Tesla Roadster Torque Questioned

New Tesla Roadster

JAN 12 2018 BY JEFF PEREZ 57

When you do the math, the supercar actually produces around 758 lb-ft and 1,000 hp.

New Tesla Roadster

New Tesla Roadster

Tesla shocked the collective automotive community when it debuted its new Roadster supercar just awhile ago. Complete with a whopping 7,376 pound-feet (10,000 Newton-meters) of torque, it has the ability to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) 1.9 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 250 mph (402 kmh). Allegedly. But those numbers may be seriously overstated, according to a revealing new video by the folks at Engineering Explained.

According to Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained, he claims that the Tesla Roadster’s proposed torque figures are not in-line with typical vehicle performance measurement standards. By his calculations, the supercar is only able to produce 758 lb-ft (1,027 Nm) of torque, and nearly 1,000 hp (745 kW). Still impressive by modern supercar standards, but a far cry from the alleged 7,376 lb-ft (10,000 Nm) the company touted at launch.

The key distinction comes courtesy of the Tesla website, which lists 10,000 Nm of “wheel torque.” According to Fenske, that number is accurate, but significantly different than the auto industry’s standard measure of engine torque. His calculations lead to the downgraded figure noted above.

Comparatively, Fenske also takes a look at the Dodge Demon, which produces 840 hp (626 kW) and 770 lb-ft (1,043 Nm) of torque, according to Dodge. By multiplying engine torque by gear ratio and final drive, Fenske was able to conclude that the muscle car produces 14,000 Nm (10,325 lb-ft) of wheel torque in first gear – even more torque than Tesla’s 10,000 Nm claim. 

The eight-minute video, which breaks down the Tesla Roadster’s torque figure and gives us a more detailed explanation as to how the company came to that conclusion, is well worthy of a watch. Check it out above. 

Categories: Tesla


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57 Comments on "Tesla Roadster Torque Questioned"

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Isn’t it a violation of the TOS to cut and paste the exact same mindless juvenile comment over and over again in every single Tesla thread? If not, can we PLEASE get an ignore button.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


I guess that answers that question.

Tesla exaggerating numbers? This can’t be.

I know, right? I wish they’d stick to the usual auto industry tactics like lying about emissions, denying deadly ignition switches and covering up shrapnel-laden airbags. You know, things like that.

LOL! I know, right?1

Yep, Tesla wasn’t swept up in the Takata airbag scandal.

Oh wait. https://insideevs.com/tesla-issues-takata-recall-2012-13-model-s/

But they did not lie and claim there was no problem.

Which automakers claimed there was no problem? What exactly did they say?

Why did Tesla wait until yesterday to recall their model 2012-2013 Model S?

By your reasoning, Tesla lied and claimed there was no problem with the airbags in their cars, letting their customers drive around with deadly airbags until yesterday when NHTSA forced them to recall their cars with the deadly Takata airbags.

Takata kept expanding the scope of the reveal. Originally they said fewer cars were affected and then they started adding as the scandal unravelled. Tesla did not lie, since that was true at the time.

Also the problem grows with the age of the airbag as the gas generator degrades. Initially it’s not serious.

I don’t see a cover up.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Every manufacturer that used the Tanaka products were bound to what Tanaka said what was affected and what was not. Originally Tanaka said Tesla was not affected so that’s what Tesla reiterated.
Unlike the ignition issue with GM, the vendor told GM of the problem and GM did nothing and lied about then got caught.

So sure do what the “auto industry tactics” normally do…….lol

“Yep, Tesla wasn’t swept up in the Takata airbag scandal.”

That’s right, it wasn’t. Tesla has established a reputation for being very proactive about recalls, recalling cars even when no customer has made any complaint or noticed anything wrong.

For example, according to InsideEVs’ coverage of Tesla’s ongoing low-key airbag replacement program:

Eventually, Tesla will recall every Model S between the model years of 2012 to 2016 — the original Roadster, Model X and Model 3 all remain unaffected — with future announcements and replacement schedules being decided by NHTSA. In the meantime, Tesla says its cars are safe to drive (and ride in) as per the government agency. The inflators only become defective with age, so the recall schedule should see affected vehicles fixed before they become a safety risk.

To date, no Tesla vehicle has experienced a problem with a Takata air bag…

So, MadBro, thanks for highlighting one of the many ways in which Tesla does things better than legacy auto makers! 😀

Go Tesla!

Wheel torque bro? No this can’t. But you keep swinging brother, you’re going to hit something!

Misleading statements, a Tesla special.

Anyone (besides the TSLA zealots that conveniently forgot) remember the P85D horsepower fiasco? 691 HP! Whoops, we got sued by Norway owners because the car can’t actually deliver 691 HP. You’d think they would have learned something from that. Obviously not.


Unlike hosed-power fiasco, Tesla actually delivers the torque. As such, it’s not bad. If anything, wheel torque is more meaningful than motor torque in single speed cars.

Exactly. Torque is usually quoted as a max number. In real life, actual torque varies widely over RPM. In EVs, this curve is MUCH flatter than ICEVs, but it’s still not a single number.

As a physicist-turned-engineer, I’d love to see the torque plots for these cars. But I know that’s way over most peoples’ heads. So instead we get a single number.

Not sure why this comment showed up here when I tried to reply to Eric (below)

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Yes, old GM was a bad bunch. Good thing new GM is here.

Ignorance is bliss…

Gosh yes, we can see that the “new” GM is so very different from the “old” GM. Totally different company. 🙄

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” — The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Well said, considering how they have acted concerning the various suites brought against them.
GM: Since the company that is guilty of heinous disregard for the lives of it’s customers is now bankrupt, we think, as the new GM we should not be responsible, for the deaths, crippling, loss of property, and livelihoods caused by our malfeasance.
Judge: Motion Denied.

LOL, obviously troll1999 gets fooled again.

But he isn’t fooling anybody himself!


(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Remember when GM said the Volt would get 230mpg?

So let’s put 1 gallon of gas in the GM product, charge to full and drive the 200+ miles……….BLAHAHAHAHAHAHA

How soon we forget.

“So let’s put 1 gallon of gas in the GM product, charge to full and drive the 200+ miles……….BLAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

I do that every week. It just takes me 5 days to do that.

But my MPG is actually 250 mpg for the last 91K miles. Better than GM’s 230mpg claim.

But only for fake MPG, not real MPG.

And yeah, some of us have not forgotten that GM actually promoted that fake 230 MPG claim!


It’s just stunning that any GM fanboy would try to criticize another company for dishonesty. MadBro complaining about Tesla’s only technically incorrect horsepower claim is like the mountain complaining the molehill is too high!

It isn’t fake mpg. It is EXACTLY how many gallon of gas used per miles. Now, if you want to talk about “implied” usage of energy use per miles, then that would be true. Volt doesn’t get 230mpge or equivalent energy efficiency.

But for a strict sense of gallons of gas burned for a given set of miles, the 230 mpg is completely real and possible. Some people care about energy efficiency, others might just want to make sure they don’t use oil for various reasons.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

No you don’t. Why are some people just that stupid?

My statement was clear. Put that one gallon in your Volt, fully charge that battery and drive the 250 miles.

Plain and simple. Get it through your head……damn.

Nobody is stupid as you or your trolling here. You are the idiot who copy paste other troll’s post and pretend to care about EVS here. After all, you are just a lonely idiot who got nothing better to do but creating agitating posts here to make yourself feeling better.

Your original statement didn’t make any claims of continues driving of 250 miles. That is exactly the point about a PHEV like the Volt which can go many miles for daily driving without using any gas. That is EXACTLY the point about how the public misunderstanding the need of going to gas station with a good range PHEV.

You are just a big troll who rather PHEV to fail than allowing some people to get into a PEV to save gas than converting to a pure BEV.

People like you are more damaging to EV community. So, maybe you should get a life somewhere. We have enough trolls on this comment section. (who knows, you might just be a bored SOB who likes to post under multiple different login names).

Misleadingg, repetitive anti-Tesla trolling posts by a FUDSTER, mental MadBro special, say it aint so!

MadBro said:

“…the TSLA zealots…

I don’t know any “TSLA zealots”.

But thanks for reminding us that your interest (and the motive for your serial Tesla bashing) is in TSLA, the stock, rather than Tesla, the company.

Mental MadBro exaggerating his anti-Tesla FUD again, YEAH!

Big deal. If they made the distinction.

“The key distinction comes courtesy of the Tesla website, which lists 10,000 Nm of “wheel torque.””

Exactly right! I don’t see why this is news worthy

Anybody reading “7,376 pound-feet” or torque should instantly realize that this is wheel torque.

majority doesn’t understand the concept of torque other than 2 is an higher number than 1

When SparkEV was announced to have 400 ft-lb of torque, many speculated that to be wheel torque since no econobox, EV or gasser, produce more motor torque than Ferrari Italia 458. But Peter Savagian of GM clarified that it is indeed motor torque. When it comes to EV, things are a changing, and I wouldn’t dismiss all big claims without further examination.

Only if that “anybody” is an engineer. I certainly don’t know enough about the subject to know that without being told.

I did find it more than surprising that the torque rating for the Roadster Mk II was (if I recall) some 25 x as much as the torque rating for the Mk I. Not that that would be meaningful if it actually was, since that would vastly exceed the ability of the tires to grip the road. Torque that high would merely spin the wheels.

Anyway, since it’s now clear that this is a different method of measuring torque, I presume that the Mk II doesn’t really have 25 x the torque output as the Mk I.

torque at the motor crank is irrelevant when comparing a multi ratio gearbox to a single ration gearbox. Maybe Demon has more torque but it’s at a specific RPM and in 1st gear. As soon as it get out of 1st gear, it probably have less wheel torque than the Roadster. A concept difficult to understand for many anyway.

Exactly. Torque is usually quoted as a max number. In real life, actual torque varies widely over RPM. In EVs, this curve is MUCH flatter than ICEVs, but it’s still not a single number.

As a physicist-turned-engineer, I’d love to see the torque plots for these cars. But I know that’s way over most peoples’ heads. So instead we get a single number.

Yes, a chart would also be great.

That is why people also don’t understand how a quicker 0-60mph car can lose to a slower 0-60mph in head to head drag race.

Time to 60mph is a different measurement than time to a certain distance.

With an acceleration plot, it would be easy to understand. But most people don’t get that anyway.

“As soon as it get out of 1st gear, it probably have less wheel torque than the Roadster.”

Roadster’s torque can’t sustain either. After certain RPM, it will drop too.

It is just that on average, typical EV motors have way flatter torque vs. rpm curve than ICE.

Wheel torque has been advertised before, and with similar comments about it not being “industry standard”, but it is a perfectly valid metric. I think in future this will become the preferred specification. The traditional engine torque is good for single motor vehicles and a single specification is clearer than specifying wheel torque for each gear in the transmission. (can you imagine reading the specs for an 8-speed transmission car and then trying to compare to a different brand?)

However when you have single speed transmissions and sometimes multiple motors wheel torque makes much more sense. If you compare brands, wheel torque is what counts and you don’t have to calculate from motor torque and then find gear ratio from each brand to get comparable performance.

Well said.

They disclosed that the measurement was at the wheel. This is a non story to everyone except for Tesla’s detractors.

As long as it gets 1.9s from 0-60 does it really matter?


That is what I don’t get, these people try to claim the car is not as powerful as claimed.

The only problem they will have is the Tesla Roadster will still be leaving their ICE/Hybrid cars eating it’s dust no matter what they say.

Wheel torque is probably a better metric anyway.
Still, it’s just a number and the real thing is more telling when you are accelerating the car, and nothing beat the EV torque grin.

Engine/motor torque is irrelevant since the gear ratio for an electric motor could vary wildly. Wheel torque is the only common measure that can come close to describing the different in resulting behavior between vehicles. Even then it doesn’t accurately represent it since electric carries close the same torque from 0 rpm through most of its range where an ICE will peak and require frequent gear shifting.

Machines that measure torque measure it off the wheel not the output shaft of whatever i c e or electric so I don’t know what it matters

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

When your product beats the crap out of everyone else’s then they need to find something to B1tch about.

Just look at bro1999’s many hater posts……lol, funny guy.

What part of Tesla is “industry standard”…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

The tires???


So the wheel torque cited by Tesla makes perfect sense, it’s just not standard way of measuring torque.

This is a whole mountain of nothing.

Oh and that Dodge Demon? It may have more torque than the Tesla but if you buy one then you have to drive a Dodge.