Is Tesla's claim that Model S is the quickest production car on Earth true? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Is Tesla's claim that Model S is the quickest production car on Earth true? Despite what other people say, yes, It is the quickest current production car on earth.
The 0–60 is repeatable more than 2x in a day.
It does not limp after 45 seconds as previously stated.
I know of no other people who have tracked a Tesla Model S on a true road course, besides me. I have first hand facts, not anecdotal thoughts to share. I’m sure there are others who have done it, I just don’t know any. I’m pretty sure that other answers to this question are not from folks who have actually done it.
First - 0–60 is the fastest for any current-production car on earth. Indisputable. Enviable. And 100% accurate. For a P100D, there is nothing stock and in production that beats it. Not a Nissan GT-R. Not a Hellcat. Not an anything. There are ultra-short-run million dollar cars that might be considered “production”. But in the sense of the word - that it’s a production-line automobile available to the general public, nothing else touches it.
Second interesting fact - anything that is close (a Hellcat comes to mind), you need two things. First, you need the car. Second, you need a driver who can properly hook up and manage the car down a drag strip. The driver is more rare than the car. Way more rare. In a Tesla, we do what’s called Stomp-And-Steer. That’s really it. The car manages everything down to the hundredth of a second. Some may say this is cheating. But a Win is a Win. It’s only cheating to the car that came in second.
Third - about the Tesla on a road race track. I have tracked my car on Road America - a 4.1 mile road track in Elkhart Lake WI. It does indeed go into reduced power mode. But it’s not at 45 seconds. It’s more like seven miles. By the start of lap three, through lap four, I was in reduced power. In the first seven miles, it eats most things on the track on the straights. And it eats almost everything on the track in turns. But it does indeed go into reduced power mode. And HP gets limited at greater and greater increments until you stop and let it cool down. Tesla is clear - they don’t make race cars. If you race them, the car is going to argue with you. It’s simple.
Those are the actual facts not dependent on anyone but the actual driver to confirm nor deny. Here is a video interview that was done with my son after race-day.
Other interesting tidbits:
The car is a beast in the turns. It is stickier than the stickiest mid-engine cars. This is a fact. I have a dashcam video and audio to back it up.
The car is not a top-speed car. The Roush Mustangs and BMW M5’s are much, much faster. We’d push 140+mph on the straights. Roush Mustangs and boosted M5’s and 911’s and big AMGs would blast by pushing high 160’s and low 170s.
One excerpt from my son’s heat, Roush Mustang blew by on the front straight. And the audio from the dash cam was priceless as he came back onto the straight line pack, as he headed into the kink and the giant sweeping carousel turn heading into the back straight, “oh you again… Oh, that’s right… you can’t turn!!! Go - Go - Go… c’mon...”
It’s also one of the fastest stopping production cars on the planet. 60–0 mph in 113′. I think it’s actually about 105′… but that’s just me. Regenerative braking and massive friction brakes bring the 4800# beast hot into turns like very few other cars can do.
So, enough of that. I just wanted to debunk people who haven’t actually done it. I have. It’s all very for real.
One last tidbit - be skeptical anyone who talks about how a car performs on a track, without speaking about how their car performed on a track. A little fine-print detail that makes most owners say “wait… what?” is - put four tires of any car on a true race track and hit the go pedal - the owner is running self insured. No insurance company is going to send an adjuster out to write you a check after crashing into the wall on turn seven. Very few people have the guts to do that. I had the guts once. I’m not going to do it again, but I did do it once. There are very few people who own track-capable cars who actually track their cars. Especially on a no-limits, passing-allowed road course.
The Tesla is not a track car. It’s great on a drag strip. It’s good for two laps of a four mile road course. And it’s beyond awesome in the daily driving that is 100% of the driving by 99.999% of drivers.
Photo Credit: Emanuel M Schwermer/Getty Images