With up to 416 horsepower and 443 ft-lbs of torque available instantly, the Tesla Model S can quietly zip past just about anything else on the road. But the dragstrip is another story, and when the 4,700 pound Telsa lines up against a purpose-built electric Miata dragster, all bets are off.
That is, unless you’ve seen this particular Miata race before. Owned and raced by John Metric, “Assault and Battery” is an electric Miata unlike any other, able to blast down the quarter-mile dragstrip in the low 9-second range. Even the mighty Tesla Model S P85+ is no match for this Miata, which shoots down the strip like a slot car to a best run of 9.27 seconds at 142 MPH. The Tesla meanders over the finish line more than three seconds later at a 12.72 at 102 MPH, which is still faster than 90% of cars on the road.
So what’s the Miata’s secret? Forklift motors, powered by a 333-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Combined with the already-light chassis of the Miata, Assault and Battery is able to make short work of the drag strip and the Tesla.
Forklift motors. Really!