Under the "sign us up for that job" heading, the crew at Drag Times took it upon themselves to perform some straight-line road tests with a 60-kWh Tesla Model S. And the publication found that the automaker may have been a bit too modest about the performance levels of that particular all-electric sedan, something that perhaps BMW is already aware of.

Specifically, the 60-kWh car, in repeated dashes, went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds, a full 0.8 seconds faster than what Tesla estimates. And for the quarter-mile, the tested 13.7-second time was a half-second quicker than the automaker's number.

The publication – which earlier calculated that each drag run in an 85-kWh Model S costs around a nickel's worth of energy – surmised that Tesla's understatement may have something to do with the car's horsepower, which Tesla estimates at 302 but which, according to the dash reading during those happy track runs, was closer to 320 horsepower. We'd be more than happy to test Drag Times' theory if given the opportunity.


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  • 85 Comments
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Battery impedance will vary car to car and will rise as the car gets older. Also on a pack which is less charged it will be slower. I dont know if underrating is the right term, but you can best Tesla's rated figures.
        archos
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Won't be any more than engine/transmission "impedance". The batteries on these Teslas is guaranteed.
      masteraq
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where was the testing performed? Warm temperatures and high altitude lower combustion engine performance but also lower drag. The result is gasoline cars run faster in cold, dense air, while electrics run faster in warm, less dense air.
      Moreno636
      • 1 Year Ago
      And the nails in the ICE's coffin continue to get pounded in....
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well enjoy playing with your RC car until then i guess. Oh yeah, mom says dinner's on the table. :D
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think when you factor in: resale, battery life, and Supercharging the 85 kW is a better deal, although the 60kW could be adequate for many people. I don't see why a 40 kW was even considered, the ac motor is too potent for that to be viable.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bluepongo1
        Yea if you want super charging there is only $8K difference in the two....
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well . . . they would rather have people buy the 85KWH version.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Better to understate than overstate.
      Richard Hilleman
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is almost all about weight. My math says that the 65 is 200kg lighter. 24kwhs of mco cells are about 165kg, and the box and cooling system are about 35 kg of delta weight. Too bad they never built a shorter range version of the Roadster. I would have handled much better.
        ferps
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard Hilleman
        Like i've been saying: give me the smaller battery pack with the larger motor from the performance version. That would king of the drag strip and a damn fine family car.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ferps
          They'd need a totally different battery to pull that off :/ The type of battery they are using has very low power output per amp hour ( low C rate, more technically ), but it is also one of, if not THE most lightest production batteries available. You can have less battery, but you won't save too much weight.. unless you concoct something else on your own ( Tesla's battery is good for about 1-2C, there are 60-90C capable RC Car Lipo chemistries out there. An EV designed just for drag racing could then have a 50-100lb battery pack and have an absolutely mindblowing power/weight ratio. )
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard Hilleman
        You're forgetting something very important. The larger the battery, the more power can be output, especially with the kind of battery they are using. That's why the top of the line model can pull ~4 second 0-60's. The extra few hundred pounds is no matter, the extra power output makes up for it by producing some 100-200 extra horsepower and ft-lbs of torque ( you can look up the difference on Tesla's website )
          kEiThZ
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          @tankdog Basic physics says otherwise. Take out that high school physics text books and start doing some basic power calculations.
          tankd0g
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          That is not true at all. the size of the battery has no relation to the amount of current it can deliver at one time.
          ferps
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I have to admit, I really don't know too much about this technology.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Never too late to learn. If EVs continue to improve, it might be worth a bit to soak in some info. I know way too much for my own good.
          wtrmlnjuc
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The P85 can hold a faster speed because of its motor. The battery may play a part because of its larger capacity, but I doubt it because of the non performance version of the 85 kwh Model S.
      chambo622
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wouldn't be surprised if this were true. I test drove a 85kwh non-performance model in December, and while I haven't done a side-by side, I can't personally feel much of a difference between that and my dad's 60kwh
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chambo622
        You have to smoke an M5 to feel the difference.
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't feed the troll.
      hdprent
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anders, Bad attitude. You are way behind the curve. 20 minute charging time is just a pee call. Consider the difference in the cost to maintain your Tesla compared to combustion engine car's. Once a year check cooling system on batteries, lubricate worm drive, done. Forget oil changes, radiators , water pumps, spark plugs, car batteries, transmissions, injection system etc. etc. You can almost forget brake as well because the recharging reduces the use to almost zero. You don't want to look like the guy who used to yell " get a horse " when seeing gas vehicle.
      brucec039
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just assumed they underrated the cheaper version to get early adapters who want "the best" to fork over the extra dough for the even better version. As it will eventually get out, they know we everyday people will be pleased with the cheaper version's performance. Makes it interesting to think what a midsize, cheaper, less lux version could be made for.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brucec039
        Buying a 60kWh model meant waiting 6 months longer for your car than an 85kWh. I think that's enough to get the true early adopters to get the 85. I am certain that the lower power density of the 60kWh model does impact the performance. Peak power will be reduced, reducing acceleration and top speed. How much it will impact it is a question none of us can answer I think as we don't know the full specs on Tesla's packs.
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