Top Gear: BMW //M3 vs. Toyota Prius

It is once again Friday so what a better way to kick off the weekend then showing a clip of the guys at Top Gear doing what they do best. Once you watch the clip and then do a double take we would love to hear your comments on hybrids in general, BMW will be releasing hybrids in the X6 and 7 series sometime next year so even BMW fans are not immune to the wrath of the hybrid!

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  • Ken

    Truer words were never spoken. Which one would you rather drive??

  • Glad to hear someone talk about the “net” environmental impact a hybrid car has… not even including disposal/recycling of the battery.

  • CalebC

    All hybrid technology isn’t evil. For example, regenerative braking seems like it could be put to great use. I can think of much more interesting ways of turning gasoline in to heat other than friction based braking.

  • The M3 happens to use regenerative braking, though I would call that an efficiency technique rather than I hybrid tech… it is not powering another motor.

  • CalebC

    If not powering another motor (generator) what is it doing? Doesn’t sound “regenerative”.

  • It is not providing power to another form of propulsion, I should have been more clear. Hybrid refers to the use of two forms of propulsion, most cases are gas/electric. GM has tried marketing some of there cars as “light” hybrids because of alternator controls… that is just marketing hype. You do not see BMW marketing 1% tech such as: regenerative braking, alternator decoupling under acceleration , electric water pumps/steering , low resistance tires as Hybrid tech. It is Efficient Dynamics; a more appropriate use of terminology. The Hydrogen 7 was also not called a hybrid, though it used to different fuels as there was only one form of propulsion the same internal combustion engine.

  • CalebC

    Understood. My point was just that some of the technology that comes out of the hybrid movement could be very useful; specifically advances in efficiency.

  • Excellent point, and expect to see more 1% tech in the not so distant future as other makers follow the concept of Efficient Dynamics. MB just announced a similar program Blue Efficiency.

  • Stephen

    There have been many studies that show the Prius is only effective in stop start city driving.

    But being beaten by an M3 is hilarious. I can see all my friends with M3s telling me they are more efficient than a Prius.

    You dont suppose the M3 got any benefit from having the Prius up front?

  • Obi

    Wow, you missed the point that the test was fixed- which he almost explained when they cut the video. common sense will tell you that a 110 HP 4cyl hybrid is going to be more fuel efficient than a 414 HP V8.

    The trick was in requiring the Prius to drive at top speed(lowest efficiency), so of course the M3 would deliver close to the same mileage,as it was cruising-but in the real world you don’t drive that way.

    I real driving, the M3 will get 14/20 mpg city/hwy, and the Prius 48/45. If they made the cars go at the slowest speed, the M3 would continue to get 14mpg, but the Prius would skyrocket to 100’s of mpg, as if the speed is less than 35, it would run on battery only. That would have been a good comparison, but less interesting for their purpose.

    I also notice they didn’t go into the supply chain for BMW-entertaining TV, but , like most TV, somewhat misleading.

  • Obi- We all get the point that driving a Prius with the pedal down is less efficient than an M3 barely moving…. you failed to mention the fact that the M3 was in the back so it was drafting the Prius also allowing it to get more MPG as another error in the “test”.

    This was meant for amusement and nothing more than that. The Prius does not always get the best MPG and will not get 100’s that has been proven scientifically.

    Top Gear normally HATES anything BMW so that made this even more amusing.

    For a more fair test Prius vs. BMW check out here.