Tesla Model S vs BMW M5: For those of us who value performance in the cars we buy, it’s becoming quite clear that the transition to EVs over internal combustion-driven cars could be surprisingly pleasant. While drag racing is quite a futile and irrelevant performance measure, the fact that the first luxury-performance EV in the world can play in the same room as the BMW M5 is quite a feat. It’s not just the performance numbers. For around the same money, the Tesla Model S offers incredibly good looks, amazing build quality and brilliant technology.
Here’s what the two cars look like on paper: The 2013 BMW M5 is powered by a gas-guzzling twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine producing 560 hp, 500 lb-ft of torque and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It weights 4387 lbs and claims a 0-60 speed of 4.2 seconds. The 2013 Tesla Model S uses an 85-kWh lithium-ion battery and rear-mounted electric motor rated for 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. It not only produces significantly less power but it’s also 253 lbs heavier, tipping the scales at 4640 lbs. Despite these drawbacks, it sprints from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. Both cars sell for around $100k.
On paper, the BMW has the advantage. But EVs offer gobs of instant torque that even M5′s torquey engine, which peaks at 1,500 RPM, simply can’t match. And while the Tesla Model S batteries are heavy, they can be placed anywhere in the chassis, making it easy to keep that weight near to the ground and dialed to near-perfect weight distribution. But statistics only go so far, so they guys at Automobile Magazine took them out to Gingerman Raceway for a little play. The result? Has the lighter, more powerful M5 refined over 26 winning years keep up with the green technology and breakthrough innovation of the Tesla Model S? Watch for yourself and find out.