Edit: You can now add the Caterham 7 620 R, Bugatti Veyron Supersport, and Nissan GT-R NISMOto the list, thanks to the new Model S P100D option. The text below has been modified accordingly.
Elon Musk announced yesterday that an upgrade to the Tesla Model S can give it a “Ludicrous” option that propels the electric sedan from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Ludicrous, indeed… but let’s put this into some context.
First of all, there are only 2 “production” cars that have a 0-60 time claimed by their manufacturer to be quicker than that:
The Ariel Atom V8, a two-seater without a roof — and a lot of other things — that it’s hard to claim is a production car. A couple dozen or so were reportedly produced. The Bugatti Veyron Supersport, World Record Edition, a super car that cost a few million dollars. 5 were produced.
- The Porsche 918 Spyder, a two-seat plug-in hybrid sports car whose production run just ended after the 918th was produced. The starting price was nearly $1 million.
The Caparo T1, which is basically a racing car with a design modeled after Formula 1 cars. A dozen or two, give or take, were produced. The Nissan GT-R NISMO has a starting MSRP close in price to the top-end Tesla Model S fully loaded. Still it doesn’t have instant torque. The SSC Ultimate Aero TT, a 2-door supercar that cost a few hundred thousand dollars or so. 15 or so were produced. The Caterham 7 620 R, which is again a far stretch from what many of us would call a production car. It’s actually a kit car.
Yep, aside from the first and last (very bare-bones vehicles), each of those cars cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the Tesla Model S. Yep, none of those cars seat 7 people (I don’t think any of them even seat 5), or have nearly as much interior or storage space as the Model S. Yep, the Tesla Model S is more efficient… many times over.
But getting back to acceleration, let’s also remember that the Tesla is the only one with “instant torque.” While the other cars need a little bit of time for their full power to rev up and kick in, the ludicrous Tesla Model S has it all right there off the line. That means that the Tesla can actually smoke those other 7 cars in the initial sprint, probably even beating all of them to 30 mph. In my opinion, that actually makes the Tesla Model S the quickest production car in the world, the quickest in history.
By the way, utilizing the much slower Nissan Leaf and a typical gasoline car to show the difference in acceleration between an electric car and a gasoline one, I think this graph is worth sharing:
Of course, manufacturer 0–60 times are not always the quickest the car can do. Looking at the fastest accelerating production cars based on both manufacturer and independent tests, there are 12 production cars that can get to 60 mph in under 2.8 seconds. That’s not to say the Model S won’t be tested going to 60 in under 2.8 seconds. It probably will.
In any case, no other car on this list provides the interior space or practicality of a Tesla Model S, and no other car on this list has full instant torque. There is simply no comparison. The ludicrous Tesla Model S is in a league of its own.
Unfortunately, that means that my Tesla P85D test drive and reaction videos are already a little out of date.
Queue the next round of racing and reaction videos…