Many performance enthusiasts think that electrified cars will put an end to high-performance fun. The M in BMW M stands for Motorsport which was initially created to facilitate BMW's racing program. The BMW M4 is a good example of the past and present, the i8 is the future, but there's no M in i8. BMW is setting out to prove you don’t need the M to have high performance. What happens when you take BMW’s M4 Coupe and put it up against the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid in a drag race?
Like Auto Bild did in 2014, Top Gear gets its hands on both and takes them to the drag strip to see which one comes out on top in a good old fashion shoot out. On paper, the cars look somewhat evenly matched, but the real world is often very different. Here’s the tale of the tape on both performance cars.
Representing the future of high-performance sports cars is the new BMW i8. Its 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine combined with an electric motor produces 357 horsepower and 420 lb. ft of torque that gives the sports car a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.2 seconds. It has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The supercar weights in at 3455 lb. That’s due in part to its light carbon fiber reinforced central tub. BMW’s hybrid supercar delivers the kind of high-performance that would excite any driving enthusiast. The 6-speed automatic (rear) / 2-speed automatic (front) power all four wheels. Price: $140,700
The BMW M4 is powered by a 3.0 liter inline six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine producing a total output of 431 hp (317 kW), with a peak torque of 550 Nm (406 lb-ft). BMW says the Coupe will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The M4 weights in at 3465 lb. Price: $65,700
It looks like the BMW i8 would be at a big disadvantage with 357hp vs 431hp for the M4. But the i8 has more torque at 420 lb. ft vs 406 for the M4. There’s not much difference in weight between the two cars and we don’t know what the two drivers weight is. The i8’s drivetrain sends power to all four wheels. Is that enough to make the difference? Watch the video below and see which performance car wins.
Source: Top Gear
Photo and video source: Top Gear