There’s no denying that electric cars have lots of torque from standstill, meaning they can out-accelerate most cars in the stop-light derby to 30 mph. 

But what happens beyond that? Could a car like the 2012 Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA] Model S Performance beat the sporty, race-bred 2013 BMW M5 in a 0-100 mph drag race, for example? 

Automobile Magazine’s Ezra Dyer decided to find out, with a straight-line drag race.

On paper, the 2013 BMW M5 looks to be the clear winner: it is almost 300 lighter than the 2013 Tesla Model S, and produces both more power and more torque than the all-electric luxury sedan. 

In reality, the instant 443 pound-feet of torque at 0 rpm gave the Tesla Model S Performance a clear advantage off the line, smoothly accelerating away while its gas-guzzling competitor scrabbled for traction. 

By the middle of the 0-100 mph dash, there was a clear car length or more between the quietly humming Tesla and the snarling M5. 

As the end of the race approached however, the M5’s 4.4 liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 started to close the the gap, crossing the finish line  a few feet from the Tesla’s rear bumper. 

From the video, it’s clear to see that the M5 didn’t get the cleanest of starts, possibly due to its notoriously difficult-to-engage launch control.


2013 BMW M5

2013 BMW M5

And had it continued beyond 100 mph, the M5 would have continued to close the gap, with its 155mph electronically limited top speed easily beating the Tesla Model S’s electronically limited 130 mph. 

In everyday--or legal--driving, however, the Tesla Model S wins hands down. 

With both cars costing roughly the same, which would you choose, and why? 

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below. 


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