Here’s an example of how the real world gets in the way of on-paper specifications. Take these two fine Bavarian brothers, the BMW M4 and i8, for example. How would you say they would fare when pitted against each other in a good ol’ fashioned drag race?
We get to find out in a video posted on the Auto Bild YouTube channel where both cars go head to head in a “Viertelmeile-Rennen” or quarter mile race. These cars should, ultimately be an even match, with BMW claiming the M4 has a 0 to 60 time of 4.1 seconds, while the i8 has a 4.2-second time. Taking a casual look at some of the other specs tell more of the story.
The 2015 BMW M4 coupe edges out its sci-fi hybrid cousin in horsepower, producing 425 horsepower out of its twin-turbo, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The i8’s powered by both a twin-turboed three-cylinder gas engine and an electric eDrive motor that produced a combined 357 hp.
Torque-wise, the M4 is at a disadvantage with 406 pound-feet, whereas the i8 lays down 420 lb. ft. of torque. The i8 also weighs slightly less with a curb weight of 3,455 lbs versus the M4’s 3,530. It’s not much, but as we know from motor sport, every ounce counts.
Related: 2015 BMW i8 review
Spoiler alert: the i8 wins it by a couple generous car lengths, although a surplus of tire spin on the M4 didn’t help things much. It’s hardly a proper test and if it were up to us, there’d be a few more runs done to narrow down stuff like that. Still, it’s a great way of demonstrating that manufacturer performance estimates should be taken with a grain of salt.