Watch a Tesla Model 3 take on BYD’s Seal in an electric drag race

Tesla and BYD are the two leading global EV makers. How do their electric cars stack up against one another in performance? Watch the Tesla Model 3 take on the BYD Seal in a drag race to see which comes out on top.

After launching the Model 3 in 2017, Tesla’s electric sedan became an instant sensation. The Model 3 became the best-selling EV in the US the following year, topping topping Chevy’s Bolt EV.

Although Tesla went through “production hell” ramping up the Model 3 from 2017 – 2019, the work paid off.

In 2018, the Model 3 became the top-selling EV globally, holding the title until Tesla’s Model Y topped it in 2020.

This year, the Model 3 cracked the top 10 best-selling cars globally as it continues to outsell gas-powered rivals. Meanwhile, China’s leading EV maker, BYD, launched its highly-anticipated Seal electric sedan in July 2022.

At 4,800 mm (189″) long, the BYD Seal is a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 (184.8″ long).

BYD undercut the Tesla Model 3 in China with Seal prices starting at 189,800 yuan ($27,500) with up to 550 km (342 mi) CLTC range. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at 261,400 yuan in China, or about $36,700, with up to 606 km (377 miles) CLTC range.

BYD Seal (Source: BYD)

Tesla Model 3 takes on BYD seal in a drag race

In Europe, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range offers up to 421 miles. Powered by a 75 kWh battery and two electric motors, the Model 3 cranks out an estimated 490 hp and 490 nm of torque.

BYD’s Seal includes 530 hp and 670 nm torque with dual electric motors. Both the Tesla Model 3 and BYD include AWD, so which will win in a drag race? UK-based Carwow put the models up against each other in their latest drag race video.

The Tesla Model 3 is not that heavy at 1,840 kg (4,050 lbs). It’s also relatively affordable in the UK, considering the tech and features included at £50,000 ($63,000).

BYD’s Seal starts at £48,695 ($61,500) in the UK and weighs slightly more at 2,055 kg (4,500 lbs).

HP Torque
(nm)
Powertrain Weight Price
(UK)
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 490 490 Dual electric 1,840 kg
(4,050 lbs)
£49,990
($63,000)
BYD Seal 530 670 Dual electric 2,055 kg
(4,500 lbs)
£48,695
($61,500)
Tesla Model 3 vs BYD Seal

In the first race, the testers put the Tesla and BYD head-to-head in “Eco” or “Chill” mode. Although both were limited in performance, the Model 3 edged out the Seal.

When “Sport” mode is engaged, both models saw a big difference in performance. But which one is faster? Tesla or BYD? I’ll give you a hint: it’s really close. Watch the video above to see the full race.

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