Not too long ago, before a certain man by the name of Elon Musk started Tesla, the idea of an electric car drag race would have seemed utterly absurd. Fast forward to 2015 and the Youtubes are flooded with hilarious videos of terrified passengers experiencing the violent acceleration of a modern electric car.
However, BMW’s i3 is a very different motorcar to the now infamous Tesla P85D. It is designed to be a comfortable, convenient city-dwelling transport tool. In fact, while in development, the car’s codename was MCV – Mega City Vehicle.
We’ve been fortunate to have a few opportunities to experience the i3 [watch our feature review here] and without any exaggeration, the entire Cars.co.za office has fallen head over heels for the odd-looking run-around. It is a visionary product and we can only hope the price trends downwards over the next few years, to make this sort of motoring more accessible to the South African public.
One thing we’ve learned and loved about the i3 is that it is quick off the mark. Really, really quick. We couldn’t help but wonder how a car like this would fare against a proper, traditional hot hatch. This race is the answer.
We sourced a brand new VW Polo GTI DSG, with the new 1.8-litre turbo engine, booked the Killarney drag strip just outside of Cape Town, charged up the i3 and squared up on the line…
Comparison: BMW i3 BEV vs 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI
|BMW i3 BEV (fully electric)||2015 VW Polo GTI DSG|
|Price||R532 500||R334 000|
|Engine||Electric motor||1.8 litre 4-cyl turbo petrol|
|Power||125 kW||141 kW|
|Torque||250 Nm||250 Nm|
|0 – 100kph||7.2 seconds||6.7 seconds|
|Fuel economy||12.9 kWh/100km||5.6L/100km|
|Airbags||6||4 (opt 6)|
|Boot space||260 litres||280 litres|
|Leather upholstery||Opt||Suede + leather|