The Tesla Model S Plaid and BMW i8 are cars of the future. The Tesla Model S is already decimating its competition and continuously gaining popularity. Will the BMW i8 make a dent in its record?
Both beautiful, sleek, and fast cars prove electric and hybrid vehicles can be just as desirable as their gasoline counterparts but which one is better?
Speed or Utility?
Are you ready to split the room? The Tesla Model S Plaid is a large luxury liftback sedan, while the BMW i8 is a luxury sports car. While the Model S goes incredibly fast and the i8 has four seats, they fall into different categories.
While the Tesla Model S Plaid is better for everyday family use, the BMW i8 reaches thrilling speeds for a hybrid engine. Straight off the bat, if you prioritize speed and looks, then get the BMW i8. However, if you want everything else, you should invest in the Tesla Model S.
Let’s compare the Tesla vs. BMW i8 in different categories.
Elon Musk claims the motor of the Tesla Model S Plaid is a brilliant work of engineering, and we agree. An engine you can pick up with your hands can pull a two-ton car to go sixty mph in two seconds is inconceivable.
Yet it exists and goes up to twenty thousand RPM, 1020 horsepower, and 1227 Nm torque. Tesla is particularly proud of its new carbon-sleeved rotors that are unique to its brand.
The car has a two hundred-miles per-hour top speed. It has a total range of 390 miles on a full charge but can go 187 miles after charging for just fifteen minutes.
The BMW i8 gives you the best of both worlds with petrol and an electric engine. A twin-power turbocharged three-cylinder engine is resting on the car’s rear axle with an output of 231 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque.
The electric motor, the latest addition to BMW’s eDrive technology, sits on the car’s front axle with a powerful battery between it and the rear engine. The combined engines produce 362 horsepower and 155 mph.
The BMW i8 goes from zero to sixty miles in 4.2 seconds. The i8 has an electric driving range of 34 miles.
The Tesla Model S Plaid uses a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery, while the BMW i8 uses an 11.7 KWh battery. Tesla uses Panasonic-supplied cells, while BMW chose Samsung-supplied prismatic lithium-ion battery cells to make up their batteries.
The Tesla Model S provides full-time all-wheel drive because it has an electric motor dedicated to the front and back axle of the vehicle. This feature is irrelevant to the version of the model you choose.
The BMW i8 also has full-wheel drive. It is a front-wheel drive when the car is in electric mode, and a rear-wheel drive when using the petrol engine.
Tesla boasts an impressive 17-inch touchscreen with left-right tilt and offers 2200 x 1300 resolution. You can use it to watch or even play console-level gaming from all four seats with external controllers.
It does make sense since you have to wait longer for charging. A road trip would be hell without it.
BMWs no longer put touchscreens in their cars as a safety precaution since they cause drivers to take their eyes off the road for too long. This policy also solved a semiconductor shortage in the car manufacturing industry.
You can operate the car’s dashboard display similar to a touchscreen. However, you will experience nowhere near the multimedia facilitation Tesla provides.
Tesla supports a new yoke steering option to give you a closer connection to your car and an unobstructed view of the driver display. The BMW i8 sports the traditional three-spoke BMW steering wheel. It is reported by people who have driven both cars that the BMW handles better.
The Tesla Audio system features an immersive twenty-two speakers surround sound system, while the i8 has Harman Kardon surround sound system with eleven powerful 360 watts speakers.
However, with the i8, you can only listen to music while you can enjoy Tesla’s surround sound for a movie or video game.
Tesla’s in-car wifi is one of the fastest internet service providers, with speeds reaching 1GB per second. BMW also offers a Hotspot facility if you have an active BMW DriveConnected subscription. Both luxury cars understand the importance of internet connectivity for their customers.
Tesla wins straight away, being 100% plug-in electric. You can travel almost two hundred miles after just fifteen minutes of charging. With a Tesla, you never have to worry about rising gas prices.
The BMW i8 is a hybrid car. Although a hybrid car, it is still considered a luxury sports car. Compared to other luxury sports vehicles, the fact that they can go over thirty miles with no fuel is a tremendous feat.
However, comparing it to a Tesla makes it looks like a joke.
The Tesla is a liftback sedan, while the i8 is a sports coupe. The i8 also has a roadster model. It’s difficult to compare one with the other since they are built for different things and are favored by different people.
All the extra room and features of the Tesla mean nothing to someone who desires a luxury two-door car experience. Especially butterfly doors like that of the i8.
At the same time, people looking for a family car will always prefer a sedan. They are the right choice because they usually seat five and provide plenty of cargo space.
While you could cram your family in a coupe or take the unmodified sedan to the race track, it would just look out of place.
The Tesla weighs 4766.39 lb, while the BMW i8 is the lighter of the two coming in at 3,394 lb.
The Tesla is 4970 mm long, 1964 mm wide, and 1445 mm tall with a 2960 mm wheelbase.
The BMW i8 is 4696.46 mm long, 1943.1 mm wide, and 1290.32 mm tall, with a 2799.08 mm wheelbase.
The Tesla offers a spacious back that can fit three people, seating five people with an ample 42.4 inches of front leg room. The back leg room is a little less than you’d expect, but plenty of head space and attachments for a baby seat.
The BMW i8 can seat four people with a front legroom of 43.1 inches and second-row legroom of about 28.2 inches. However, you might want to call shotgun if you’re tall since the i8’s rear headspace is more than half a foot less than the front headspace of 38.7 inches.
The Tesla Model S Plaid offers a spacious trunk providing 64.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the car, while the i8 has a cargo space of 5.4 cubic feet. It is obvious which car you’d pick if you take the kids out often or to go grocery shopping. While the i8 is better for track meets with the guys.
The large air inlets in the front of the i8 make it very aerodynamic. The aero flaps behind the front and back wheels also reduce drag significantly.
At the same time, the Tesla S, with a drag coefficient of 0.208, claims to be the world’s most aerodynamic production car.
The Tesla Model S Plaid is available in five colors:
- Pearl White
- Deep Blue Metallic
- Solid Black
- Silver Metallic
The BMW i8 comes in four colors:
- Ionic Silver
- Crystal White Pearl Metallic
- Protonic Blue
- Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect
Read: Tesla Model Y Window Tinting Cost: How Much Does It Cost and Is It Worth It?
The Most iconic color for Tesla is red and protonic blue for BMW.
The Tesla Model S Plaid learned some lessons from its predecessors. It has better quality synthetic leather seats, which it should have at this price point. It has door bins which was a feature missing in previous models.
It has a portrait front screen instead of a profile one. The dashboard is smooth and seamless. There are both front and optional back cup holders and armrests. The front area has ample storage as well.
Once you enter the BMW i8 through its fabulous butterfly-style doors, you see it has an electronic door release button and all the controls in button form on the side. This feature gives you quick access to the windows and petrol cap than a Tesla.
The i8 has a one-button system, while you must select the item on the screen and then use the buttons on the steering wheel in the Tesla. The lights and controls are on the left of the steering, and the indicators are in their traditional place on the steering wheel.
The cruise control system is operated through wheel buttons and phone connectivity options. There is no door pocket since there are cool butterfly doors.
Country of Origin
Tesla is all American, while BMW is a German company. If you want to make the patriotic choice, you will choose Tesla. However, foreign cars have their own special appeal.
The Tesla Model S plaid crosses over the hundred-thousand-dollar mark as opposed to the Tesla Model S which stays within that budget. That is because the Model S Plaid has a third motor that increases the horsepower and top speed of the vehicle.
The BMW i8 is well over a hundred thousand dollars making it more expensive than the Model S Plaid. If money is a big concern, you shouldn’t think about getting the i8 at all since it costs more to maintain and for fuel.
Money is no object for people who want the BMW experience with the addition of eco-friendly features.
However, if you want an incredibly fast car and your budget is over a hundred thousand but tight, you and the Tesla S Plaid are a match made in heaven. If you’re looking for a bargain with one less motor, you could get the Tesla Model S instead of the S Plaid.
All Tesla cars get repaired at licensed service centers. You cannot just go to anyone to fix it. In contrast, you can take the BMW anywhere to get it fixed.
However, many people faced the common problem of mechanics being irritated about ordering German parts. Mechanics also tend to overcharge owners with BMWs.
You may see a lot of money swindled away if you are not tech-savvy. That being said, if you are in a pinch, someone random bystander could fix a BMW but not a Tesla.
Going over each category means you may have missed some crucial points about each car. Knowing the features that set them apart is crucial for deciding which is better for you. Let’s take a brief look at the major points for each car.
Tesla Model S Plaid
- Has more room with a lift-back sedan body
- It is more fuel efficient and eco-conscious
- Has a high-quality landscape-oriented screen you can use for watching stuff or gaming with external controllers.
BMW i8 2022
- Sleek coupe design and butterfly doors
- Button interface for faster and more convenient driver input.
- It is a lighter, more performance-oriented car with better handling.
- Revolutionary hybrid sports car concept
To wrap it up, the Tesla Model S Plaid is a fantastic family car that is 100% fuel efficient. It is the first choice for the climate-conscious consumer. It can also give you the thrill of a sports car with its ridiculous speed on the weekend when the kids are at their grandparents.
It has brilliant entertainment options as you wait for it to charge.
The BMW i8 is a car released ahead of its time. The first of its kind is the low-riding, sleek, and dynamic sports coupe with a pioneering two-engine hybrid system. Nothing can beat it aesthetically.
We must admit it is far cooler looking than the Tesla. The performance-crazy car is an entirely different animal from the Tesla. Ultimately, it comes down to your preferred body style and what you need the vehicle for.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.