Posted on February 01, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Tesla owners from the loyal Florida Tesla Enthusiasts club came out in "full force" to represent the Tesla Motors community at the legendary Palm Beach International Raceway. Among the many exotic cars that raced, we saw Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, and Porsches along with American muscle cars including the "souped up" Corvettes, Mustangs and Hellcats. One of those American muscle cars just happened to be electric, the Tesla Model S.
Wow, what a day of drag races! We were there all day and we've the got full report along with a few exclusive videos. There were three stand-out races that we filmed. Each clearly shows the incredible torque that propels the Model S off-the-line like no other car we saw at the races. Keep in mind that the Model S is a 5,000 pound 4-door sedan often challenging 2-door sports cars that weigh sometimes thousand(s) of pounds less -- in that sense, it was really inspiring to see the Model S "do its thing" on the track yesterday. Let's check out the three races we captured on video below.
Tesla Model S P90D vs. Corvette Z07
Tesla Model S P85D vs. Porsche 911 Turbo S
Tesla Models S P85D vs. Tesla 85 (Standard)
The hard-to-please crowd left Palm Beach International Raceway with no doubt that the Tesla Model S was a serious contender on the drag strip. Yes... we earned definitive "street cred" in the drag racing community. After speaking with the most prolific drag racer in the Tesla community, Brooks Weisblat, owner of Drag Times, he told me that nearly everyone was actually scared to race him in his P90D with Ludicrous mode! He got one "taker" -- a Corvette Z06 owner, who (kudos to him) proved that American cars, both gas and electric, still know how to deliver staggering speed. Brooks said he couldn't best 11.2 seconds in the quarter-mile yesterday. That would leave Car and Driver magazine, who proclaimed the Tesla P90D as the "quickest four door sedan ever" with the quickest quarter-mile run (at 11.1 seconds) outside of Tesla Motors' test track facilities.
Above: Brooks Weisblat's Tesla P90D with ultra-light Pulse ADV-1 wheels
Then, we got to see a Tesla P85D race a Porsche 911 Turbo S (Porsche's top-of-the-line 911 spec) and the owner, Joe, told me that the Porsche owner had a similar optioned car (as his) and yet the Porsche cost over $200,000. The Porsche owner went on to tell Joe that he was "surprised" at how fast the Tesla P85D could go... he was seriously impressed. Then, Daniel, a P85D owner, raced a fellow Standard RWD 85 and left it in the dust. This proves how mighty the P85D is... now we really want to see "insane" vs. "ludicrous" modes in a race, but we'll have to wait for that one.
In any event, here is a photo gallery with some more photos from the day...
Seen above (from top to bottom), about 15 Tesla owners came to the races and many parked together showing Tesla unity and pride. Next, a Tesla owner waits in line to drag race. And in the last two photos we witness two other electric cars participating. The first was a Porsche 918 Spyder e-hybrid that has about 20 miles of all-electric range before a gas engine kicks in -- it did the quarter mile in 10.1 seconds. Remember though... the Porsche 918 Spyder e-hybrid can only be had for a cool $1 million. Even crazier, the last photo was a modified old Porsche 944, an all-electric beast that can run the quarter mile in about 9.6 seconds according to the "Lawless EV Racing" folks from Dania Beach, FL.
Nevertheless, among the European exotic cars, for the price tag, the Tesla Model S delivers mind-blowing torque that would cause fear and hesitation with any of the drag racers that attended. In fact, I talked to a BMW M3 owner who says he'd think twice before racing any Tesla again at a stop light. He told me that Tesla's torque off-the-line would make it near impossible to beat it in a real-world street race. He tried once, and reported to me that: "After the light turns green, you're toast."