Bimmer runs out of gas. Which one will have more track time? When the Bimmer runs out of fuel, they can deliver enough gas to get it back to the service area. What can they do for the Tesla? Once back at the service area, how much time will it take to “refuel” both cars so they can get back out on the track?

    I wonder which car wins THAT test?

    • Axiom Ethos

      Not everyone needs to drive the green hell to enjoy their cars around a track. But even then, the Bimmer doesn’t have many lives left before the next gen electrics will run circles around it AND outlast it on any track.

    • Stephen G

      New Tesla Roadster will have 620 mile range.

    • TheBelltower

      So is that a thing now… a race to see which car runs out of gas first? Why not conduct a race to see which car gets a faster oil change?

    • Dude

      That’s not a hard question at all. People have already taken their Model 3Ps to the Nurburgring. You can get 2 or three laps in before recharging. Idk exactly how public sessions at the ‘ring work but I know you go in groups and stop for lunch. There are 22kw charger at the ring that would give you enough time for another session if you’re going for a full track day. Heat would’ve lowered power output after 2 laps anyway. In terms of range it’s not different from something like a 911 but charging takes a longer time.

  • Jason Miller

    I think it would be a hoot to autocross a Model 3 Performance. Wish I could afford one.

  • Mr. EP9

    AWD vs RWD is not a fair comparison. Use the RWD version of the Tesla instead.

    • Honda NSX-R

      I don’t think there aren’t even any Model 3 Performances that are RWD, they’re all AWD

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Go to a track day and run all day.
    After that, say me which one is better.

  • driv3r

    Electric vs. Petrol (plus RWD vs. AWD; plus an average Joe-driver that apparently knows nothing about how to drive on a track) shows the click-baiting nonsense of this comparison.
    Never ever will such a comparison of differently powered cars be a good idea or will tell people anything about which is better on a track day or in everyday life. People that get an M3 will know for sure why they get an M3 and not a Model 3 Performance. And vice versa. Thank you.

  • Bash

    Nice try. I didn’t know TG advertises Tesla now. Just kidding.

  • getoffme

    The Tesla looks like a tampon so you would not find me on any of that.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    What’s this hypocrisy
    They want to do everything to make the Tesla wins as if they are a shareholder!!!

    What a fake comparison

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