Motor Trend Pits 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat vs. 2015 Tesla Model S P85D – Video


Head 2 Head

Head 2 Head

This episode of the masterfully done Head 2 Head Motor Trend video series features a matchup that us electric car fans find fascinating:

“On this episode of Head 2 Head, host Jonny Lieberman puts the quickest sedan in the world up against the fastest sedan in the world. Unlike a most this versus that competitions, the object of this match up is to figure out which family sedan is the bigger badass. In the red corner, making 691 electric horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque, is the dual-electric motor, all-wheel drive Tesla Model S P85D. And in the blue corner, packing a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that’s good for 707 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque. As you can gather from the power figures, these two are evenly matched. But one’s a bigger badass than other. Watch and find out which!”

Do watch. It’s definitely worth the 17 minutes of your time.

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60 Comments on "Motor Trend Pits 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat vs. 2015 Tesla Model S P85D – Video"

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Great video, thanks!

Great fun. Crazy metaphors and rubber “snow” balls!

BTW, That whimpering sound in the Hellcat, is that transmission whine?

That whiny-wheezy sound? It comes from the supercharger. All supercharged cars have it to some degree, although Chrysler kind of made a point of failing to minimize it on the Hellcats.

Contrary to the video, I thought the dual-motors were more efficient and gave MORE range, not less?

Model S 85 = 265 miles
Model S 85D = 270 miles

not the p85d. just the 85D like you listed.

Hilarious !

Sorry dude (narrator) I just don’t find anything at all desirable about loud pipes, burn-outs, etc. The Tesla wins in just about every category as far as I’m concerned.

The end of the era.
Sound and Fury signifying Nothing.

Top speed 200 mph, who cares, unless you can get track time.

Gas Engines look more and more primitive.

I’d totally get a Tesla but I have mixed feelings about the Hellcat (although, I’d prefer it in manual, not automatic). There is something kind of primal and appealing about making noise and bombing on curves in a car like that.

However, as the narrator pointed out, it makes people angry. And I’m no different. While I’d have fun bombing around in something like that, if some a$$h013 revved that monster by my house, I’d want to nuke him.

epa mpg on the hellcat?

13/21 (if you drive like your great aunt)

The tesla quicker at lower speeds, mainly due to traction. Even the RS7 will clock a 3.2 sec 0-60mph. After 90mph…with almost a 10mph higher trap speed, the Hellcat reels in and runs away from the Tesla.

You miss the point, the off-the-line acceleration is wickedly fast from the Tesla and that is it. People do not normally race over 130 mph for any extended stretch of time to eventually catch up. You obviously have been at a stop light with another car beside you and everyone knows the first several hundred feet is where the race is, not 1/2 mile down the road.

Great comparison. I think when he got to the part that explains overall ownership costs after 5 years he wasn’t being totally accurate.

He says even after 20 years the Tesla will still cost more. Only true if you use the prices of the cars he tested. Instead of using a completely loaded out P85D and a Charger Hellcat with only a few extras let’s instead compare the two base models over 5 years.

Charger Hellcat base MSRP is $64,000.
$64,000 + $6,750 (fuel)= $70,750

Tesla P85D base MSRP is $105,000.
$105,000 – $8,000 (fuel)- $7,500 (fed. tax incentive) = $89,500

So instead of 20+ years only after 12 years the Tesla P85D theoretically breaks even with the Charger Hellcat in ownership costs.

Also not mentioned in the ownership calculation is that the Tesla over that 12 years is fueled entirely by domestically sourced energy.

Also assumes gas prices won’t go up.

We could also get into speculation about maintenance costs for the two vehicles but let’s get real — nobody, but nobody, is making a purchase decision between these two cars based on TCO.

For that matter, I doubt there are many people cross-shopping the two cars at all. But the video was still fun.

To be more precise, the cost of ownership is the depreciation of the car over the time period, not the cost of the car. The Tesla will depreciate much slower then the Charger. When you add in maintenance cost and fuel one should easily concluded the Tesla has a lower overall cost of ownership. Additionally, it has a superior drive-train warranty of 8 years and unlimited mileage.

And by 2030, you just swap the battery pack for a 1000 miles light one. πŸ™‚ oh and you may also have to change some bearings… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The idea that a P85D will depreciate more slowly than a Hellcat is… amusing.

First off, it is unlikely the Hellcat will be made for very long. It’s basically a tech demo for FCA to get positive press. In contrast, the Model S is Tesla’s only production car right now, and will likely be their flagship for the foreseeable future.

Second, EVs have been among the worst cars when it comes to depreciation. Setting aside the impact of the federal rebate, the rapid advances in EV technology make the older models quickly lose luster; just look at the P85.

I’m not sure the Hellcat will do any better than the Ford SHO, Mercedes S-Class/CL-Class AMG’s, BMW M5, Caddy STS-V, or Jaguar XJ Super.

These are all also large performance sedans, and they just happen to be some of the highest depreciation cars out there. There are years and years of data to back that up.

Large high performance sedans just don’t hold their value, US or European. If the Hellcat magically holds its value, it will be a massive exception to the rule.

I’m not certain the Model S will hold it’s value either. We don’t have enough data yet on the Model S to know. But so far, used Tesla’s have been in high demand. Based upon the REAL price after Federal and State rebates, depreciation has been rather low so far. Having Tesla launch their CPO site recently may even help hold down depreciation even more.

“Second, EVs have been among the worst cars when it comes to depreciation.” That is all a subjective value. Anyone can “depreciate” something that belongs to others. So I can say that the Hellcat is worth less than the crap I dump every morning, and I am right subjectively!

you are presuming charging the Tesla won’t cost anything?
Also based on what I’ve seen, the Tesla will hold it’s value better than the Hellcat. Two amazing cars, no doubt.

Also, for Tesla there are no oil changes, ICE related maintenance/upkeep, less wear/tear on breaks etc. Will add-up over 20 ( or any number) of years.

The other aspect of cost that will be much worse for the Hellcat is tires. To show off properly it seems to need to waste a set of tires every couple times. Stupid waste. I’d move into the silent but monstrously powerful future any time over the dino design that burns the dinos.

You are missing gas engine maintenence: engine oil changes, air and oil filters, spark plugs, coolants, and transmision fluids. The Model S has a coolant but it never gets really hot so it lasts longer.

Tesla’s primary goal for the Model S:

Inject into the consumer market the ultimate luxury sport sedan that happens to be electric.

Mission Accomplished!

Great video! Not surprised by his selection, but at least they weren’t racing cars backwards like their “all electric” episode.

After watching the lack of traction from that video, I see the nickname “Deathcat” in the near future.

I think you’re confusing this with Top Gear US. This is Motor Trend. They’ve certainly co-opted some elements from Top Gear (including what appears to be a Rutledge look-a-like if it isn’t really him) but this is Motor Trend.

Guilty as charged!

Thanks for the correction.

No problem! πŸ™‚

The Hellcat sure is a badass car. Everyone knows the Hellcat might not take a Tesla from a stop light, but will roast a Tesla on the highway or track. Many Hellcat owners will take their cars to the track on the weekends. Tesla owners will not due to overheating issues.

Hold on to that last justification, but it too will be gone soon enough.

too bad that only thing that matters is 0 to the speed limit

Time passes by very fast (or quickly?). I was quite impressed by this other Motor Trend video. It’s surprising to see how we take now for granted what was so new high tech only 2 years ago…

“It very well be the most important car since the Model T”
Love it!

“It MAY very well be…”

I think that is a fair and correct statement.

It seems we are heading for politically correct dark ages, Hellcat type of cars will disappear as the dinosaurs did. I wouldn’t own that type of car it sure sounds fun. I hope I will not get crucified right away for admitting this.

It’s progress.
The lamborghini huracan also looks like a dumbass car now. Great power, insane noise.

I’d actually say that this video highlights why the Tesla needs a transmission of some sort. Electric motors have a much larger torque band than gas engines, however, when you get them into the 10,000+ RPM range, they start getting a loss in torque. That is the ONLY reason why the Hellcat starting catching up. If the Tesla could’ve dropped it into another gear and bring the motor back into it’s max torque band, the Tesla would’ve smoked the Hellcat in the 1/4, 1/2, or any mile test (as long as the speed limiter is the same or higher than the Hellcat’s).

Tesla will have to go to a multi-gear transmission for its SuperCar. It’s really the only way to tick all the boxes:

1) fastest acceleration
2) most top speed

Not really.

Look at the Regera by koenigsegg. Yes I know it is a hybrid, but it shows that it is *possible* to have high top speed and acceleration using 1-gear.

As it stands, the concept_one electric supercar also lacks a multiple gears…

That’s because it’s using 3 very strong motors coupled with an equivalently strong ICE. The gearing on that is TALL. If you didn’t have such strong motors it would definitely need gears. Nearly all racing EVs that needs to accelerate over a wide speed use gears.

Not many people realize that even the Lightning LS 218 has manually changeable gears. It’s advertised as 1 speed direct drive BUT it turns out there are two gearsets the rider can change in/out, with the lower geared one topping out at ~170 mph.

I’m not really referring to what exists, but what must happen to put the motor in the highest torque speed and the car at the fastest acceleration and highest speed.

If the highest torque is in one RPM range, then (as is obvious) the wheels are not. A transmission of some type solves this (as it always has).

It will be fun, for a while longer, to remind fellow gear heads how much one connected drive shaft can do. No gears, no hunting the right RPM, its timing, fuel and all that other silly stuff.

Basic physics still matter. Torque multiplication from gearing still matters. That’s why Tesla still uses a gear reduction system. The motor is not connected 1:1 to the differential. It’s 9.81:1 at least in the P85 (might be taller or numerically lower in the D).

Choosing any particular ratio means there’s a reason. And the reason involves compromise whenever you stick with a single gear ratio. The torque isn’t endless. Tesla’s rear motor efficiency peaks around 5500 rpm or just under 6000 (about 70-80 mph) and torque start dropping afterward and all of the energy–lots of it–just get wasted as heat.

So EV motors face similar types of issues as ICE, just different in implementation.

Thank you. Couldn’t remember where the Tesla’s max torque band ended.

Putting a gear box on the Tesla would be a crying shame.

Please don’t sacrifice the driveability and simplicity of a fixed reduction gear for more mostly useless top speed.

At least make it an option.

They most likely would make it an option. I’d probably opt for a 2 or 3 speed manual gear box on a Tesla just because I like making my own decision on when I need power and torque.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be fine with single speed if that’s all there was, I’ve driven the Leaf and know that when you’re at speed and stomp on the pedal, the rush of power and acceleration you get from the electric motor is akin to dropping it down a gear. But adding a gear box would only add to the fun.

Could you tell me when exactly anyone will go 100+ in every day driving? 0 to the speed limit is all that matters and the Tesla does it the quickest, sexiest, and most efficient.

Be careful! You’re in danger of being too practical!

Seriously, it really is just about perception and optics. I understand how you feel but most people buy the “ability” to go that fast even if they never do. It’s kind of like how people HAD to get 4×4 (back in the 90’s) even though they most likely never took their trucks/SUVs off-road.

This comparison does not even make sense. The Model S is a family car with child seats in the back! It is not a sports muscle car.

For a comparison to make sense you need to compare cars in their own class. A fair comparison would be between an Electric muscle car and a gas muscle car – like the Zombie 222 and the Hellcat.

Zombie is a one-off not a production car. I’m thinking it cost way more than a Tesla.

With all the Model S street racing videos out there, it’s safe to say the Model S isn’t just a family car.

It is built and sold as a family car, not as a sports car. It was never meant to be a drag racer. It just happens to be a very quick family car.

In fact, he said P85D was “noticably less sporty than the P85”. “Pushier”, which I think means it plows.

Tesla came up with “torque sleep”. How about “tail wake”, in version 6.3?

Cavemen vs Stanford grads!

Who will win?!

What I love is Tesla came out of the box with a fantastic product. Everyone seems to have some level of envy. What a massive effort has been lauched by many to find some flaw.

I hope to buy a used Model S some day.