If anyone who hasn’t heard of Tesla still mistakenly holds the opinion that electric cars are only boring or slow, the Model S P100D aims to set the record straight.
The P100D is actually an upgrade from the P85D with “Insane” speed mode, then P90D with “Ludicrous” mode, and the P100D’s “Ludicrous” potential is a notch above that of its predecessor.
Now with upwards of 760 horsepower, the P100D’s all-wheel drive, and 100-percent of its tractor-pull-ready torque ready from zero mph, it’s a recipe to embarrass many a supercar in a sprint.
As independently verified by Drag Times with a VBOX data acquisition unit, Tesla says the electric family car with up-to seven passenger capacity and 315 miles range is good for 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. Drag Times verified 2.54 seconds, 0-100 in 6.52 seconds, and the quarter mile in 10.78@125 mph – presumably all on the street with street tires and as-delivered stock.
Speed contests come in many forms, and being a 4,925-pound street car, the Model S P100D dominates where it is intended to be driven, but not everywhere.
Fat sticky tires, a low center of gravity with battery in the floor, and tuned suspension enable it to handle well, but its specialty compared to cars as quick to 60 as it is, is as a sprinter – as indicated also by a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 which can do 2.8 seconds to 60 …
Those who’ve shelled out big money for high-performance conventional cars may thus be able to keep their egos intact on closed circuits for now, as the name “Tesla” does not yet appear on this list of top-100 fastest Nurburging times.
The Model S P100D, maxed at 155 mph, suits many of Tesla’s fans just fine, however. The power is concentrated for all legal and well-beyond legal speeds for people to enjoy an otherwise luxury performance sedan on the roads.
Its 0-60 time of 2.54 seconds also puts the car in absolutely elite company. With data culled from ZERO To 60 Times dot com, following are specific times garnered by some of the pinnacles of the modern automaker’s art.
2014 LaFerrari – 2.6 Seconds
Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne may think the notion of an electric Ferrari is “obscene,” but even at even at $1.4 million a pop, the red car with the prancing horse emblem from Maranello slips past the line at 60 mph 0.1 seconds slower than the P100D.
Of course once its starts to roll, the hybrid Ferrari with 963 horses under the hood has seen 4.7 seconds to 100 mph, considerably faster, on the way to a top speed of 217 mph thanks also to a curb weight of around 3,500 pounds and lightning quick-shifting 7-speed tranny.
The Model S has a single speed transmission, and while its motor may spin to as high as 18,000 rpm, it does not have the extra gears to contemplate powertrain comfort above a certain top speed.
Nonetheless, considering it costs less than one-tenth what one of the collectable Ferraris does, it is a taste of what only a few have previously been able to experience, with electric drive otherwise unlike anything with gas and an engine.
2010 Pagani Zonda R – 2.6 Seconds
The exotic Zonda R holds the distinction of a 6:47.48 lap around the Nurburgring, absolutely dusting all others in this list with a couple having clocked few seconds below 7 minutes, and anything below 7:30 is considered right quick.
Only 15 Pagani Zonda Rs were built, and with a price of $2.2 million, the mid-engined track-oriented supercar is a rare bird indeed.
Powered by an AMG (Mercedes) V12 of 6.0 liters displacement, these cars weighed in at a scant 2,700 pounds give or take and were made mostly of carbon fiber.
Top speed recorded is 218 mph, lateral acceleration of 1.62g is serious, and yes this one too would show a Model S the fast way around any race track.
Looked at another way, it also highlights just how absurdly quick Tesla’s time to 60 is by even letting it breathe the same air as this Italian monster.
2013 Ultimate Aero SSC XT – 2.6 Seconds
Even more crazy fast in a straight line is the SSC Aero which has held the Guinness top speed record of 256.14 mph.
Powered by a 6.9-liter V8, when galloping at that speed it likely can measure its fuel economy in terms of gallons per mile.
The product of SSC North America, the Ultimate Aero XT was a special last version of a series of limited-production cars pushing 1,300 horses with 1,004 pounds-feet of torque.
And, the P100D has recorded a quicker 0-60 time. Zero to 100? Forget about it, as this beast has recorded 0-200 in 16 seconds.
So again, the Model S is not in the same league, but what can be said? Tesla has distilled and bottled over 1-g forward acceleration for its drivers who maybe less interested in amusement park rides, but still want to feel some of what it’s like in a cost-is-no-object car.
The Tesla also comes with with comfortable amenities, ample space, and environmental responsibly at no extra charge.
2006 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 – 2.7 Seconds
The world‘s fastest Volkswagen product, the 4,100-pound, mid-engined 8.0-liter 16-cylinder was the pinnacle of too much is just never enough a decade ago when it gave the world a revived nameplate with speed potential above 250 mph.
Certainly its 1,000 horsepower is enough to move its two potential occupants – or to generate enough electricity for a small suburban residential block.
Bugatti’s more-powerful Chiron is its replacement, but meanwhile, the recorded time for the Veyron to 60 is a notch less than the Tesla P100D’s.
Its 0-100 time has been clocked at 5.7 seconds – 0.8 seconds quicker than Tesla’s family sedan – and there was a claim for the world’s top speed record in its lineage, but you’d expect at least this for $1.4 million, now, wouldn’t you?
2012 Koenigsegg Agera R – 2.7 Seconds
This Swedish beauty is another mid-engined zero-compromise internal-combsution machine.
Its 840 horsepower and 810 pounds-feet of torque from a turbocharged 5.0-liter gas engine is routed via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Weight of just 3,075 pounds helps it along to also do 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) in 8.0 seconds, and 0-300 km/h (0-186 mph) in 14.53 seconds.
Its 0-100 mph time of 5.1 seconds is also quite ahead of the Model S’ 6.52 seconds.
But again, the Model S is quite a bit more comfortable in the back seat – the Agera doesn’t have one. And it holds more groceries – the Agera is supercar, and the kids in the rear-facing jump seats … you get the point.
The Agera R’s $1.6 million price tag also means you could get about a dozen P100Ds for the same outlay, making the Tesla look like not such a bad deal.
2014 McLaren P1 – 2.7 Seconds
Tesla CEO Elon Musk benchmarked the speed capabilities of the first Insane-mode P85D from his old flame, the McLaren F1, but the P100D tops the 0-60 time of the follow-up P1 hybrid.
The million-dollar supercar has done a sub-7 minute Nurburgring run, but its warm-up time to 60 is a scooch slower than the big heavy sedan from Fremont.
McLaren’s 3,400-pound screamer boasts 904 horsepower from a combination of turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 plus electric power.
It even boasts 19 miles electric range according to the U.S. EPA.
Another good daily driver for a Dubai billionaire, it is another one that shows Tesla has nothing to be ashamed of.
Tesla’s P100D is not being confused with a supercar in the mold of these 2-seat, track-focused ultimates, or others we did not name due to word-space constraints, but it does quite well for a family sedan.
Musk has said the company does not know how to make slow cars, and the P100D has helped a company working overtime to produce its Model 3 by keeping the Model S relevant since its 2012 launch.
Proof is the company’s two car lines – the S and the X – priced from $66,000 and up own 60 percent of the U.S. electric car market. They tower above in a niche category ahead of eco EVs being discounted from their sub-$43,000 prices and which move fewer units per month. They also are challenging sales of conventional luxury performance cars from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus, etc.
People buy Teslas for all sorts of reasons, and one of them is because they are perceived as cool cars in their own right, not just because they also are super efficient, with zero tailpipe emissions.
Of course using all the power is not as thrifty as, say, a Nissan Leaf, or arguably all that environmentally sound considering the 760 horses, even if electric, still get thirsty.
Driven sedately, the EPA says the car returns upwards of 98 “miles per gallon equivalent” which is an order of magnitude more efficient than cars than get mpg in the low teens or less than 10 mpg when just driving around.
Without exhausting this discussion – pun intended – we’ll just say the recipe is working. Tesla’s cars grab the attention of regular folks regardless what they may feel about climate change or the environment in general – not to mention the crowned heads of the European auto industry who are scrambling to catch up.
What will they do when Tesla builds its supercar which is projected to arrive as soon as 2019?