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Drag race with 2x 1,000 hp: BMW M3 G80 vs. Tesla Model S Plaid


When the Bugatti Veyron debuted in 2005, boasting an astonishing 1,001 horsepower, it sent shockwaves through the automotive industry, igniting a frenzy of excitement among enthusiasts worldwide. Nearly two decades later, the significance of 1,000 horsepower remains monumental, yet the exclusivity once associated with such performance figures has waned, particularly within the realm of aftermarket tuning. Now, even vehicles considered “mid-range,” like the BMW M3 and M4, occasionally achieve power outputs exceeding 1,000 horsepower, blurring the lines between standard production and high-performance modifications.

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In a recent video released by AutoTrader, the spotlight falls on a head-to-head showdown between the BMW M3 (G80) by Tom Wrigley Performance and the Tesla Model S Plaid, both boasting around 1,000 horsepower. Despite their similar performance capabilities, these vehicles represent starkly contrasting approaches to power delivery. While the modified Tesla continues to tout its emissions-free electric propulsion and zero-cylinder configuration, the BMW M3 relies on a traditional 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine to achieve its remarkable power output.

The initial race between these two powerhouse sedans reveals an unexpected twist, with the Tesla experiencing performance limitations due to suboptimal battery temperatures. As the clock ticks past the 3:45 mark, the BMW M3 effortlessly rockets down the quarter-mile track in a mere 9.7 seconds, leaving the Tesla trailing by half a second.

Noteworthy is the fact that both vehicles are equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, renowned for their exceptional traction and versatility. Despite their suitability for everyday driving, these tires fall short of the grip provided by semi-slick or slick variants, underscoring the impressive performance achieved on relatively standard rubber.

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In the subsequent race, the Tesla benefits from optimal battery temperature, while the BMW M3 grapples with traction issues despite its M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Anticipating the challenge, Tom Wrigley’s BMW M3 is refueled with high-octane fuel before the third race, maximizing performance potential. The result is a neck-and-neck battle, culminating in a thrilling photo finish that ultimately favors the BMW M3.

In conclusion, the showdown between the BMW M3 and Tesla Model S Plaid exemplifies the evolving landscape of automotive performance, where conventional powertrains and electrified propulsion converge to deliver staggering levels of power and speed. As technology continues to advance, enthusiasts can expect even more exhilarating matchups that push the boundaries of what’s possible on four wheels.

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