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White Zombie Part Deux: Can Tesla accelerate even faster than the ludicrous, Bugatti-beating P100D?
Posted on November 26, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Is it possible for a $134,500 Tesla Model S P100D to race 0-60 MPH faster than a $2,250,000 Bugatti Veyron? Yes indeed. Now it is — according to Bloomberg*: "The world’s fastest-accelerating car is about to get even faster. Tesla’s high-end Model S will soon be able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 2.4 seconds, following a software enhancement next month that shaves off a 10th of a second. That’s a new threshold that distinguishes it from any other production car on the road." Just how fast is this? "Speeds like this offer more Gs than Earth, so the rate of acceleration is faster than falling." Could Tesla have something even faster in the works? Read on...
Above: A design concept rendering of what a new two-door Tesla Roadster might look like (Image: Aitor Amigo via Grabcad Community)
Okay, how does Tesla's newest 0-60 MPH time compare to the world's fastest supercars right now? "For perspective, the Model S already outpaces sold-out supercars with tiny production runs, such as Ferrari’s $1.4 million LaFerrari, Porsche’s $845,000 918 Spyder, and Bugatti’s $2.3 million Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse... here’s a chart that shows how Tesla ranks in speed and price among the world’s elite." The results are stunning when looking at the price difference in order to achieve this kind of performance...
Above: A graph looking at the world's quickest cars analyzing their 0-60 MPH times along with their MSRP base price (Image: Bloomberg*)
Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] CEO Elon Musk recently announced that, "the changes are [to be] delivered wirelessly next month to all P100D Model S vehicles, [and] the owners will have to figure out how to enable it." A Tesla P100DL with its easter egg unlocked will be faster-than-ever as noted in: "a table of the world’s quickest cars. [Below] the acceleration times are provided by the manufacturers, though some cars have been clocked a bit faster on the track. (Previous versions of Teslas have, too.)"
Above: A more comprehensive chart ranking the world's quickest cars analyzing their 0-60 MPH times along with their MSRP base price (Image: Bloomberg*)
All this begs the question: can a Tesla accelerate even faster than this? Well, according to Motor Authority, it turns out that, "Elon Musk let slip that the launch of a second-generation Roadster has been pushed back to 2019. He said Tesla has a performance level higher than Ludicrous that he referred to as 'Maximum Plaid', a nod to hilarious 1987 film Space Balls, and he added that this level of performance will be reserved for the new Roadster." Furthermore, it's posited that: "Instead of using a donor [Lotus Elise] platform like the original Roadster, the new one will be based on Tesla’s own ‘Gen 3’ architecture, which makes its debut in the Model 3."
Above: Another design concept rendering of what the new two-door Tesla Roadster might look like from behind (Image: Aitor Amigo via Grabcad Community)
The four-door Tesla P100D is a large luxury family sedan that weighs in at a hefty 4,925 lbs. — not exactly the typical small, lightweight, two-door sports car. That said, put on a diet, an extra-light, two-door Tesla Roadster packed with Tesla/Panasonic state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries is surely going to accelerate faster than the current top-end Model S. But just how much faster could a new, maximum plaid Tesla Roadster go? Don't forget: before Tesla Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel was working on the Roadster he'd actually built an electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record. However, that record was crushed by an all-electric drag racing legend called the White Zombie.
Above: The White Zombie (Image: Geek-cetera)
Could Straubel and his team at Tesla want to exact revenge on the sinister White Zombie? Let's rewind: I first heard the legend of the infamous White Zombie while watching drag races at the Palm Beach International Raceway almost two years ago. Afterwards, I researched the elusive White Zombie to see if it was a myth — like the Loch Ness Monster — or if this car really existed. And to my surprise, as reported in Geek-cetera, "The White Zombie is a 1972 Datsun.... [and] this little two-door Datsun 1200 can do zero to 60 in just 1.8 seconds, making it the world’s fastest electric car." What's inside this electric beast? "The White Zombie uses a 192-cell lithium-polymer battery which totals 355 Volts and uses 22.7 kWh of energy." And it gets crazier, watch this...
Above: The legendary all-electric White Zombie, a true drag racing legend (Youtube: 88dukecoupe via Nova)
It turns out that the White Zombie, "has been winning races for 17 years now... [and] the White Zombie, which boasts 500-plus horsepower, is even street legal." Of course the Zombie 222 can edge out the White Zombie, and, this summer, the Verge reported that there's, "[an] electric race car, accelerating from 0–60 miles per hour in just 1.513 seconds on a runway at Dübendorf Air Base in Switzerland." But, it's a tiny, one-seater (definitely not street legal) and it's just a Swiss university student project. Regardless, my prediction is that Straubel and the Tesla team will soon defeat the Zombie's deadly 0-60 MPH world record. Yeah... I think Tesla is ready to wear maximum plaid. But we'll probably have to wait for the new Tesla Roadster to find out.