Tesla Model S Outguns BMW M5 in 0-to-100 MPH Dash
Last month, I lived with the Tesla Model S for a week. I reported my impressions, including the use of Tesla’s network of superchargers, in The New York Times. I wrote a lot about range, design, handling, charging and high-tech features—but when friends ask me about the Model S, my immediate reply is simple: “It’s fast.”
The newspaper is not the place to fully discuss the EV’s speed, especially because any real-world numbers that exceed the legal speed limit could be interpreted as encouragement to break the law. So, I was glad to see that Automobile Magazine put the 2012 Tesla Model S on the track against a 2013 BMW M5 to determine which vehicle can sprint fastest from 0-to-100 miles per hour.
The two vehicles stack up neatly on paper. The price for the Model S (with the 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack) and the M5 both hover around $100,000. The M5’s horsepower, delivered via a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine, cranks out 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque—versus the 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque from the performance version of the Model S. Of course, when it comes to efficiency, the Model S’s 89 MPGe trounces the M5’s 15 miles per gallon. But what about raw speed?
Automobile Magazine's Ezra Dyer introduces the race, which took place at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Mich. As the two vehicles roll up to the line, the Model S is silent, while the M5 roars. But the Model S, running on electrons, pulls away much faster from the line than the gas-thirsty BMW. Despite signs towards the end of the strip that the M5 was starting to catch up, the Model S handily beats the high-performance Bimmer across the finish.
Dyer says that, with the Model S, most people are probably more concerned about is range. “But guess what?” he adds. “It’s quicker than an M5.” Dyer calls the Model S “the sneakiest performance car on the market.” If eliminating tailpipe emissions and use of fossil fuels doesn’t sell EVs like the Model S, then the feeling of raw power from behind the wheel—a ton of fun when you have it on city streets, country roads, and stretches of highway—might do the trick.
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Guide to Buying First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).