22 July 2016

This special drag race pitches the electric motor against the internal combustion engine.

The electric all-wheel drive Tesla Model S P85D in 'Insane' mode has two electric motors that produce 682bhp and 687lb ft of instantly available torque. A foregone conclusion? Think again.

The rear-wheel drive McLaren 650S Spider is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 with 641bhp, it has launch control, and it's lighter than the Tesla. Watch the video to see what car wins.

Join the debate



22 July 2016
Perhaps Tesla (remember - 4 seats, cheaper, limited endurance) should do a 2 seater lightweight body for the P85D and demolish the market for superrich dudemobiles? Or go back 100 years and offer a rolling chassis for "coachbuilders" - for a new Lotus perhaps, reversing the Elise relationship of a few years back?

22 July 2016
It's not a hollow victory. The Tesla was always going to be faster off the line but then get reeled in. It's just a function of weight, driven wheels and torque delivery. My understanding is that Insane mode is available only if the battery is 85% charged, so you need to do this in the first 30 miles or so your journey, after that you have a slower car. Also you do this once and the battery gets very hot, so you have to have a coffee before the car lets you do it again, whereas in an IC car you can do it till the tank is empty. You say what if the Tesla did a lightweight 2 seater body? Well what if McLaren did a 687hp electric motor with 4WD?

23 July 2016
No it does not need to have 85% charge but once your battery charge drops the maximum current you can draw drops so below 50% you will notice a difference. And you would have to repeatedly do it for about 20 times before battery overheats just like an ICE's clutch.

And lets not forget they are using the old P85D not the P90DL which would have made this 3-0 to the tesla.

Plus if they want to compare like for like they would have to wait for the new Tesla roadster which will be a 2 seat sports car but still won't cost as much as the McLaren.

22 July 2016
Isn't the real comparison here between a £100K car and a £200K car? On that basis, the Tesla should be halfway back down the track, not neck and neck. So no, it's not a fair contest, because the McLaren is twice the price.
Plus, the last days of old technology can sometimes be better than the first days of new technology. But that doesn't mean that we're not still witnessing a revolution.

22 July 2016
Weight difference?

23 July 2016
My source is Car and Driver's test of the P90D in ludicrous mode. It seems I was too kind to the Tesla:

"Maximum acceleration is available only when the battery’s state of charge is above 95 percent and “max battery perform­ance mode” is set on the control screen. When we test, we average two acceleration runs in opposite directions to eliminate wind and grade effects. Normally that’s no issue, but because the Model S’s performance deteriorates with heat build-up in the battery pack, controllers, wiring, and electric motors, pausing at least three minutes between acceleration runs is necessary."

Personally, I think all cars with launch control etc should be tested without it, since in the real world you don't stop the car and then select a variety of settings before you accelerate, that would be the ultimate lag.

23 July 2016
if everything is equal, i.e. meaning weight and traction. But now there exist engines with very advanced turbocharging. Up to 3-turbos, even the combination, supercharger plus up to twin turbos.

24 July 2016
Great, what do we learn from this? That an apple looks, smells and tastes like an apple and a pear, looks, smells and tastes like a pear. If this were to make any sense at all it would be 90D Ludicrous vs an M5. Can the McLaren seat up to 7 people, can it return 90+ mpge, does it emit zero local emissions (and potentially totally emissions-free) does it have lots of luggage capacity? Is any of that really relevant in this context? No. What is relevant is that electric vehicles are inherently better than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles. How about the mainstream media stop dressing mutton as lamb (turbocharger, supercharging, lean-burn, VVT etc) and just embrace electric vehicles as the first significant progress, in terms of how your car is propelled, in over 50 years.
Why does this matter? Because our cities are polluted and congested and electric vehicles are PART of the solution. Where's the report that ALL of the top 37 vehicles sold in the UK failed emissions tests by up to 10 TIMES the published values. Since national and most local government is doing a typically awful job of promoting EVs, it's time mainstream media stepped and stopped making people feel ok about picking the kids up in supercharged, V8, SUVs.

1 December 2016
Thanks for saying pretty much what I feel about this but don't have the time to type.


24 July 2016
Electric cars are shit. They are a leftie plan, thought up to control the people's freedom of movement, but it will never work because we can see that they are shit and we will not be controlled. The plan is doomed to fail. Electric cars are going nowhere.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left



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