Electric-car advocates know that a seamless rush of maximum torque from 0 rpm is one of the secret advantages of using an electric motor to power a vehicle.
And that fact--most publicly shown off by the Tesla Model S P85D performance model, and now by its even faster successor, the P90D--has pretty much eradicated those tedious "slow nerdy golf cart" comments from public discussions of electric cars.
So what does it take to build an electric car with even better acceleration than a Tesla P90D?
One way to do it is to eliminate four of the five seating positions and most of the bodywork, but hang onto the all-wheel drive that lets all four wheels deliver maximum traction to the ground.
2015 Tesla Model S P85D vs Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG at drag strip [photo: George Parrott]
As a team of students from Germany's University of Stuttgart shows, all it takes is a powerful motor, a battery pack that can deliver maximum current for less than a minute, and ... voila ... you can build a Tesla beater.
Specifically, the Green Team Formula single-seat drag racing car can cover 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (0 to 62 miles per hour) in a mere 1.779 seconds.
That's equal to and probably slightly better than the fastest of today's Formula 1 cars.
And it's better, as Motor Authority notes, than the 0-to-60-mph times for the skeletal V8-powered Ariel Atom (2.3 seconds) and the plug-in hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder supercar (2.5 seconds). As for the new Tesla Model S P90D, it takes an agonizingly long 2.8 seconds.
Tesla Model S P85D versus Porsche 911 Turbo
To be fair, it would appear that the Green Team Formula drag racer isn't street-legal, and probably couldn't do more than a few miles even at a more normal rate of speed.
A Top Fuel dragster can do 0-to-60-mph in something like half a second, but they're even more single-purpose than the electric drag racer (and far heavier: the German car comes in at a mere 350 pounds).
That degree of acceleration requires a carefully constructed seating position to brace the driver against G-forces significantly higher than the force of gravity.
The only in-class competitor we can think of, in fact, is the notorious White Zombie. That's an old Datsun 1200 economy car re-engineered as an all-electric drag racer.
Its best 0-to-60-mph time thus far is about 1.8 seconds.
Let the games begin.