Join Newsday's car culture discussion.
BMW i3 versus Tesla Model S electric car comparison
BMW unveiled the production model of its much-anticipated all-electric car July 29. The car immediately elicited comparisons to the Tesla Model S, which is seen as the current leader for luxury electric cars.
Here's a side-by-side look at some of the specs.
|Tesla Model S||BMW i3|
|Range:||230 miles||80 to 100 miles|
|Top Speed:||120 mph||93 mph|
|0 to 60 mph:||5.9 seconds||7.2 seconds|
|Torque:||317 lb.-ft.||184 lb.-ft.|
|Weight:||2,700 lbs.||4,647.3 lbs.|
|Wheels:||19 inches||19 inches|
|Cargo volume:||31.6 cubic feet||N/A|
It's pretty clear that comparing the two vehicles is a futile cause. The i3 is substantially smaller than the Model S (see a photo of the interior to the right), is far less powerful and possesses a more limited range. It also costs almost 41 percent less.
By all indications, BMW is well-aware of these apparent shortcomings and is therefore marketing its electric entry as a secondary vehicle. In fact, the automaker has announced plans to offer i3 buyers the option (at an additional cost) of using a BMW SUV as an alternate vehicle for more serious trips.
While only time will tell whether this strategy yields sales, it will likely allow BMW to avoid the public spats in which Tesla chief executive Elon Musk regularly engages to defend his vehicle as a viable go-to car.