Posted on December 12, 2015 by Matt Pressman
Yes. We know. We've seen loads of races pitting the Tesla Model S P85D with insane mode versus exotics who had (previously) owned the distinction of being the almighty, reigning speed demons. As a new entrant and an electric car to boot, the Tesla Model S has absolutely shattered the status quo in this ultra competitive sector of the auto industry. Even crazier, all of this is about to change. With the introduction of the Tesla P90D with ludicrous mode, Tesla is about to embarrass a whole new slew of supercars previously considered "untouchable" in a drag race.
Source: Motor Trend
Motor Trend* explains, "With Ludicrous mode engaged and using the new launch control feature, 60 mph in the Tesla comes in a staggeringly quick 2.6 seconds with the driver experiencing a peak of 1.1 g up through 14 mph. Given the Model S P90D hangs with hypercars in acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, the list of cars the P90D beats to 60 mph is a long one, including everything from the vaunted Nissan GT-R to the big, bad Lamborghini Aventador and Bugatti Veyron. Only two cars that we’ve tested can outright beat the P90D to 60 mph: the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari. As for the 'other' hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1, the Tesla ties it in a race to 60 mph."
Source: Motor Trend
Wait... there's a new "launch control feature" too? Yes, we'll get to that, hold tight. But first, you probably read that Motor Trend quote and thought to yourself -- no way. I've got to see this in action. Well, unfortunately there haven't been many videos of P90D races yet. And, there are no videos (as of yet) with this new, so-called "launch control" feature. But, we did track down two videos that you simply must see.
First, let's talk about the "vaunted" Nissan GT-R. The GT-R was considered by many the pound-for-pound drag race king. Especially considering the price tag. It's known in drag racing circles as "Godzilla" for good reason. For a few years, the Nissan GT-R won Motor Trend's "World's Greatest Drag Race" beating all comers. In previous drag races with the Tesla P85D, the GT-R handled the Tesla with relative ease. That's about to change, take a look...
Source: LHII LHII
Next up... the Ford GT. The Ford GT won Top Gear's "Gas Guzzler of the Year" award, and, as a sign of the car's prominence, Top Gear's very own (former) host, Jeremy Clarkson, actually owned a GT. It's a legendary supercar in speed circles out there. The 700+ horsepower GT topped out around $150,000 and only sold about 5,000 cars to die-hard speed junkies. So, how did it fare against the Tesla P90D with ludicrous mode? Let's check the video tape...
Source: Drag Times
Drag Times explains: "With a best 1/4 mile time of 10.6 @ 133 MPH at Palm Beach International Raceway, the Ford GT would seem to stack up pretty well against the Tesla. Without the sticky prepped track surface of the drag strip the Ford GT struggled off the line spinning the tires in 1st and 2nd gear while the P90D with it’s instant 800 ft-lbs of torque from two electric motors combined with all whee drive running 0-60 MPH in just 2.8 seconds left the Ford GT behind. When the Ford GT finally got some power down it ran the Tesla down at a pretty incredible pace."
Serious competition for sure (especially with a rolling start), but, does the Tesla P90D have more hidden power? And what was Motor Trend talking about when they mentioned a "launch control" feature? It turns out, according to Electrek today, a new software update (v7.0:2.9.40) will include a "launch control" feature. Here is how Tesla describes the method to engage ‘Launch Mode’ and be sure to check the video below for a demo:
Source: Mike Burrows
This definitely means we're going to see some amazing drag races in the very near future. Forget past rivalries with cars like the Dodge Hellcat, we're about to see the Tesla P90D take on some of the best supercars on the planet. We can't wait. Be sure to keep checking in as we'll be covering these races, in-person in some cases, to bring you the outcomes. And, I wouldn't bet against Tesla.
Source: Motor Trend