Putting The New Tesla Roadster’s Insane Quickness Into Perspective

NOV 21 2017 BY STAFF 44

We put the new Tesla Roadster’s performance into perspective with its nearest competitors.

The new Roadster’s unveiling came at the same time as the Californian company’s new truck – in fact it appeared out of the back of the trailer unit accompanied by the sort of clouds of smoke you’d associate with something running a diesel engine – but the performance figures were the real shocker. A proposed range of 620 miles, 7,376 pound-feet (10,000 Newton-meters) of torque, and a top speed in excess of 250 miles per hour (402 kilometers per hour). Oh, and a 0-60 mph (0-98 kph) time of 1.9 seconds.

It’s that last figure that really stands out. It’s a number we’ve seen before, but not exactly on a road car. It’s quick… but how quick? We’ve taken a look at the five closest cars to the Tesla Roadster in terms of acceleration.

Tesla Roadster

F1 race car

2.5 seconds

While official figures are hard to come by, it’s generally believed that the current generation of Formula 1 cars can accelerate from 0-60 mph (98 kph) in around two and a half seconds. The current cars weigh a relatively heavy 1,605 pounds (728 kg), but are powered by a 1.6-liter V6 turbo engine and two energy recovery systems that put out a minimum of 750 hp.

The straightline performance of an F1 car may not be as mindblowing as it once was, but thanks to a whole host of aerodynamic aids, it can keep up that performance in the corners.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S P100DL – hitting 60 mph in just 2.28 seconds

Tesla Model S P100D with ludicrous mode

2.28 seconds

Perhaps the best comparison for the new Roadster is its stablemate, the Model S. In the top level P100D trim, and with the apty titled Ludicrous Mode, the four-door saloon rockets to 60 in just 2.28 seconds, although some independent tests have put that figure even lower.

Like the Roadster, the P100D is four-wheel-drive (hence the D in the name for Dual Motor).

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

2.3 seconds

Tesla Roadster

Of the two road cars on this list, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the only one that is rear-wheel drive.

The Demon was unleashed earlier this year and is the drag racer’s dream. A monstrous 6.2-liter V8 gives the muscle car a crazy 840 hp (626 kW), making it the most powerful car Dodge has ever produced. It even has a Drag mode to help it cover a quarter mile in the shortest possible time. Dodge claims it can get to sixty in just 2.3 seconds.


Porsche 919 Hybrid

2.2 seconds

New Tesla Roadster

Porsche’s soon-to-be-retired Le Mans prototype is an impressive piece of kit. Developed each year since Porsche’s return to the global endurance racing arena in 2014, the 919 Hybrid weighs just 1,929 pounds (875 kilograms), and has electric power going to the front wheels while a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4 handles the rear.

That four-wheel-drive system and low weight makes it quicker off the line than an F1 car. It’s just a crime that by the end of the year the car will be putting its feet (or wheels) up in a retirement home.

Rallycross Supercar

Less than two seconds

Rallycross Supercars are the quickest racing cars around, but how? Brute force. That’s it. No trick hybrid systems or massive engines, just grunt.

They only have a two-litre four pot under the bonnet, but depending on setup, they can put down more than 600 hp. Four-wheel drive also helps these modest hatchbacks turn into rocket ships. Top speed isn’t all that high though due to the short nature of the tracks involved. You’re looking at anywhere between 130 and 170 mph (209 to 274 kph) in most cases.

Okay, so that’s 0-60 mph in less than two seconds. So what? Why is the new Tesla Roadster that impressive then? Well, for a start, you can’t take a rallycross supercar on the public roads, and if you wanted one it sets you back around four times what the Roadster is expected to cost when it goes on sale in 2020.

Tesla Roadster

Space Shuttle

7.5 seconds

Wait, did someone say rocket ships? Surprisingly slow, it turns out.

The space shuttle takes a long while to get going – most of its weight comes from the bulky fuel that’s required to get it into space. As the shuttle jettisons its engines and fuel tanks, it gets lighter and goes even faster until it reaches the 17,500 mph (28,165 kph) necessary to get into space.

It’s really quite the opposite of the Rallycross Supercars – lots of grunt aimed at top speed rather than outright acceleration.


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44 Comments on "Putting The New Tesla Roadster’s Insane Quickness Into Perspective"

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Bugatti Chiron:
0-60mph: 2.4s
1/4mile: 9.8

Tesla Roaster:
0-60mph: 1.9s Base Model
1/4mile: 8.8s Base Model

… Mic Drop

…. but Bugatti Chiron has better seat stitching detail than Roaster for those that seat stitching is more important than performance.

And Bugatti tires are $10.000 each, that is a car, Tesla a long way to go……
Wait WV just announced that they will build a better car that the two above very soon…..

Who cares about straight lines? Or Bugatti? We drive circuits and landroad curves!!!!! First when it will do the Nürnburgring – the green hell – in under 7’15” it will disrupt and get attention of Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin, Jaguar, McLaren, GT-R owners

Yes the 200.000 Tesla owners will take their cars to Germany he…he… to Nurburngring, please be real most of owners wants a quick straight line cars to pick up at the street lights. No matter how awesome Tesla gets always a naysayer.

When the Model S P90D Ludicrous 1st debuted, it was almost a year before drivers could achieve the promised 10.9s at the 1/4 mile.
Initially, 11.2-11.4 seconds was the best anyone could manage.
Also, Tesla subtracts 1ft-rollout for the 0-60 times for their P cars which I consider to be somewhat disingenuous as rollout is a dragstrip timing technique but dragstrips do NOT measure 0-60 mph.
So let’s consider Tesla’s claims as aspirational for now & not as fait accompli

Drag strip might not find 0-60 as important, but it is most important in the streets where speed limit is 55 to 65 MPH in most places. I find that I fully stomp on the accelerator at least once in a drive to pass cars, merge, etc, and almost all of them are below 60 MPH. I often wish I could accelerate to 60 MPH in 1.57 seconds (pi/2)…

After 60 MPH, there’s very little need to accelerate hard as the next limit is 65 MPH, just 5 MPH more.

At 5.6 sec. to 60 the M3 low end is still much faster than the average car. Good enough for me.

So funny…combustion cars can’t even take a proper bitchslapping.

You hear all day and night how fossil fuel pansymobiles are better because “they can fuel faster” or go further–one in ten has a greater top speed, and–best of all–“electrics are just not ‘luxurious’ enough” and then when the royal smackdown comes it’s the fox and the crow all over again.

“My BMW is good enough at 5.6.” [a.k.a. I didn’t want that stupid roadster anyway. ]


So grade school, Paul. Thanks for the laugh and taking me back a few years.

“..almost a year before drivers could achieve the promised 10.9s at the 1/4 mile.”

Though it wasn’t heavily covered by InsideEVs, those buyers are the exact ones Tesla needs to drop 250 million on the 1,000 founders Roadsters.

A 1 foot roll-out has been the norm, not the exception, for decades of American car tests. I thought it fundamentally exists to get rid of data noise, from poor reaction times.

My understanding is that the 1-ft rollout is the standard method used when the 0-60 times of production cars are measured and reported.

Suggesting that Tesla shouldn’t use the industry measuring standard for street-legal auto makers appears to be rather disingenuous.

Now, if drag racing uses a different standard of measurement, then it would be appropriate to give Tesla drag race times using that metric. But that should be in addition to the reported times as rated by auto review magazines and websites… not as a replacement for the more common standard using a 1-ft rollout.

Nothing to get excited about, its only the base model.

Wonder the Model 3 would do with skirts and a sucker fan?

Are you suggesting someone should turn a Model 3 into a NASCAR race car?

What did the TM3 ever do to deserve such a horrible and shameful fate? 😉

Tesla fans, bringing back 1969 when straight line performance was all that mattered.

I do appreciate that Tesla is smashing the perception that Toyota laid down for EVs with the Prius, but this is getting more than a little tired…

…so can we move on to EVs that are actually useful for more than promoting street racing?

With EV, instant torque means you apply that any time there’s a need, not just for racing. Sure, it’s not so useful for slow EV like Leaf that has 30-60 MPH time around 7 seconds. But I find it plenty useful with SparkEV (30-60 in about 4), and I can appreciate being able to use even quicker car. Not sure what car you drive, but instant quick acceleration is very usable in normal driving.

With a gasser, you need to purposely downshift and juggle the clutch or wait for the auto transmission to shift up, not to mention loud noise that sounds like the engine is falling apart or at least sounds like straining. That means you have to plan to accelerate long before it happens, which is typical of “street race”.

Having driven a gasser with similar on-paper acceleration as SparkEV, I can assure you, gassers (even the slow ones) promote “street racing” far more, because the acceleration is not much usable otherwise.

Four Electrics (improved version)

For example the affordable M3 or maybe a car with a range of 620 miles and seating for four?

It IS getting more than a little tired for those of us who follow this stuff obsessively. But for a lot of people who think EVs are all glorified golf carts that can’t travel in snow (yes, I’ve been asked this more than once about my Leaf) or have a 50 mile range or cost more to recharge than the gasoline cost for an equivalent ICE vehicle, we can’t have enough news like this.

To be blunt, I have zero interest in selling EVs to the people on this site. You people are all on board already, and most of you are already driving on electrons. But a LOT of people in the US are utterly clueless about EVs, and anything that makes them sit up and take positive notice of EVs is a good thing.


“…this is getting more than a little tired…”

Yes, your repetitive Tesla bashing is getting more than a little tired.

Nobody who has read Motor Trend’s “First Drive” review of the Tesla Model 3 could possibly come away thinking that the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have simply amazing handling!

A quote:

If anybody was expecting a typical boring electric sedan here, nope. The ride is Alfa Giulia (maybe even Quadrifoglio)–firm, and quickly, I’m carving Stunt Road like a Sochi Olympics giant slalomer, micrometering my swipes at the apexes… The Model 3 is so unexpected scalpel-like, I’m sputtering for adjectives. The steering ratio is quick, the effort is light (for me), but there’s enough light tremble against your fingers to hear the cornering negotiations between Stunt Road and these 235/40R19 tires (Continental ProContact RX m+s’s). And to mention body roll is to have already said too much about it.


The Prius is not an EV and its impotent performance shouldn’t be conflated with EVs. You need to strp out of your garage–or at least vent it properly when you’ve got that F150 burning.

The thing with F1 is not so much the acceleration speed. But breaking is. The braking is so hard that it outdoes all other race cars, then the corner speed is so high. F1 never was that great in straightline speed.

Breaking and speed trough corners. The 2017 F1 cars are hilarious through fast corners. Ther is one in Spa where the did 250kph in 2016 and >290kph this year.
Max gforce I saw this year was 6.2g.

I wonder how long before they sell out the Founders Edition.

It ran all night doing run after run. It handles like a dream, according to the race car driver, pilot. Over 600 miles of range and it will go really fast, but not at the same time, for if you drive it like a maniac you are not going to get 600 miles.
A really amazing car and another nail in the coffin of the ice.

Curious what the maximum g-force is to do that 0-60 time.


Just another american muscle car

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Meh. I still say it’s not a “Roadster” unless you can remove the Targa Top…..lol

Four Electrics (improved version)

We know, you are here just to troll 🙂

The new Roadster will likely have some thermal and cornering compromises. It’s telling that they did not quote any lap times.

You know, it’s really amazing. I’d think that once in awhile you’d be right, just by accident. But no, you manage to be wrong very nearly every single time when you talk about Tesla and its cars. After all, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day!

Regarding the astonishingly good cornering ability of the Tesla Model 3 — let alone the new Roadster! — See the Motor Trend review quoted elsewhere in this discussion thread.

How on earth do you post lap times for a car so well hidden no one outside of the design and testing team even know it exists…

None of the performance matters unless it’s a good track car. So what if it can go 0-60 in the least amount of time if it can’t go more than few laps before over heating. There has to be balance. Otherwise, Tesla is building just another dragster.

This is not the place for sports car analysis. The only articles here are dragstrip type comparisons.

Also, with the people constantly defaming others’ reasonable points here – you’d have to go to a magazine such as Car and Driver to get the well-rounded perfomance characteristics of any given car – where the people are free to contructively critique the whole vehicle instead of having to endure kindergarten antics.

You knew for years something was missing when the only fact quoted was the 0-60 time – no quarter mile even. And no lap times if the car overheated.. No mention of that.

Personally, I agree with you that I could care less about straight-line acceleration, unless it was just plain horrible.

I don’t like overpowered cars to begin with. My Bolt is borderline overpowered, but it is well behaved if you don’t ‘step on it’.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I know 4 people, one owns a Ferrari 308 GTO, One owns a Porche GT something, one a

Lambo old school Countach and David Garibaldi a Lambo Gallardo.
Asked all of them at one point if they ever took their cars to either the drag strip or the oval track.

~NONE~ of them have ever done so and only the Porche owner indicated he would like to at some point.

It all comes down to street cred and now all the ICE is gunna melt. WTF good does the lame lap time do for you when blowing off the line and pulling away from a corner is what matters on the streets????

I’ve never seen a super fast hyper tuned lap car driving the streets much less do it without swallowing OPEC Jizz.

“None of the performance matters unless it’s a good track car”

Please, tell this to the people that make the Bugatti Chiron.

About Porsche 919 Hybrid, Toyota will be still competing with similar performing TS050, but I doubt those two are optimised for standing start, since LeMans is rolling start.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Roaster it!

I want to see the Roadster with lightweight carbon wheel like Koenigsegg Agera wheels

The new Roadster is quicker than many motorcycles.


To be fair, a F1 car could do the 0 to 60 in 2 seconds with the right gearbox ratios. But both its gearbox and aerodynamics are optimized for corners and not straight line speed….

Four Electrics (improved version)

Go Tesla!

This thread is all Tesla hype until a real car gets real third-party testing. Comparing ONLY 0-60 times is a very narrow view of any car’s performance.

Most of the yahoos in my neighborhood are more concerned with lift height and loud exhaust notes.