Can the Tesla Model S electric motor's 443 pound-feet of torque from zero rpm and equivalent of 416 horsepower trump the Aston Martin Rapide S V12's 457 lb-ft from 5500 rpm and 550 hp? Autocar attempts to answer that question by drag racing them - which only leads us to ask more questions. Which is the fastest around a race track? Is the Tesla's relatively low top speed of 130 miles per hour (the Rapide S can reach 190 mph) forgivable in light of its astounding torque? Does that even matter?

We hope Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe will pit the Tesla and the Aston Martin against each other again in the near future to answer those questions, and pick once and for all which one is the preferred luxury sedan. But until then he entertains us in the video below by raving about the Model S's attributes, pitching it into medium-speed sweepers and getting it a bit sideways with nothing but road and tire noise permeating the cabin - something people in the UK can experience for themselves once right-hand-drive cars go on sale there this spring.


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  • 123 Comments
      jamsbong
      • 1 Year Ago
      This review reminded me again how fantastic this Tesla Model S is. I was really excited about the car when it was launched and the only jibe I had was charging duration.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      Glowing reviews continue to pour in for the car that wasn't ever going to make it. Now it's ready to take over Europe, to show them how awesome an entire auto experience can be, at purchase, servicing and updates. There are too many people with money and sense for Tesla to fail to thrive in Europe. The numbers don't have to be huge for the impact to be huge. Outselling the cars it does (A8, 7 series etc) is all it needs to continue to do to surpass their current goals. Plus the car gets better as it ages unlike every other car ever made and that will also speak to many Europeans. The few things that are wrong with ModelS are not deal breakers for most people. So this car is going to continue to gain momentum and sales which will help drive the company further. Any comparison will look stupid if you are trying to compare something literally incomparable, which the ModelS is. But that doesn't mean they aren't good to illustrate an important point, that ModelS is an extraordinary vehicle that requires no compromise (unless you often travel more than 99% of people do).
      A A
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how many days it took them to film.
      William Harper
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shame on Autocar for making this stupid comparison! How could anyone compare this rubbish to such an incredible British machine??? Disgusting! This useless golf buggy displays the downfall of America. Only Americans are stupid enough to buy into this nonsense. Whilst Europe is building cars better than before, the US is completely out of ideas. If the US cannot make a proper car, it's best that they not make cars at all!
        William Harper
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Harper
        Don't just down vote me, cowards!
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Harper
          Guys, don't feed the trolls
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Harper
          Did you come here for an argument or a grant to develop a silly walk?
        William Harper
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Harper
        Oops, I must have touched a nerve! I didn't think you big, tough Americans could be so upset by my comment.
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Harper
          Haha, nobody has been touched by your trolling
        Ron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Harper
        It makes the Aston look like the intellectually lazy marque that it is. It is obvious by your jealous and horribly inaccurate tirade, you just cannot be man enough to concede when America has made a superior product. Back before the Tesla, most Americans were willing to concede that an Aston was a higher quality brand than those we had available. That has now changed. The Tesla S is ten times the car an Aston will ever be. Deal with it.
        Dan Murphy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Harper
        Mr. Harper was being factious.
      SCMatty
      • 1 Year Ago
      They shold do a 150 mile rally and see who wins? I live in southern california and to drive this to Napa a weekend wine tasting tasting takes almost 4 days due to mileage limtations. The future is a hybrd vehicle that reduces the limited mileage. There is no fst charge infrasrucure,a dn we are still coal oi;l and water based electricity. So get a realty check
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SCMatty
        If they can continue to bring charge times down or bring range numbers up; I don't see why we need to lug around an engine that isn't really needed. I think for most people the present is hybrid vehicles; but the future is pure electrics.
        jimbo_dean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SCMatty
        If you owned a Tesla, you would know that's not the case. There are two free Supercharger stations on I-5 between LA and Napa. It's a 400 mile drive and you can get a 200 mile charge in just 30 mins at either station. You would only need to stop once to get from LA to Napa. Your post is bad and you should feel bad.
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SCMatty
        60 kWh version of the Model S has an EPA rated range of 208 miles, so I'd say it'd have no problems with a 150 mile rally.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          Depends on how you drive.
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          Why would someone intentionally drive at illegal speeds and drain the battery and strand themselves? So, yeah, it depends on whether you're a moron or not.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          They probably won't drive this faster and strand themselves somewhere (at least not more than once), but they will likely want to drive this faster and possibly decide this car doesn't fit their needs for that trip. I don't know where you live, but on the highways by me the overwhelming majority of people are driving at illegal speeds. And they do so because you get there quicker and its less boring. If you 60 kwh model the way that most people drive their cars on the highway, then 150 miles may very well be a problem.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SCMatty
        SCMatty... you've been caught lying on the Internet. Here's your prize.
      loopless
      • 1 Year Ago
      the Tesla is a toy for the wealthy and uber-geeks with more money than sense. You must have a second ( or third ) car. Get an A7 TDI instead - someone at Audi should "race" Elon coast to coast and see who arrives first!
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @loopless
        Yes, most people will need a second car. Fortunately, most households that can afford a $75K car probably already own a second or third car.
          ZenDriver
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          @ Derek: "so many nattering nabobs of negativity here." I have nothing against Tesla, but...Aren't you the pot calling the kettle black? You were the nabob of negativity on other articles posted about other cars, but now you're all butthurt here? He who can dish it out must learn how to take it.
          Derek L. Washington
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          Thank you for stating the obvious which seems to have been missed by so many nattering nabobs of negativity here.
        Zapbrannigan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @loopless
        Audi A7 TDI is a step down from the Tesla in every measure. Looking at Model S's soaring sales figures compared to A7, S-Class and 7 Series, most people seem to feel the same way.
      wickedsc300
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sorry but this car still does not work for me on many levels. 1st. Range: Some days I have to drive over 300 miles on a schedule. 2nd. Noise: That Aston sounded so good. 3rd. Hassle. While the re-charge time is not long, I don't want to have to wait when I don't want to. It's much more convenient to just fill up and go and to me the cost is worth it.
        paqza
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wickedsc300
        So don't buy it. That wasn't hard, was it?
          wickedsc300
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paqza
          Didn't buy it. But thanks for the useless advice. Don't have anything to add to the converstion don't comment,. That wasn't hard, was it?
        Tysto
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wickedsc300
        You forgot "There's no place to put 4x8 sheets of plywood." Not every vehicle is for everyone.
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wickedsc300
        1) I'm sorry you've never heard of : planes, trains, buses, rental cars, limos, taxis, friends, & family that could help with logistics. 2) enjoy your pollution bubble & getting gouged on gas 3) Derp can't schedule: overnight charging, Supercharging and battery swaps
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Isn't it amazing the TROLLS always are 25 miles out of range of the car? It's an incredible coincidence. Volt's got it at 50 miles. Leaf got it a 100 miles. Tesla gets it at 300 miles. And when they build the 1000 mile EV, there's going to be some bellyacher complaining about his 1100 mile trip, he Never Takes.
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          @ CoolWaters You are correct, and it's no wonder why they (trolls) have no friends and/or a second car in those (fake) scenarios.
          wickedsc300
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Sorry my destination is a parking garage, no outlets. I'm going to take a taxi 300 miles? lol. I'm going to take a limo 300 miles? lol. The only one remotely plausible is the rental car but even that is an extreme hassle. I would have to drive to the rental place, swap my work supplies then head south, then return home at night unload my work supplies, as the rental place would be closed. Get up the next day drive the rental car to get my car then drive home. No logical. I'll drive my car straight there and back. Listen the Model S is not for everyone, all of your "ways to help" are illogical and more of a hassle. I buy a vehicle to get me places and the Model S cannot get me there in my situation.
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Way to prove my point: You charge overnight at home and plug in at your destination derp . Feel free to ignore the other 7 ways I listed to help that rare problem. You and your significant other can batter swap any time any where in Michigan, Google it if you want more help.
          wickedsc300
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Derp, never heard of someone taking a plane or train for a 150 mile drive one way. Why would I schedule an overnight charge when i have to be back home the same day? Derp! Please tell me where the local supercharging station is in Michigan? Also, where is the batter swap locations in Michigan?
        ravenosa
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wickedsc300
        If the fill up cost is worth it, buy a cheaper second car for longer distances. I'm sure most Tesla Model S owners have a second/third gas-powered car. My issue is calling the car "luxury". A friend just got one, and it's nice, but a new Accord or Mazda 6 isn't made any worse, and the material differences are very minor considering the price difference. Still, for a new car company, Tesla is doing it right...
      Jai
      • 1 Year Ago
      This comparison is an insult to the Aston. The Tesla really isn't even remotely in the same league as the Rapide
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        Not really. The Rapide is certainly a beautiful supercar but it uses the exact same technology as a KIA or a Tata just at a much higher energy level. The Model S is an entirely different technology which has advantages and disadvantages over the Rapide.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        Explain exactly why, technically, they couldn't be compared?
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          The interior on the Aston is horribly cramped, the rear seats are a joke, and the trunk is so small you can't take your buddies to the golf course because the bags won't fit. As a sedan, its a fail
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          Because the Tesla's interior is about as luxurious as an Infiniti and the Aston has one above the level of a BMW.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        Says something or other...
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Model S being essentially a 1st product from Tesla (the Roadster was Lotus-based) should really scare the hell out of the established car makers. Some of them have been around for 100 years and they aren't up to the level that Tesla is... and what is especially amazing is how inexpensive this car is for how bleeding-edge it is. If it was a regular ICE-based car and looked like that and was that fast and had that enormous touchscreen, I could see it going for near $100k... but then factoring in the bleeding-edge EV technology and its amazing that this car isn't closer to $150k. If this car had a European badge, it could EASILY be fetching 50% more than it is now and no one would bat and eye over the price and car magazines would be calling it a "bargain".
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'll take the Rapide on the track. The Model S cannot do more than 2 laps on Laguna Seca without slowing itself to prevent overheating. Multiple owners have reported this (including Performance and Performance + models). It's a good car, but it's not a track car.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Generally I buy cars to drive on real roads, doing real errands and transporting me to real places. You want to take a car on the track? Rent some gas guzzler for a day and break your fool neck and leave sane drivers the real roads.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mark Schaffer
          You just read the article above, right? The one that said: 'Which is the fastest around a race track?' Why do you act like I'm foolish for talking about track performance of either car in response to an article which asks this question?
        Gordon Chen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        I was hoping the video tests their track times. That would've made the video seem less one sided in favor of the Tesla.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        And the Rapide is a track car? You think the brakes won't overheat? Nothing the Tesla competes with is a track car. Do you want to ding it for not carrying a 4x8 sheet of plywood too?
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        "Multiple owners" = you should have no trouble providing links.
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          @Dr. Rotation I'm allowing you to cite your dubious story with your typical bias, to avoid libel. Feel free to play games and take your chances in court, like the others on this blog who have made false claims and don't apologize will.
          Mark Schaffer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          If anyone buys a Tesla to run around on a track they are an idiot.
          Mark Schaffer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Rotation made the initial claim and now wante "bluepongo1" to do it's research for it. Now who is in the wrong again? Why the initial claimant is!
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          It's traditional when you ask someone else to do research for you that you ask nicely. Or even bother to ask at all. So, are you asking me to do this this favor or would you just like to look it up yourself?
          Moreno636
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          In other words he has no proof to back up his claim. Its a typical tactic by the troll, acting like you have to prove their nonsense.
          CarNutMike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/17581-Model-S-on-the-Track-A-Review "The big problem with the Roadster is the air cooling system. After a few hot laps at Shannonville the motor is getting too hot and the car backs down the power. After a few more the car is getting pretty slow. I was hopeful that the Model S, with its all liquid cooled drive train, wouldn't get as hot as quickly. Unfortunately this did not prove to the be the case. Driving on the track takes almost 4X as much power as driving on the street. I was seeing 750 Wh/km (1,200 Wh/mi), sometimes more. There are no temperature readouts on the Model S (annoyingly), but it certainly does show you when it backs down the power. That power limit came on the second lap(!). It would pull power back to about 160 kW, which was still quite usable. That would last about ten minutes before I started turning into a "rolling chicane". *shrug* Tesla chose not to set up the cooling system to handle track driving.
          CarNutMike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          A report from Toronto Motorsports Park: "Like Doug, I was only able to get 1 lap in at full power. I once pulled off after ~4-5 laps and the car was howling like a jet engine. Those cooling fans sure do make a lot of noise, it was the first time I've heard them."
          CarNutMike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Ah, it turns out Rotation was optimistic. An aggressive driver at Laguna Seca gets FOUR TURNS before the car starts pulling back power. http://www.trackhq.com/forums/f303/tesla-s-electric-car-5880/index9.html#post103334 "The car has power. Gobs of it. The first blast of it portends a weekend of serious hooning. Then... You get to turn 4. And the power goes into limp mode, cutting it from 320 KW (400-ish hp) to 160 KW. A 5000lb. car with 200 hp is not that awesome." Here's a lap at Laguna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BjQuNIHAGYU
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        They'll need to do a track edition Model S sometime in the future. It would be a good test bed for the future. They'll need the battery/motor cooling system perfected by the time the Model R roadster appears. It won't do to have a lightning fast Roadster that you can't take to the track.
        Moreno636
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        No **** sherlock
      buckfeverjohnson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kudos to a start up company landing at the top of the heap on their first iteration. Very notable.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @buckfeverjohnson
        One 'could' argue that the Roadster was based on a modified Lotus chassis. And the Model S is really Tesla's first completely internal product.
        LukkyStrike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @buckfeverjohnson
        it is not really their first try. But yes, they are a very new car company doing it right from the start. They got the formula right, create a premium sedan with premium features, with the performance to back it.
      Tyler
      • 1 Year Ago
      The model S is made in my backyard but I would still rather have the Aston because of that sweet V12 singing through the gears.
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tyler
        Cars are nice, but I would never give up a living and breathing horse for a soulless machine.
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