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BMW i8 vs. Tesla Model S: An Unfair Comparison

by Paul Strauss

Having driven the Tesla Model S myself, I definitely think the car lives up to the hype, especially in the P85 version. It’s fast, beautifully designed, spacious, and eco-conscious. In fact, the guys at Consumer Reports called it the best car they’ve ever driven. I’m not sure I’d say the same, but it is an impressive vehicle for sure. BMW hopes to steal some of Tesla’s thunder with its own luxury electric, in the form of the BMW i8. That said, the i8 isn’t a pure electric – it’s a hybrid. It’s still competition for those looking to spend six figures on a green performance luxury car. Perhaps that’s why Consumer Reports decided to pit these two unlikely rivals against each other.

Frankly, the review spends virtually no time comparing the Model S with the i8, but does give us plenty of time with the i8. Since the i8 only has a tiny 7.1 kWh hour battery pack, it can’t go very far in electric mode, so you’ll be spending most of your time with the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine kicked in. But with the help of the hybrid drivetrain, the car can do an impressive 0-to-60mph time in about 4.2 seconds in Sport mode. In fact, Road & Track managed to get it to do it in 3.8. That’s serious supercar territory. Of course, with a $135,000+ price tag, it better go fast.

Of course, the i8 doesn’t compete with the Model S on space or comfort, but it certainly will be on the shopping list for those with deep pockets and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint. Plus, there’s zero range anxiety with a hybrid.

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