Elon's D Can't Hang with Dodge, Tesla P85D Slower than Hellcat Charger
Earlier this morning we brought you the news that Elon Musk had finally introduced the world to his “D”, which happened to be the inclusion of a dual motor/all-wheel drive option to the Tesla Model S lineup. Included in this announcement was the high performance P85D, which features two electric motors, all-wheel drive and incredible performance numbers of 691 horsepower and 687lb-ft of torque. These figures make the Tesla P85D one of the most powerful sedans in the world. This led to the masses of general EVangelists and Muskers alike to hit the internet and proclaim yet another victory for the all-electric brand. Click here for a closer look at the details on the new dual motor Tesla Model S lineup.
Some of the Teslarati have even gone so far as to insist that the new Tesla P85D will beat the new Hellcat Charger. One particular post on a Tesla forum caught my eye:
“The Tesla Model S p85D is at the top of the chain even in the wet where no other cars can match it, not even at the drag strip using the Dodge 707 horsepower Hellcat line due to lackluster traction and no instant torque. Lastly Tesla finally has a real top speed of 155 rather than a slower 135.”
While this is one of the more extreme posts in terms of foolishness, his sentiment is being echoed around the internet – from forums to Facebook – so I figured that it was best to look at these two cars head to head.
Comparing the Tesla P85D and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
I want to start by pointing out the fact that the new Tesla P85D and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat aren’t anywhere close to being in the same automotive segment so there are always going to be obvious differences between the two. The P85D runs strictly on electric power while the Hellcat Charger burns gasoline (and a whole lot of it), but I can guarantee that not a single Charger Hellcat buy will care for one second that their car uses more fuel than the Tesla Model S. In reality, the only people who care that the Model S uses no gas are Model S owners. No performance car owners in America ever think “oh man…I wish that my car didn’t use any gas like the Model S”. The performances times are impressive, but the vast majority of people in the performance car world couldn’t care any less about EV technology.
Of course, the P85D is all wheel drive while the Hellcat Charger is rear wheel drive, which creates another inconsistency in the comparison. However, because the performance capabilities are similar, I am compelled to look at how they size up against each other. Also, if Tesla’s fans are going to make claims about their high priced electric luxury car being faster than the fastest sedan in the world, someone should definitely check to see if that is true.
Spoiler Alert: It is not true.
P85D Shines in 0-60
I will start by pointing out that based on the preliminary numbers from both companies, the Tesla Model S P85D should be quicker from 0-60 than a stock-tire Charger SRT Hellcat. The all wheel drive P85D is expected to hit 60 from a stop in 3.2 seconds while it takes the Charger closer to 3.5 seconds (Dodge has not issued official figures yet). So thanks to the instant torque and incredible traction of the all-wheel drive electric drivetrain, the Tesla will likely beat the Hellcat Charger to 60 miles per hour with a competent driver behind the wheel of both cars. In fact, that 0-60 time will probably allow the P85D to beat any sedan in the world to 60 thanks to the 691 horsepower and monster figure of 687lb-ft of torque.
Unfortunately for Tesla fans, that is where the advantages end as most races are longer than just 0-60.
Weight Allows the Hellcat to Crush the P85D
The Tesla Model S P85D packs a ton of power but it also packs a ton of weight almost two and a half tons to be exact. The addition of the second motor and the all-wheel drive setup brings the Model S curb weight up to a Super Duty-like 4,936lbs and while the instant torque combined with AWD get the P85D off of the line in a hurry, all of that weight makes a big difference as it moves down track. According to the company, the P85D can run the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds. The rear wheel drive Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is certified by the NHRA to run the quarter in 11 seconds flat. While I understand that many Tesla fans and EVangelists might not know much about drag racing, but a lower number is better – so the Charger is 8 tenths of a second quicker (better) in the quarter mile.
Next, as for the gentleman who posted the quote above online about how the Model S P85D gets a real top speed, this is another area where the Tesla falls short of the Hellcat Charger (and almost every other performance car sold in America). The new dual motor Tesla has a top speed of 155 miles per hour while the Charger Hellcat has a top speed of 204 miles per hour. The current 2014 Dodge Charger SRT can hit 175 miles per hour with “only” 470 horsepower and even the lowly Charger R/T will give the Tesla a run for its money in a high speed run. Of course, it should be noted that the P85D’s top speed is governed, because letting the car go literally as fast as it can would totally destroy the electric range…but that doesn’t matter in a race – slower is slower regardless of the excuses.
Oh, I should point out that the Tesla P85D costs $120,000 while the Charger Hellcat is expected to start somewhere in the mid $60k range.
So, to Tesla fans, congratulations – the brand that you adore so very much has designed one of the quickest cars in the world from 0-60. The Tesla P85D can also turn some impressive quarter mile times – particularly for an EV and a luxury sedan – but it isn’t the fastest sedan in the world so stop proclaiming otherwise. It isn’t even the fastest sedan in the country so stick to the fact that it is still the fastest and quickest electric luxury sport sedan in the world…and the only electric luxury sport sedan in the world.
Tesla continues to be the undisputed best at playing Elon’s luxury sport EV game. Golf Clap.