By now, you already know that the instant torque generated by electric motors makes any Tesla a formidable challenge at a drag strip — and, if you didn’t already know, here’s a refresher course that pits a Tesla Model 3 against a 700 HP Challenger Hellcat. Caught up? Great, because now that we’ve established the straight-line superiority of the electrics, it’s time to revisit an age-old question: who wins, bike or car?
Representing bikes, we have the $30,000 Harley-Davidson Livewire. New for 2020, this is Harley’s most ambitious motorcycle ever. The R&D and marketing spends behind this bike were huge, and any comparison to the much less expensive contenders from brands like Energica and Zero melts away once the bikes are side by side. The build quality on the Harley is on another level — the cast frame, the high-end suspension bits, all of it. Is it worth the asking price? That depends on how much you value stuff like that — but one thing is undeniable: the Livewire is quick!
On the car side of the equation is a Tesla Model 3 Performance making something like 450 horsepower and boatloads of torque. That prodigious power is sent to all four wheels, giving the Tesla a grip advantage and an ease of use advantage (let’s face it, the Tesla isn’t going to wheelie and buck its driver out). Going against the Tesla, though, is mass. The dual-motor Model 3 tips the scales at more than 4100 lb, without a driver — making the Tesla nearly 10× heavier than the Harley Livewire. And, for those of you who like to do the math on these things, the Harley makes significantly more than 10% of the Tesla’s power. In fact, it makes 74 HP.
So, who wins? To find out, we have to visit the Spirit of Trixie. That’s a single-video YouTube channel that captured what it calls the first-ever drag race between a Tesla Model 3 and a 2020 Harley-Davidson Livewire. We’ve spent enough time talking about it, so place your bets and have a watch!
Tesla Model 3 vs. Harley Livewire Video
From Spirit of Trixie: “For the 1st time ever, the all electric Harley Livewire takes on the Tesla Model 3 Performance at the Texas Motorplex. The tree doesn’t lie … and neither does the finish line.”
There’s no denying the Tesla was going faster at the end, but what about that launch!? Did you predict the winner correctly? Was there ever really any doubt it would go down like that? I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely thrilled about the future of electric motorsports, and this is just the beginning! Let us know what you thought of the race in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!