Tesla Model S 70D Versus Ford Focus RS – Drag Race Video


Tesla Versus Ford

Tesla Versus Ford

It’s not often we see a 70 kWh Model S involved in racing action, but in this instance it makes for a close matchup given that its competition is a “lowly” Ford Focus.

Well, actually a Focus RS, which is quite the performance machine itself.

We do know that if any other version of the Model S was involved in this race, the result would be complete domination, but the 70D isn’t quite up to the task.

Video description:

The slowest Tesla vs the fastest Focus!

Drag race: 0-100 km/h
Tesla Model S 70D – 329 HP
Ford Focus RS – 350 HP

Categories: Ford, Racing, Tesla, Videos

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26 Comments on "Tesla Model S 70D Versus Ford Focus RS – Drag Race Video"

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Given the price difference I think I’d be happy to settle with a Focus RS!

Notice how ford was revving his engine at the start? That will result in launch far quicker than Tesla. From the tire squeal, I suspect the launch was more than 1G.

But who does that in regular driving? Doing that will not only wear the tires but strain the drive train (clutch wear). It’s fine for bragging, you almost never do that for normal driving.

Meanwhile, Tesla (EV in general) would do that often; it’s way too easy. Compare apples-to-apples (ie, no pre-revving like in normal driving) and I suspect Tesla will come out ahead.

The Focus RS has launch control: Push a button and the computer takes care of just about everything (except for shifting I believe).
Thus for any drag race you can get an optimal start…

The larger Model S w/ludicrous also have launch control, but nothing is ‘revved’. You don’t need to ‘rev’ an EV as you get 100% torque off the line instantaneously.

That launch control is actually less than optimal. For optimal, you’d fully open the throttle to hit the rev limiter. Then only use clutch slip with fully open throttle while keeping the engine at peak torque RPM. This is maximum abuse, but maximum power out of the engine, and they could’ve done a lot better. For example, you’d hear engine revving higher between shifts, not revving lower like in the video. See my blog post “can-stock-corvette-beat-tesla-p90dl”.


Obviously, they don’t do that, so whatever “launch control” is some way to compromise between wearing out the drivetrain while having better launch than normal. It’s not normal and it’s not optimal. In other words, it’s fake.

“But who does that in regular driving? Doing that will not only wear the tires but strain the drive train (clutch wear). It’s fine for bragging, you almost never do that for normal driving.”

They should do another test. Do 50 races in a row and see how well each car fares.

The Focus will either not make it 50 races or will be in the shop.

That’s the thing people don’t realize about EVs. Is that for daily light to light driving you can just push it as much as you want all day long, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the life of the car and it has little effect on maintenance.

However, with a traditional car you just don’t do that unless you want to rag out your engine in the first year of ownership.

LOL, and the Tesla would overheat at run #10. What is your point.

That’s not true; the louvers will open up like when it supercharges and then the current limiters come online so at some point, you will have the performance of a Prius, but it will not actually overheat. I’m not convinced 50 consecutive drag races will enter into a heat overrun, either. 50 miles around a race track? Yeah, that’s where the Roadster wins.

Absolutely not. They are driving hard for 1/4 mile then cooling off between races. By the time they get turned around and get lined up and are both ready to go the Tesla will be fine. Total distance. versed would be 12.5 miles.

Tesla will go to limp mode after run 2. In real world electric cars are still far away from ICE in terms of performance. Nurburgring lap time for Tesla is in the 8:50 range, Focus RS should be around 7:45 or so.

Comparing Apples to Pineapples….

The Focus RS would also give the $95,000 Mercedes S Class a run for its money as well.

I think no one that buys an S70 which is the lower priced full sized luxury sedan from Tesla has any notion that it is going to be a performance car. But a 0-60 in almost 5 seconds isn’t bad.

At this point the discharge rate of the smaller Tesla packs is the only thing holding it back in performance.

The motors in the S70D a rated for much more power than what they receive from the battery so it will be interesting to see what bump in performance the newly offered S75D can do.

It’s too bad Tesla isn’t using SparkEV battery. 105 kW out of 18.4 kWh = 5.7C discharge. It would be 400 kW (532 HP), roughly that of P90DL with only 70 kWh battery.

It is not possible to build a viable Model S using the battery chemistry in the Spark EV since the specific energy density is so terrible.

Given that Bolt is using pretty much 60 kWh of SparkEV battery and smaller than Tesla, I suspect it could work in Tesla.

Nope, not the same battery chemistry.

Oops! You are right! Learning more from the gurus at Insideevs everyday!

Then I wonder if Bolt power is limited due to the battery. That’s awful low discharge C rate. It’s too bad they’re not going to have two versions of Bolt, one with SparkEV spec battery and corresponding power.

All I see brute Volvo power vs the Tesla. Anyhow the Ford RS is quick, just it is a repetition of old technology ruining the environment.

I’ll take the lady, instead.

My thoughts too! She’s the real trophy. Also, did anyone notice the guy driving looks like Marty McFly’s dad?

Oh golly! A lady! Let me announce how lonely I am.

She didn’t even turn around to watch the race…

Maybe she didn’t want to see the Tesla lose the race.

Its a silly comparison, but as someone who is a fanatic for both electric cars and cars in general, the Focus RS is actually the only non-plug in I’d consider buying as my daily driver now. I’m currently a Volt owner, and a Model 3 reservation holder, but if those two weren’t options for some reason I’d be trying to find an RS. Here’s hoping the Model 3 will match or surpass its performance without having to add 15k worth of battery and motor options.

The Focus is a pretty well balanced car on the track. It is also at a disadvantage in the 0-60 run with its manual transmission as opposed to a DCT, etc. But at higher speeds, 100+, the Focus would walk away from that Tesla, and probably some of the more powerful models. On a road course, I would imagine the Focus would beat all the Tesla models.

Now we know why 70D isn’t selling as well as the top of the line P90D. It is all about the performance.