Electric vehicles have a performance advantage over their combustion-powered counterparts by instantly making peak torque and generally not needing to change gears. CarWow puts this idea to the test by racing a Tesla Model 3 Performance against a BMW M3 Competition with all-wheel drive and an Audi RS5 Coupe.

These are UK-spec models in the race. The M3 Competition arrives with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 503 horsepower (375 kilowattts or 510 metric hp) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-meters) of torque. The factory specs say that it reaches 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 3.4 seconds.

Gallery: 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive and M4 Competition xDrive

The RS5 has a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 with 444 horsepower (331 kilowatts or 450 metric hp) and 442 pound-feet (599 Newton-meters) of torque. It reaches 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, according to the official specs.

Finally, this two-motor Tesla Model 3 has 460 hp (343 kW) and 471 lb-ft (640 Nm), according to the specs in the video. It has a 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The races start with a quarter-mile drag race. All three cars are close at the start, but the BMW and Tesla eventually pull away from the Audi. Towards the end of the distance, the M3 appears to rocket ahead. 

The BMW covers the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds. The Tesla needs 11.7 seconds. The Audi finishes last with a time of 12.0 seconds.

Gallery: 2021 Audi RS5 Coupe and 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback

Next, there's a rolling race from 30 mph (48 kph) over a half-mile distance. The EV has an advantage here because of its instant torque delivery. The Tesla initially pulls ahead with a significant lead. The M3 eventually pulls ahead to take the lead. However, this happens at around 100 mph (161 kph), so the drivers would be breaking the law in most places around the world to be going this fast on a public road.

They then re-run this race from a 50-mph (80-kph) roll. The results change slightly. The Tesla doesn't have quite the acceleration advantage this time. It still pulls ahead initially, but the M3 passes the EV more quickly. This time, the Audi actually manages to pass the Model 3.

The final challenge is a braking test. From 100 mph, the Model 3 stops in the shortest distance. The M3 is next, and the RS6 is last.

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