Year after year, the BMW M3 serves as the benchmark for the entire sports car segment. Having held the top spot for so long, it’s understandable that brands like Mercedes, Audi and Cadillac constantly try to take its throne. Now, it’s Tesla’s turn and, according to the metrics from Euro Sport Tuning, the Model 3 Performance is within swinging distance.
It’s well-known at this point Teslas can smoke almost everything else in their price brackets from 0-60 mph. The pure acceleration from instant battery-power-torque is simply astonishing. And if all the stats are accurate, the Tesla Model 3 Performance wins against the BMW M3 on paper: it has an advantage in horsepower, torque, fuel efficiency and brag-worthy 0-60 mph and quarter-mile times. Ironically enough, the M3 wins in the range department, with a possible 395 miles per fill-up compared to the Tesla’s 310 miles.
The BMW also beats the Tesla in peak cornering g-force, a big indication of its handling and the M3’s true calling card. Tipping the scales at just over two tons (at 4,087lbs), the Tesla carries 457lbs more than the Bimmer and can only manage 0.95 g on a skidpad while the BMW cracks the 1 g mark at 1.01 g. Despite the Model 3’s “skateboard” battery architecture hiding all the heft down low and thereby optimizing the center of gravity, it seems the extra weight is too much for the tires and suspension when apex hunting.
Battery power and all-electric cars might be the future and for now, at least, can beat internal combustion engines in a straight line. But, in the real world, where corners exist and driving as the crow flies from point A to point B is impossible, handling and suspension tuning are still critical factors in what constitutes a proper performance car. Will the Tesla Model 3 take the M3’s coveted crown? Probably not, but it puts up a serious fight.
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