The performance abilities – and even the burnout potential – of the Tesla Model S has already been well documented, but, surprisingly, we haven't yet seen the all-electric luxury hatchback strapped to a dyno. Fortunately, the crew over at Dragtimes has posted a video that finally gave us some real-world numbers for the family- and environmentally friendly Tesla.

As the article points out, the results might be off a little (on the low side) due to the run not starting from a dead stop, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless. Immediately upon throttle application, the dyno records almost 300 horsepower at zero miles per hour, and power peaks at 368 hp at around 55 mph (we imagine the "386HP" quoted on the video title is a typo) before trailing off to around 220 hp closer to the car's limited 130-mph top speed. This compares quite favorably to the power numbers provided by Tesla putting max output at 416 hp; the dyno provided no torque figures for the car. Dragtimes also believes this number bodes well for the car on the track, too, quoting a quarter-mile time of 12.2 seconds at 112 mph.

The video of the quiet, zero-emission dyno session is posted below, so check it out.


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  • 109 Comments
      SublimeKnight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let me explain the absence of a torque curve. Dyno's can only measure HP and Torque at the wheels, because that's all they're in contact with. HP, however isn't effected by gear ratios. 100HP on a 2:1 gear reduction is 100HP on the output. Torque is dependent on gear ratios. 100ft-lbs on a 2:1 gear reduction is 200ft-lbs on the output shaft. So how does a dyno spit out engine torque curves? They monitor engine RPM via a cable hooked to your ignition wires (to sense spark plug firing). If you can find the ignition wires for the spark plugs on a Tesla, he'll be able to generate that graph for you.
        warriorxt6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Hmm not at all actually. The dyno is a ferromagnetic brake - by applying current around the rotor it's able to apply a brake to the engine and the whole frame twist is then measured by an actuator. It measures torque, then calculates power. It's not possible to measure power directly in a dynamic system. Not neccessarily true about the HP not being affected by gear ratios, either. There is no transmission that is 100% efficient - that reality isn't expressed in the theory. All heat and sound that a transmission generates is power being sapped from the engine, never to make it to the wheels.
        Stuka
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Except a Tesla has no spark plug wires. Its fully electric. What they would need to do is come up with an add-on for the dyno to measure electric motor RPM. Maybe from the onboard diagnostic port or something.
          Baldur Norddahl
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Stuka
          Since the Tesla is a single speed it is always true that Engine-RPM = Wheel-RPM times constant. We just need to calculate that constant. Actually the constant would be the fixed gear ratio so just look that up.
      Brian Rautio
      • 2 Years Ago
      With a little math they can absolutely figure out the torque. All they have to do is convert speed to RPM (the gear ratio should be published) and then use the formula relating torque to power@RPM. It would be particularly interesting, because 300hp at very low RPM is an absolutely INSANE amount of ft-lbs.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Talk about 'horsepower under the curve'! It's more like horsepower under the flat table.
        edward.stallings
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Not really. It slopes downward pretty bad.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @edward.stallings
          Yeah. Because everyone drives over 100 on a regular basis. At 80 MPH or less this car blows away anything in its price range. It actually blows away most things above its price range except supercars. And it does it using about 20% to 25% of the energy.
      m_2012
      • 2 Years Ago
      World premier of a dyno test on this car, and the ONE thing they dont show is the ONLY thing the dyno measures = TORQUE. Please try again.
      Joseph Burtoni
      • 2 Years Ago
      It sounds like something from Star Wars!!
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      Video: shut up lady!!
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not this limp useless short video that will promote tesla sales, LOL. Ridiculously empty. A bus tickets might worth more then having this car or if you really want to have more amenuities and practicallity then 200$ a month of taxi expences beat this car nightmare ownership.
        noevfud
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Another pointless and nonsense comment.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          I wasn't talking about the price, just practicality as edward was attacking. Ignoring the 40 kWh battery version, $62,400 and $72,400 for the bigger battery packs is expensive but not outrageous enough to prevent 18,500 people from reserving one. edward continues to beat into the ground that having a range of 265 miles on a charge makes the car impractical. I'd say that less than 1% of the population drives more than that in a single day in their everday car regularly. I'll even go with 240 miles which is the more common everyday range for the car.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          Another pointless comment from edward. It's a practical car for 99% of the people.
          edward.stallings
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          Nonsense for sure, but I think he is trying to make the point that the Tesla is not a practical car in the traditional sense, and that is the case.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          At $100K for the Model S tested, surely Grendal means it's a car for the 1%.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anti-matter injectors almost locked open.. so they had to shut down the warp core.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fantastic.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 2 Years Ago
      my next car
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        Since there is talk of delay for the Gen III, I've decided that I'll get a Model S in 2015 if the Gen III doesn't have a reasonable ship date.
        TurboFroggy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        Reservation Holder #14,889 here, this IS my next car.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TurboFroggy
          Wow. You're getting the whole package! Very nice. If I end up going the Model S route, instead of the Gen III, there is no way I could justify getting the performance package. But the regular car will still be the fastest car I've owned in my life. Me=Jealous Congratulations. And like Rotation said, I'll bet you get it earlier than August-October.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TurboFroggy
          What kind are you getting? If you don't mind saying...
          TurboFroggy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TurboFroggy
          85KW Perf, Green, silver 21s, pano, air susp, tech, studio, black leather with CF accents, twin chargers and HPWC. Just finalized my paperwork last night so my car is in line to be built. I am expecting delivery Augest-October timeframe.
      4gasem
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's an impressive car, but let us not forget what the thing costs... Still a truly gorgeous design that will pave the way for more reasonable electrics in the future.
        Helix
        • 2 Years Ago
        @4gasem
        I'd rather get this than the ghastly BMW 6 GC
          TurboFroggy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Helix
          Again with you edward. 676 miles in one trip in 3 days in a Leaf with 1/3 the range. We got back just fine, and it was in another state.
          edward.stallings
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Helix
          You must not like to do things like visit someone in another state or ever get more than 200 miles away and still want to get back.
        icon149
        • 2 Years Ago
        @4gasem
        yeah let's not forget... boutique small volume luxury almost exotic car... i'd say it's cheap... just because it isn't a "mass market" model doesn't mean it is expensive. Not all Electric cars have to be cheap and compared to a Chevy Sonic with a pay back period vs a civic. if you are cross shopping a BMW, live in southern California and your wife drives a Range Rover then it's a pretty f'n good deal on a very exclusive, achingly beautiful bleeding edge tech automobile. in 5 years when Tesla is building cars that are aimed at middle income average americans, then you can complain that it is too expensive and sacrifices to much vs a economy car. right now this is still a bargain if you have the means.
      Ian
      • 2 Years Ago
      That graph shows almost 300hp at 40mph, not zero. No matter how hard you accelerate, at zero speed, wheel horse power is always also zero.
        Sean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        If you look at the graph is clearly claims close to 300 hp at 0 mph. You are right that work is force over distance so no distance means work and thus no power. Where this gets confusing is when you start talking about these values over infinitesimally short lengths of time. The moment you start to move you are doing work because you are exerting o force over distance, that distance is just 1 / infinity. So you need to take this limit, or just look at things a millisecond later. To think of it another way: If you could not do work when not moving you could not accelerate when not moving and nothing could ever start moving. You can start to do work when you are standing still; What you can't do is do work and stay not moving.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sean
          I think his main point was the graph starts at 40mph (look at the labeling in the bottom).
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Ahh takes me back to physical science class. The difference between force and work.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        [blocked]
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Sounds to me that they are confusing torque and horsepower. Dynos don't measure horsepower, they measure torque and record rpm from which they can calculate horsepower.
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