They come from two different worlds and have little in common. The Tesla Model S P85 is the sportiest version of this paradigm-punching sedan from California, while the 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 is a performance-enhanced version of Michigan's recently-updated sports car stalwart. The West Coast car seats five adults and eats electrons like Popeye eats spinach, the Easterner has two passenger places and, surprisingly, sips gasoline like one might bourbon.

An attribute they do happen to share is extreme quickness. This similarity is all the excuse Drag Times needed to set the vehicles beside each other at the Palm Beach International Raceway for a bit of mano-a-mano quarter-mile combat. Fortunately enough, cameras were rolling for each of two bouts down the blacktop and the results recorded for our edification and enlightenment.

The winner? We won't spoil it for you, but let's just say it's really, really close. How close? Scroll below and watch the video for yourself. Just be warned, the results may surprise you.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 362 Comments
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every commentator is scrambling to stick up for the Vette. Model S comes off the line like a total beast. Yeah its the electric instant torque, and that's why the car is amazing. People think the instant torque is like some kind of excuse for why Model S takes off like a rocket. On that same note, the 6.2 V8 is the same type of excuse that gives Vette its thrust. It looks like people here can't just say "That Tesla takes off like a rocket". Nope, its excuse after excuse followed by, the Vette is better. Blah blah. Yeah the Vette is an awesome car, but the Model S can rocket off faster than the Vette. People are saying now, "get a Z06".... Okay, let Tesla bring back a super version of its Model S (if one were ever made)? Point is, Model S is a menace, great thing about it is that it wasn't intended to be one...but it soooo is.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        Tesla could most definitely build a faster car if they wished. I hope they stay around long enough to do it. A smaller car with twice the power as the current Model S P85+ is possible now.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The roadster was actually quite impressive for what it was, but it was their first car and had it's flaws. Hey, Ford's first car sucked too by today's standards. Electric tech has a lot of room to grow still.
          chonnes
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Yeah: Too bad Tesla couldn't have built a small 2-seat Roadster, right?
        nitrostreet
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        If you look at the time slip at the end of the video the Vette does the better 60' foot time of the 2 cars
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @nitrostreet
          I like Stingray a lot. I also like Model S a lot. I'm not mad, in fact, I enjoyed the video.
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla cheated. It launched too soon.
        NotTarts
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        There was no red light and thus no foul start according to the system.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NotTarts
          Sure bro, whatever you say. Go suck on a light socket. HAHA, ur ass will have some instant torque then!
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        No. Instant torque = super quick off the line.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        No red light so there was no cheating....period...
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        People always say this when an electric car wins :) Either the electric car launched too early or the driver in the gas car shifted at the wrong time. The truth is that both people have the foot to the floor, it's just that one car puts 100% power down to the wheels the second the throttle is floored, the other requires some fluid and slip in the torque convertor, and the motor to spin up before it can really produce power..
      sebringc5
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many times must this be played out? We have all heard this before. I don't know who is being so "hard headed" about the fact that electric power is superior in a lot of aspects. Perhaps its just the media who enjoys tugging @ our emotions. ABG is not related to FOX news is it? All the best, Aaron Lephart smartcar451.com
      trzjax
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla took off on one of the middle yellow lights... is that the right way to do it? Cause Vette took off on green....
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        If you don't move more than 1 foot before the light goes green, you're good.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        Doesn't matter as long as he didn't get a red light.
      trzjax
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought on drag strips who launches first doesn't matter, it's the the time to do 1/4 mile that is compared?
        nitrostreet
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        In time trials (or qualifying) the reaction time doesn't matter, when the racing starts the reaction time does matter.
        Nick Bransford
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        It depends on whether you're racing heads-up or bracket racing (going for closest to specified ET rather than who crosses the line first). In the former, reaction time is paramount. In the latter, it doesn't count for anything other than bragging rights.
      J Shep
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's a reason all new supercars are incorporating electric motors. It's not just a gimmick.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look at the timing slip , on the 1st run , tesla clearly out performed the corvette driver on the launch , the vette was very late leaving , so on the first race the tesla got a hole shot win , that's all !!!!! Both vehicles were very consistent on both E.T . & speed ... However , the corvette is a much faster vehicle , as documented by the race slips , corvette is much quicker & is producing much more horse-power as documented by the speed of 116 MPH & 118 MPH .... as a former drag racer , Grand National ran 10.80's @ 126 MPH , I lost many races because of poor launch , hole shot losses .
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yep, the Vette is slightly faster than the Model S, but it is so close the reaction time of the drive makes the difference.... That is amazing considering it is a race between a Sports car and a sedan...
        ElectricAvenue
        • 1 Year Ago
        You must have a very different definition of "much faster vehicle" than me. I'd go with "slightly faster". In practical daily use, the Model S is arguably "faster" in the sense that it can accelerate as fast as possible INSTANTLY from any speed, with no concern for gearing or where the engine speed is on the "torque curve". How about we just say that they are both pretty darn fast, ok?
      omegaslast
      • 1 Year Ago
      First electric sedan ever mass produced and it goes head to head against decades of corvette evolution lol. What an insane technology we have at our hands.. gas engines run on fossil fuel so they are going to go extinct sooner or later, i dont know why people are so mad that electric engines are so good!?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @omegaslast
        Because they're piston heads and they're butthurt that a little 100 pound thing with a bunch of wires and magnets in it beats their 500+ lb vibrating pollution block..
          LoneWolf
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Because ribbing some electricity fanboys *hint*above */hint* is great fun and they are SO defensive :D
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The engine in question here may weigh 465lbs, but it saves over a thousand pounds in batteries. So it is by far the lighter package. And the higher performing one.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 1 Year Ago
        @omegaslast
        The Model S is not the first electric sedan ever mass produced. There's 100,000 Nissan Leafs out there... Nevertheless, I agree with the rest of your comment!
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          Ok, I suppose if you call the Leaf a hatchback...
      Seb
      • 1 Year Ago
      if you pause/play/pause/play, the tesla left before light was green.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Seb
        As you do in drag racing with a .500 tree. He nailed the light, as its easy to do with instant torque.
      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wonder when the Vette will get an electric motor sandwich in the trannie? My best guess is C8
      • 1 Year Ago
      And after 2 more races, the batteries are dead
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        You wish. It's probably good for another 50 to 100. The range is 250 miles. These are 1/4 mile runs. You're using say 5 times the energy in a short burst = 50 miles of high speed runs. More like 150 to 200 then.
        NotTarts
        • 1 Year Ago
        168 more runs according the Drag Times. Regen braking at the end recovers more than half the energy used in the race.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        If regen can recover a lot of the energy, i bet the two cars could do similar amounts of quarter miles. But is that really some criteria you have for buying/owning a car?
        19nomad56
        • 1 Year Ago
        My 335is will burn through a quarter tank of gas in 20 minutes of track time at Willow Springs. No vehicle is efficient flat out. NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars use between 10 and 12 gallons of fuel for a complete pass, including the burnout, backup to the starting line, and quarter-mile run. (From NHRA's site)
          Kronos
          • 1 Year Ago
          @19nomad56
          >>>No vehicle is efficient flat out. True for IC engines due to massive high-rpm friction losses. I'm not sure if EV's suffer to the same extent. Higher output likely leads to higher resistance in the battery pack.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @19nomad56
          The differences in efficiency in electric motors versus gasoline motors is complex, but to simplify it some ( i could go on forever ), electric motors are exponentially more efficient at partial throttle postions, but depending on the controller programming and battery setup, they can have low efficiency at full throttle or just hang around peak efficiency throughout 95% of throttle/rpm states. Gas engines on the other hand, are wildly inefficient at partial throttle by comparison, but are usually most efficient at full throttle. Electric does have the advantage of having regenerative braking, so i suppose you could consider that an efficiency advantage.
        Dave D
        • 1 Year Ago
        Just like the batteries on your mother's toys.
      Mike Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      The video is not there . . .
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