Motor Trend Test: Tesla Model S P85D Does 0 to 60 MPH In 3.1 Seconds


“In the options selection, you’ll be able to choose [between] three settings: Normal. Sport. And Insane.”

Stated Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at the debut of the Model S P85D.

“Yeah, it will actually say Insane.”

Motor Trend just took a crack at fully testing the Model S P85D is that “insane” mode and the test results are in: 0 to 60 MPH in 3.1 seconds (or 0.1 seconds quicker than Tesla’s official 3.2-second time).

As Motor Trend explains:

“…the easiest way to flatten your retinas at a dragstrip isn’t by just stomping on the right pedal. Instead, you draw your foot back and kick the living hell out of it. (I’m serious.) Your foot’s flying start at the pedal means the potentiometer opens the battery’s electron floodgate that much sooner, and without the teeniest tire chirp, the P85D accelerates at the highest rate the road’s mu (its coefficient of friction) allows. It’s surreally efficient. And it’s so fast off the line that the slower-sampling rate of our two high-frequency GPS data loggers was actually missing some of the action; within the first 1/20th of a sec (not even the “O” in “One Mississippi”) the car was already going 0.7 mph.”

So quick is the Model S P85D that the data loggers couldn’t even keep up with its pace.

The pace doesn’t fall off much either:

“To 30 mph the P85D would be four feet ahead of the fastest-accelerating sedan we’ve tested, the Audi RS 7, a gap that holds to 60 when the Tesla punches the clock at 3.1 seconds, a tenth quicker than the Audi (as well as the McLaren F1’s accepted time — all of these after subtracting the customary 1-foot rollout). Both cars arrive at the quarter in 11.6 seconds, with the Audi starting to show its higher-speed chops.”

So, it’s quickness is exceptional, but did you know there are others features worthy of recognition in the P85D?

“…the Model S has undergone a quiet mid-cycle refreshing with better standard seats, terrific-looking and highly bolstered front and rear performance seats in the P85D (even in the back!), better whiplash protection, revised (and more conventional) steering column stalks, wider-opening rear doors, a self-closing charge port door, and bigger sunvisors. Everything’s better.”

Alright…where do I sign the dotted line.

Motor Trend's Tested Specs/Test results

Motor Trend’s Tested Specs/Test Results

Source: Motor Trend

Categories: Tesla

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31 Comments on "Motor Trend Test: Tesla Model S P85D Does 0 to 60 MPH In 3.1 Seconds"

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How did they get the car so early?
Could they complete the race track? They could never complete the race track with the P85+.

Tesla probably lent them one of the demo P85D’s that were used on 10/09/2014 for the announcement.

As to your second question re: track, I have no idea…

The ‘Ring is 12 miles long. I don’t know of a U.S. track that even gets to 4. And what fun is a 2 ton German car, which itself would only be good for about 8 laps? OTOH, can you see through this not being about track performance, in the first place? Want to drive in water, you’re better off buying a 1-ton fish…

See-FUD is only aware of ONE track, pjwood, it is the single track that serves his purpose.

(yep, I responded/fed him too..
but hey, always happy to serve your apparently endless need, See-Through, as I Don’t have an agenda. I simply cannot fathom a life so devoid of purpose that I would try to provoke response with intentionally misleading information)

I remember Anton Wahlman writing an article saying that the $60,000 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat sedan would be as fast as the the Model S P85D. As far as I can see the Hellcat sedan hasn’t been tested, but the 2-door 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat that has the same drivetrain has the following numbers by MT compared to the P85D: Measure / Hellcat / P85D 0-60 / 3.7 sec / 3.1 sec 1/4 mile / 11.7 sec / 11.6 sec 1/4 spd / 125.4 / 115.2 Figure 8 / 24.7 / 25.0 Lat accel / 0.94 / 0.91g The bottom line is that the P85D is way faster off the line and maintains that lead probably up to about 80+ mph, where the Hellcat starts to overtake it. Interestingly, the P85D gets to the 1/4 mile 0.3 seconds faster than the Hellcat, but is going over 10 mph slower at that point. The question is: Is that 0.6 seconds faster time 0-60 worth two Hellcats? For those who must have the best, I suspect it is. That’s quite a distance stop-light to stop light. Challenger SRT Hellcat review:

you will never be going 0-80 in real world driving, which is what matters

I saw a Delorean hit 88mph, but then it disappeared.

I think its time was measured at -946 million seconds.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Sure I will. I do now, sometimes even legally!

Plenty of Texas roadways with 80+ mph limits or average speeds, and plenty of them with sign or signal at the on ramp.

In any event, performance below 100mph is all that matters to 90+% of Americans.

See you on the ice track in Canada with 4 passengers 😉

Why would I want a noisy smelly gas-guzzling transmission-lurching polluting oil-dripping Hellcat?

You forgot “Climate Changing”. 😉

Tesla = All the Performance, None of the Guilt.

I think you also forgot ” vibrating POS”

NVH noise vibration and harshness is absolutely horrible in a Hellcat.

60’s muscle car vs modern luxury sports sedan.

You forgot to add the hellcat comes standard with the ‘No grip’ option.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

P85D can be spec’d for about $105k, so that’d be more like 1.5-1.75 Hellcats..

And for real-world use, I’d much rather have the P85D. All the real-world speed, none of the noise, drama or attention.

Anton Wahlman is known as an anti-Tesla clickbaiter. His articles are known for making the silliest comparisons btw any car and a Tesla.

2015 Charger SRT Hellcat is rated at 16 MPG in the combined city/highway cycle. There are no WOT runs in the EPA test cycle, so if you like WOT runs, your mileage will likely be worse. At 15K miles per year, you will burn around 950 gallons of gas each year. Keep that car for 10 years, and assuming the average price of premium over the next 10 years is $4 bucks/gallon, that’s an additional $38,000 dollars you have to add to the price of that Hellcat. Tack on the inevitable “Dealer Market Adjustment” that will be put on top of the $65K MSRP (including Destination charges) and you are pretty much dead even with the new, lower entry price of the P85D of 106K: It is hard to say what resell values will do, but you get zero resell value for that $38,000 you burn in gas. So I’m fairly confident that the much greater resale value of the Tesla P85D after 10 years (based upon current Tesla resale values) will more than be enough to cover installing enough solar panels to power an EV not only for this 10 years, but for another 10 or 20 more… Read more »

… And all the maintenance on that Dodge beast will add up too! I’ll be driving my Tesla for 1 million+ miles with the biggest hurdle being a battery swap… And envy of newer Teslas :).

I dare you to do those same numbers on the Hellcat again but keeping it at one single gear (no shifting).

Even if the Charger Hellcat was as fast as the Model S, they appeal to two different demographics. I can’t imagine the CEO of a conservative company pulling up in a Charger Hellcat. I can, however, imagine them pulling up in a P85D.

That being said, if I were in the market for a balls-out sedan, the Charger Hellcat is quite the looker with a lot of power to back it up. Nice!

s/”Alright…where do I sign the dotted line.”/”Alright, where do I sign?”/

Model S is more of a looker

It is so fast that you can see the effects of special relativity shortening its appearance! 😉

Wow, people who drive Model S’s will also age more slowly than the rest of us.

In any case… everybody knows the Model S is really a time machine. You simply need to get inside in order to visit the future.

Nice to see Elon continuing to undersell how awesome their vehicle improvements actually are…

can’t wait for a re-match between merc s class and model D.

This test needs a few hundred Hero 4 Camera’s lined up side by side at something like 3-6 foot intervals, off to the side, set to go off and trip the shutter in fast HD Sequence, or 4K Movie Mode (now 30 Frames per second at 4K), and the play back would be amazing!

I like the point – ‘Wider Opening Rear Doors’!

Great article here, and, it really looks like the Tesla Model S is pulling far ahead of the German automakers, check this blog post – especially the infographic:

What does bigger sunvisors mean?

well, it’s Elon, so that’s relative speak..

the visors are the same, but your Perception of the windscreen is smaller when using insane mode..

The Tesla Motors Model S P85D is the fastest single-gear 0-to-60 MPH vehicle in the world! No gasoline-burning car can go faster without overreving or shifting.