Can This 620 HP V8-Powered BMW 3-Series Keep Pace With A Tesla Model S?


The updated Tesla Model S promises to be the quickest-accelerating production vehicle on earth, but even back in 2012, it was already very quick. However, can a near decade-old Tesla compete with an extensively modified BMW E36 3-Series in a straight line?

Eager to find out, the crew from Hoonigan gathered the two together for a good ‘ole fashioned drag race and the results may surprise you.

In one corner is a Model S P85+. The EV features a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and delivers 500 hp. While it isn’t as accelerative as the dual-motor P85D that was launched soon after it, it can still rattle off some impressive times.

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In the other corner is an E46 3-Series, although it’s no ordinary E46. This car is owned by a Formula Drift Pro2 driver and has been outfitted with a massive 6.9-liter LSX V8 that pumps out no less than 620 hp to the rear wheels. Coupled to this engine is a special four-speed dog box transmission. The car has also been stripped out, meaning it weighs just 2,900 lbs (1,315 kg), whereas the Model S P85+ tips the scales at 4,500 lbs (2,041 kg).

In the first race, the driver of the BMW got the better launch and despite performing a massive burnout off the line, managed to cross the finish line ahead of the Tesla. In the second race, the driver of the BMW waited until the Tesla got off the line before hitting the throttle but, unfortunately, this cost him the race. The third and final race is perhaps the best of them and well worth watching.


Updated: February 11, 2021 — 5:07 am

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