Watch Tesla Model S Beat Supercars In World’s Greatest Drag Race

2 months ago by Jeff Perez 42

Better luck next time, Ferrari, McLaren and the others.

The “World’s Greatest Drag Race” is back for its seventh installment. Naturally, the crew at Motor Trend managed to wrangle up 10 of the quickest, most powerful cars available on the market today. Even with all that horsepower on display, though, the winner might actually surprise you.

Among the supercars and sports cars in competition are the 471-horsepower Lexus LC500, the 600-hp Aston Martin DB11, the 577-hp Mercedes-AMG GT R, the 562-hp McLaren 570GT, the 662-hp Ferrari 488 GTB, the 580-hp Porsche 911 Turbo S, the 600-hp Nissan GT-R Nismo, and the 350-hp Porsche 718 Cayman S. But there are a few outliers to take note of.

Tesla Model S Wins As Expected

The 650-hp Camaro ZL1 1LE and 460-hp Corvette Grand Sport bring some much-needed muscle to the mix, while the lowly (but still lovely) Mazda Miata RF is replaced by one of two sedans; the Tesla Model S P100D with 680-hp, and the Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio with 505-hp are the only two four-door models in the grid. But don’t discount them just yet.

Off the line the Model S and the Porsche 911 Turbo are the quickest, followed near behind by the 488 GTB and the 570GT, surprisingly. The ZL1 and the LC500 get a slow start, but at least of them makes up for it in the quarter-mile sprint.

The run took place at the Vandenberg Air Force base in California, and totaled more than 6,000 horsepower combined, and more than one million worth of cars.

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42 responses to "Watch Tesla Model S Beat Supercars In World’s Greatest Drag Race"

  1. huhu says:

    Amazing scene, exciting race!

  2. David Murray says:

    This must infuriate people who spent half a million on a car because they wanted the fastest thing. And yet the Tesla can outperform it at much lower relative cost. This has also also be sending a message to performance car makers and customers that electric is the way forward for performance.

    1. Four Electrics says:

      Only if you care about going in a straight line a new times until you overheat. Sounds a bit boring.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        Why? Are you a professional racer? What sort of exciting racing do you do? What sort of car do you race in?

      2. Kdawg says:

        But these ppl mostly never drive their cars like this. It’s about the bragging rights.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          Au Contraire, we leave from a stop all the time, just like these cars did. The torque is there. It’s easy to access. And sadly for the other cars in this test, they never know what’s coming.

          1. Kdawg says:

            I understand your point, but when people talk about a car they own that goes 185mph, it’s like, so what? Even going from 0 to 125 mph in 1/4 mile is not going to happen in everyday driving. At that point, giving the stats is more of a bragging right, unless you take your car down to the track all the time, where it might actually matter.

      3. bogdan says:

        Don’t worry, the Ferrari, McLaren and others are very slow around the corner too.
        And they burn down by themselves every once in a while.

  3. Mark says:

    the amount of salt in that comment section lol. i can’t even count how many people are accusing Motor Trend of being paid off by Tesla lel.

  4. Enthusiast says:

    I would imagine the reason people are upset is because the drag race is supposed to be between the cars that competed on the Best Drivers Car competition, which the Tesla wasn’t apart of. I though it was very odd that they chose to put a Model S in that race because it was obvious it would win but had no relevance. A Model S cannot be compared to any of the cars featured in the competition as it is not a sports car by any stretch of the imagination. It is a very fast accelerating large luxury car, more as a byproduct of being electric than any sort of engineering achievement/breakthrough. Why not just through a Challenger Demon or a Porshe 918 if we are randomly choosing fast accelerating cars? I’m also sure the people who chose to buy those cars are more than happy with their driving performance, which is a lot more than just driving fast in a straight line.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Not a sports car?! So what makes a sports car? One that has limited interior space and a smaller overall size? Is a golf cart a sports car?

      1. Enthusiast says:

        I’m having a hard time taking your response seriously. You are either trying to troll or you are ignorant about performance cars in general. If anything the P100D would be more of a muscle car due to the large size and superb straight line speed. I would still consider that a stretch though, its a large luxury car designed to be comfortable and practical. Like I mentioned before, it is only a byproduct of the electric drivetrain that anything about a Model S could be considered somewhat sporty.

        1. Tim Miser says:

          Well all you need to do is pay no attention to the Tesla winning the race. Buy the second place car.

        2. Mark.ca says:

          So a sports car must not be practical and comfortable. It must not have impressive acceleration. Must not be a Tesla. What else?

          1. DL says:

            From Wikipedia:

            “A sports car, or sportscar, is a small, usually two-seater, two-door automobile designed for spirited performance and nimble handling…Sports cars may be spartan or luxurious, but high maneuverability and light weight are requisite.”

            The Model S is more appropriately defined as a “Grand Tour” or GT, where light weight and handling are not a priority, but speed is.

            1. pjwood1 says:

              If weight got its due, the Miata would win best “Sports Car” going away. The rest got fat, a long time ago. Many push 4,000lbs.

              The Tesla competes on track, as well as in a straight line, for as long as anybody would ever drive track-fast on the street. I mean an exit ramp, or set of white-lined separated curves where you know nobody else is around, and can give yourself a safety margin. For “Drivers” car, you could define it this way and the Tesla would be competitive. It gets back to roll-center, and virtue that in fact makes the Tesla more than a straight line car.

              The Grans Sport is the “weak” Corvette in a drag race, but has one of the best reputations on the track. MT isn’t trying to define the best “Track Car”. Think about what “Driver’s Car” means to you.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Not a sports car?! So what makes a sports car?”

        I presume you’re just pot-stirring here, Mark.

        As far as trying to define exactly what is, or isn’t, a sports car, I’m reminded of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who when ruling on film accused of being pornographic, admitted he couldn’t define pornography. However, he said “But I know it when I see it.”

        I know when I see a Tesla Model S that it is not a sports car. And I’m pretty sure you do too, despite your attempt here to muddy the waters.

        1. CDAVIS says:

          @ Pushmi-Pully said: “…I know when I see a Tesla Model S that it is not a sports car…”
          —-

          Perhaps it’s in the eyes of the beholder the answer of if Model S is a “Sports Car”?

          I’ve over time owned several sports cars including a Mercedes SL Roadster… I consider my current Models S as much or more of a sports cars than any other “sports car” I’ve ever owned. I do get the contradiction of Tesla Model S being a “sports car” and “large family sedan” as one in the same car but the Model S uniquely pulls that off.

          1. Ponty says:

            Owning several sport cars doesn’t neccessarily mean one knows what a sport car is. So whether or not you’ve owned the particular car is irrelevant now but your knowledge is. A sport car isn’t just a fast car. There will always be luxury sedans that are faster than some or even all sports cars. but that doesn’t mean that those luxury sedans turn in to sport cars just because they are faster than sport cars. For example there are many luxury cars such as the merc S65s that are faster than most sport cars. That doesn’t mean the S65s a sport car. So your Tesla is simply better now and that should be enough to make you happy without having to embarrass yourself by confusing a luxury car with a sport car. To others who are perhaps upset that the tesla came top, people who conducted the race did not mention any reference to category. They were just comparing fast cars no matter what they are…. so don’t be duhhh

            1. CDAVIS says:

              @Ponty said: ” So your Tesla is simply better now and that should be enough to make you happy without having to embarrass yourself by confusing a luxury car with a sport car.”
              ———

              @Ponty,
              So your saying the car review guys at Consumer Reports reporting Tesla Model S “an electric sports car earns our top test score” are confused by their labeling the Model S a “sports car”?

              There are many additional examples of Model S being labeled in industry reviews as a “sports car” or “sports sedan”. So perhaps it’s you that is confused?

      3. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “Not a sports car?! So what makes a sports car? One that has limited interior space and a smaller overall size? Is a golf cart a sports car?”

        Because it wasn’t even included in the “Best driver’s car award”.

        The “Best Drag Race” is ALWAYS done with “Best Driver’s cars” finalist each and every year at MotorTrend. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, it usually don’t get included UNLESS you are part of the best driver’s car choice. Miata might be a great driver’s car for handling, but it is just too under powered for drag race.

    2. philip d says:

      “It is a very fast accelerating large luxury car, more as a byproduct of being electric than any sort of engineering achievement/breakthrough.”

      Uh, Tesla’s drivetrain which includes their own proprietary induction motors, controller software and pack design doesn’t count as an engineering achievement?

      Tesla in deciding to use a modern electric drivetrain is the achievement/breakthrough by the very nature of EV drivetrains being superior in torque and with their ease of being engineered as AWD with independent front and rear motors.

      It’s sort of like saying a large luxury car with a supercharged V8 is a very fast accelerating car, more as a byproduct of having a big powerful engine with lots of power output and torque rather than any sort of engineering achievement/breakthrough.

      I suppose my point is if choosing an EV drivetrain is the path of least resistance to making a quicker, better performing car then why pick the difficult road of having to have increasing complex engineering breakthroughs with an inferior drivetrain?

      And why is the complex Rube Goldberg device the only one that counts as real engineering especially if it is inferior to another drivetrain?

      1. Enthusiast says:

        I think you misunderstood my point. I agree that electric drivetrains have inherent advantages over traditional drivetrains which is why the industry is slowly trending that way. My point was there is nothing about Tesla’s specific version of their drivetrain that has proven to be head and shoulders above the competition. It’s only that there is very little competition for them right now the makes them appear to be so ground breaking. If any one of the carmakers in the MotorTrend competition decided to go all in for electric cars tomorrow they would surpass Telsa in every performance metric. That’s not to say Tesla makes bad cars but they are benefiting more from being first, which they deserve, than they are for being leaders in anything related to the auto industry, especially regarding performance vehicles.

      2. Enthusiast says:

        To state myself more simply and clearly, I don’t think it is fair to compare the Model S to ICE vehicles due to the inherent advantages of electric powertrains. To determine whether or not the Model S is impressively engineered, it should be compared to other electric vehicles.

        1. Tim Miser says:

          Just get over it. That’s like discounting the 1984 Corvette as the braking king because it was the first car to have anti-lock brakes and it shouldn’t be compared to cars that don’t employ that technology.

        2. Mark.ca says:

          Indeed! We should not compare the horse to ICE so why compare the ICE to EVs?

        3. Kdawg says:

          “I don’t think it is fair to compare the Model S to ICE vehicles due to the inherent advantages of electric powertrains.”
          ——–
          I think that is the exact reason they should be compared. It allows people who love to drive quick/fast cars to learn about the advantages of EVs.

        4. Ponty says:

          This race has nothing to do with fairness. Don’t miss the point.

    3. Kdawg says:

      “A Model S cannot be compared to any of the cars featured in the competition as it is not a sports car”
      ———–

      Why is this a requirement, and by who? It’s a drag race. I’ve seen races between a human sprinter and an Indy car. Anything can be compared.

  5. Jon says:

    Great job Tesla! I love seeing how defensive Tesla haters get haha…

  6. ELROY says:

    Well if they brought a 918, might as well throw in a Nio EP9 also, lol. The Nio is more than just a straight line car. A Challenger Demon without a warm up burn out would still loose to the P100D in any improptu street encounter.

    I spent 6hrs straight giving people test drives in the P100D at our last NDEW event last weekend. People said they felt the blood rushing in their heads, lol. Also Vandenberg is near sea level. Try this in thin warm air at hugh elevatuon and the gap would only widen.

  7. Bruce Miller says:

    Most interesting statistic here is the “moving parts count”. Canada will be the first to import electric vehicles from China as Trump bullies them on soft wood and NAFTA. Canadians will be forced to pay in gold or Chinese Yuan, not US Dollars.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/China-sees-new-world-order-with-oil-benchmark-backed-by-gold?page=1

    1. ffbj says:

      That’s what Bullies, do. There is not a single shred of evidence to indicate that Trump is not one. Of course the Chinese, aren’t exactly nice either, but Trump is a complete jerk.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yeah. It’s not merely that wannabe dictactor El Trumpo is a bully, it’s that he blatantly revels in it in a narcissistic and childish fashion. At least the Chinese try to be polite, and don’t rub it in the faces of those they are bullying.

        1. Another Euro point of view says:

          I am sorry you have to put up with him. Hopefully just 3 years and some months to go. I hope he does not do something too stupid meanwhile.

          1. Will says:

            I’m ok with Trump being hard on NK. They are on a Suicidal mission which we don’t mind to get rid of

            1. Mark.ca says:

              Who’s we…who’s them? You do understand that these people do nothing on their free will, right?

  8. Another Euro point of view says:

    What is interesting with this race is that if I get it right the Tesla does not really have less range than those other cars (although taking longer to refill).

  9. Will says:

    Let’s do a 20 mile race to see if the S can beat these Supercars

  10. Mr. M says:

    I miss a Rimac there…

  11. menorman says:

    Why waste time going to a three mile runway to only run a quarter mile? They should’ve done a 1.5, maybe two mile run…

  12. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “Naturally, the crew at Motor Trend managed to wrangle up 10 of the quickest, most powerful cars available on the market today. Even with all that horsepower on display, though, the winner might actually surprise you.”

    Actually, that is WRONG.

    That is NOT the case at all.

    Motor Trend choose a set of finalist each year for the World’s Best Driver’s Car award. Once that is chosen, they then use the SAME 12 finalist/winner to do the drag race each other.

    Tesla just got thrown in there for kicks because Miata is a joke in drag race.

    Tesla is a truly a drag machine which fits the American muscle car narrative. But it (P100DL) wouldn’t even finish top 10 in the “Best Driver’s car award” race in Motor Trend. Model 3 might have a chance in finalist next year.

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