With an estimated 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds, Tesla’s 762-horsepower all-electric P90D is quick, “Ludicrous” quick, in fact.
Ludicrous is what Tesla calls the next level beyond the all-wheel-drive P85D’s “Insane” speed mode for its latest upgrade to the dual-motor beast of an ostensible family sedan, but is it the quickest street car anyone can buy?
Answer: it may be the quickest electric car in its class anyone can buy for its $119,200 entry price, but the P90D is not the outright quickest or fastest.
Since we already posted a list of exotics that the most-potent Tesla beats, we thought this time we’d look at a few cars remaining that it can’t beat – at least on paper.
When testers get hold of the P90D however, who knows? It may even turn times below Tesla’s stated 2.8 seconds to 60 and 10.9 seconds in the quarter mile. That was the case for the P85D which has seen a tenth of a second of so shaved from its manufacturer-estimated 3.2 seconds.
Further, the launch control Tesla has engineered into the D cars is push-button easy to deliver perfect hole shots. All-wheel-drive gives a further advantage over rear-wheel-drive cars that may turn quicker times in ideal circumstances with an expert driver.
For example, Autocar in the UK tested a rear-wheel-drive Caterham Seven 620R – estimated at 2.79 seconds to 60 – and beat it handily on dusty tarmac with the “3.2 second” P85D because it had a superior launch in limited traction.
In the real world therefore, we suspect the P90D will be seen beating many cars, even those which might do better under ideal conditions.
With that caveat in place, following are cars that have clocked better than 2.8 seconds by at least a tenth of a second.
If anything, most cars on this list, except number 5, show how much farther one has to go – and spend – to get a car that can out-sprint a P90D to 60 mph.
5. 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition – 2.7 Seconds
As the P90D is to the electric world, the all-wheel-drive 545-horsepower, 463 pounds-feet GT-R could be said to be to the gas world – a lot of bang for the buck.
Not that it’s cheap, and only 150 Track Editions (with rear seats deleted to save weight) were made, but other members of the GT-R line have seen high 2 and low 3s, and the turbo car can be tuned for more.
Its $116,710 – $3,000 less than the P90D – price as tested made Motor Trend compare it to Lamborghinis and say the Nurburgring-tuned car is a bargain at one-third the price.
The GT-R is also known to fans as Godzilla, and it weighs 3,881 pounds, about 1,000 less than the P90D.
4. 2013 SSC Ultimate Aero XT – 2.65 Seconds
Anything but an affordable alternative, the $750,000 SSC Ultimate Aero XT is not just about 0-60 times, and if geared only for that purpose, it could have possibly led this list.
The XT’s twin-turbo 6.9-liter V8 was rated for 1,300 horsepower, 1,004 pounds-feet of torque. Comparisons of the 2,800-pound-without-fluids supercar to the Tesla therefore are a bit silly, but its 0-60 time is one metric the P90D may actually match or come very close to.
Only five XTs were produced, and this is where comparisons end. Zero-to-200 mph was estimated at 15.65 seconds, top speed was 273 mph.
That the Model S is even being considered alongside this supercar is a testament to Tesla which is a production car that can seat up to five adults and two kids, and do it all in zero-emissions, quiet comfort.
3. Ferrari LaFerarri – 2.4 Seconds
This one’s even a hybrid, but for $1.4 million, and with 950 total horses from its V12 plus electric powertrain, you’d certainly expect at least 2.4 seconds now, wouldn’t you?
The carbon-fiber rear-wheel-drive exotic, weighing in at a scant 2,954 pounds wet doesn’t stop impressing after 0-60 or quarter mile however.
With 643 horsepower per ton, Road and Track recorded 0-100 in 4.7 seconds, 0-150 in 9.8 seconds, quarter mile at 9.7 seconds at 149.1 mph.
That quarter mile time is as quick as the 9.7-second BMW S1000RR motorcycle, and for cars it does pretty well. Oops. Sorry. Didn’t mean to show a $16,000 motorcycle could run with a premier supercar, but our urge to compare got away from us.
Actually, what you’re also paying for is the Ferrari pedigree, all-around balance, amazing craftsmanship, and ultimate-class Ferraris don’t tend to depreciate over the long haul, which can’t be said for mere mortal vehicles, if you will. So if you have the money and don’t wad up the car, you can nearly thrash it and still call it an investment.
2. 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport – 2.4 Seconds
Here’s another off-the-charts car that only just beats the Model S P90D by a few tenths, at least to 60.
The 8.0-liter W16-engine $2.4 million car produces 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 pounds-feet of torque which is routed through its 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
From 0-100 mph, Car and Driver reported it takes 5.0 seconds, and the quarter mile arrives in 9.7.
Since this car was produced, Bugatti, owned by Volkswagen Group, has released a Grand Sport Vitesse, and its pending 2.0-second-to-60, 288-mph Chiron is due to have 1,500 horses to help push crazy speed for crazy money.
The four-year-old Super Sport was governor limited to just 258 mph, but over 270 is the new entry level for cars that make suitable playthings for Saudi princes.
1. Porsche 918 Spyder – 2.2 Seconds
A plug-in hybrid, and now also sold out, the 918 Spyder needs the race-tuned V8 portion of its powertrain to clip off the astonishing 2.2 seconds, but it’s less impressive in all-electric drive.
Electric range is 12 miles, and 0-60 is 6.1 seconds for the 100-pound lighter, 3,602-pound Weissach package model. That’s quicker than a Toyota Camry by about one second, but it goes to show what a rarity Tesla is now producing.
Let the raucous gas come on however, and you have 887 total horses, far more than the 279 electric-only horsepower.
Other tests have seen it clock half a second slower to 60, so here too is where skill comes into play.
Starting at $845,000, the 918 Spyder – 918 were made – was a relative deal for a bonafide supercar that has done 6:57 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Porsche says it has learned lessons to trickle down to hybrids and electric cars to come.
Maybe one day it can even make an all-electric car that will beat a Tesla.