Tesla Model S Performance: Fastest Electric Car (Video)

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The Tesla Model S Performance looks great on paper.

Not only does the 85 kWh Model S have an impressive 265-mile EPA-rated range, but it'll do the benchmark 0-60 mph sprint in only 4.4 seconds.

That means the all-electric luxury sport sedan from Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is at least as fast as V-8 German super sedans like the BMW M5.

But how do you quantify that sort of speed in the real world? If you're Drag Times, you put it on the strip, preferably head to head against an American legend like the Dodge Viper SRT10. And then you beat it.

Yup, the near-silent Tesla made a mockery of the shiny red sports car--posting a quarter-mile time of little over 12 seconds in the process.

A second video shows the Tesla's fastest pass, at 12.371 seconds and 110.84 mph. There aren't a great many production cars which would do better--mostly vehicles well into the "supercar" or "hypercar" brackets, and at even higher cost than the Model S.

Some of the other statistics are outstanding too.

Drag Times recorded a 3.9-second 0-60 mph time on their VBOX timing gear. Given the Tesla's hefty weight at the curb of 4,690 lbs, it's even more impressive--weight is typically the enemy of speed.

Huge low-down torque helps, of course--the 416-hp Model S Performance develops 443 lbs-ft from zero to 5,100rpm, and power delivery is much smoother too.

While that driver in the Viper had to manage wheelspin and shift gears, the Tesla driver just has to sink the right pedal and keep it on the floor until he passes the 1/4-mile mark.

We'd love to see what other car giants the Model S is capable of killing.

With zero emissions and supercar-slaying acceleration, it seems you can really have your cake and eat it too.


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Comments (15)
  1. Looking at the video you can see the Viper's biggest disadvantage was it's own transmission. Watch, every time the viper is shifted it looses ground. Futher proof that electric cars can and will be better then petrol cars ever were, thanks again to Tesla.

  2. I have been pretty much over the whole shifting thing ever since I got my Prius, but this video makes me wonder if a better Viper driver with improved shifting technique could have done better. Can any manual transmission fans out there weigh in with an opinion?

  3. A duel clutch paddle shifted 7-speed would have been smoother. Although, the BMW M5 uses one and that still didn't beat the Model S.

  4. Wow! Very impressive. Although the Nissan GTR is much faster at about the same price, I'm guessing the S is far more comfortable and seats 5.

  5. Plus two kids in the back and your bags in the front.

  6. Well, you can see the Viper is starting to catch up near the end of the race. Just like the race against M5. The point is that Tesla's low end torque and easier launch will make the real world acceleration much faster and more consistent. That is the advantage that ONLY electric car give produce.

    With that said, I do love Viper and Telsa S. But I can't afford either...

  7. The really important SPEED question is, how fast can Tesla dig themselves out of a mountain of debt and start making money so they can be sustainable? 5 years and never made a dime!

  8. Been in the black since Dec 4th, apparently... http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/12/tesla-in-the-black-ceo-says.html
    And to be fair, what you should really be asking is why GM is still being bailed out by the US taxpayer to the tune of $billions when it has supposedly been profitable for decades. MW

  9. @Martin: Not quite. CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla was cashflow-positive for *one week* as reported here:

    He has not repeated the claim since then.

  10. "While that driver in the Viper had to manage wheelspin and shift gears, the Tesla driver just has to sink the right pedal and keep it on the floor until he passes the 1/4-mile mark."

    Beautifully written! That is the exact reason why I do not like electric cars - nothing to do but vegetate behind the steering wheel. Might as well just get a car which drives itself, then.

  11. If you "really" want to get involved with a machine dump the so called "driving experience" of a high performance car and get a BIG powerful sports bike, you will never look back.

  12. "nothing to do but vegetate behind the steering wheel"

    Well, sorry to burst your bubble. Professional dragsters don't need much shifting either. Plus, it is better to concentrate on the steering than worry about shifting...

    There are plenty of other area to focus on during driving. Shifting is NOT required. In fact, in races, the more concentrated a driver is on steering/braking, the better.

    Just b/c you are involved, it doesn't make it a better experience...

    I thought you liked the diesels for its low end torque. Well, in electric, you get all that torque all the time... In your own word, transmission is really a legacy of the ICE.

  13. It's elec-TRICK!

  14. What is missing is the Ferrari sound (at will). :)

  15. Electric cars could have murdered gasoline cars well over 100 years ago if it weren't for the Ford-Rockefeller nexus. Ford needed money to get big, and the oil industry needed to sell oil and refine gasoline badly. The internal combustion engine was nothing but a beastly imposition on a clueless public. The oil companies are the largest corporations on earth, and intend too stay that way for as long as they can bamboozle the public - which has been a very, very long time.

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