If you have good taste in car writing, you will have read my last piece on why the car world really needs Tesla to release its Roadster as a fun, mainstream EV, which is a huge gap in the market right now. However, I plan to take that idea a bit further in this piece. I want to ask the question of why aren’t there more fun non-SUV electric vehicles in general. And why aren’t the big 3 German manufacturers doing anything to rival the Tesla Model S Plaid?
So, where to get started?
What are the Germans Offering?
Why don’t we start with BMW? The automaker actually has a good range of EVs. However, you’d think otherwise if you take part in online car discourse. Right now, BMW has the i4, i5, and i7 on sale, and these are good but do nothing to even put a dent into the Model S Plaid’s kingdom over the performance EV market. The i5 is BMW’s closest competitor, however, it has a range of 65 miles less than the Tesla, 414 (yes, that is four hundred and fourteen) horsepower less, and a top speed that’s 57mph less than the Plaid. BMW also has the i7 on sale, but it looks like it was modeled after a briefcase.
Next, we go to Mercedes, which has the most hideous EV line-up of any manufacturer. Notably, the EQE is particularly bad. It’s slow (0-60 in 6.4, which is slow in EV terms), it tops out at 130 miles per, and looking at it side on, it was clearly designed by someone who forgot they had a deadline until the night before and accidentally drew the front of the car twice and went with it. However, Mercedes also has the EQS, and if you thought I was going to say something positive about it, you’d be wrong as it’s somehow even more ugly than the EQE, but it does have a range of 441 miles, which is impressive.
And then there was Audi, the one German brand to bother trying to make something to at least try and rival the Tesla Model S Plaid. The Audi RS E-Tron GT. But… it doesn’t rival the Plaid at all, and that isn’t me saying the Audi is a bad car at all, it isn’t. It’s a special looking car, for me, it’s Audi’s second best looking car in their current line-up (after the RS7 in any other color apart from Nardo Grey).
However, the Tesla Model S Plaid is the ultimate Top Trumps car, so how does the RS E-Tron GT stack up? Well not very well. It has nearly a whole RS4 worth of power less than the Plaid, a range of 98 miles less, and yes, top speed matters on the Model S Plaid because numbers
matter for this car, the Tesla is 45 miles per hour faster at full pelt.
What makes the Tesla Model S Plaid so much better than these cars?
This is the question I can hear you all asking. So, here’s a short answer. Tesla has been around since 2003 (before Elon Musk got involved), and all of Tesla’s life as a car maker has been dedicated to making mainstream electric cars, so it’s fair to say that Tesla is passionate about electric cars and pushing the boundaries with what EVs can do (for better or worse). However, electric cars have never been a main priority for any of the big three German companies. They have heritage and decades of some of the best cars made in modern history, so they’ve always been playing catch up.
Tesla’s advantage over the Germans extends to the physical world, too. There are specified Tesla charging stations to ease range anxiety, which is something no other brand can brag about. So you can see why the standard Model S is the best-selling out of any car I’ve written about in this piece.
One other thing you’re probably wondering at this point of the article is what the actual stats for the Tesla Model S plaid are, and I’ve deliberately kept you waiting to keep you reading how clever I am. Anyway, the stats for Mr. Musk’s Top Trumps car and an idea of what the Germans are competing with:
Top Speed: 200mph (321.8kph)
Power: 1006bhp (1020ps)
Range: 390 miles (627.6km)
Acceleration: 0-60: 2.1 seconds
1/4 Mile: 9.23 seconds