In Motorweek’s most recent segment the iconic television car show tests the 763 hp 2016 Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode, twin motors and all-wheel drive. Motorweek gushes over the Model S, just as they have in prior reports on this vehicle. That isn’t unique to Motorweek. Pretty much every publication that has tested the car loved it.
However, the outlandish acceleration of the Model S P90D in Ludicrous mode was a little less impressive in Motorweek’s testing. The magazine’s careful instrument testing, done at a dragstrip they know very well “only” resulted in a 0-60 MPH time of 4.0 seconds. The list of cars that can replicate that time is long and rather mundane. Motorweek’s test of the rear-wheel drive, 707 hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat sedan, for example, matched that time. And it should be noted that the Charger Hellcat is almost exactly half the cost of the Tesla Model S P90D (About $62K compared to about $119K). The car tested by Motorweek shows the underlined P90D model tag on the back, indicating it did have the Ludicrous mode upgrade with its special Inconel (nickel chromium iron alloy) power connectors.
So how did the more powerful, AWD Tesla fail to top the rear-wheel drive Charger? Mostly due to track conditions we suspect. Motorweek mentions the car's traction control was limiting the power. It was sunny the day of the Tesla test, but temperature and other factors also figure in such testing. The Charger was tested on another day, at another track. The Charger is a bit lighter, though, so this result may not be entirely related to track conditions. We offer Motorweek’s Charger time only as a comparison. The two sedans have entirely different personalities. Variations between Model S cars may also be responsible. The car tested by Motorweek was not a carefully scrutinized media vehicle directly form Tesla, but rather a car taken from one of its showrooms. State of charge and drivetrain temperature may also have played a role, but we are speculating.
Main story image is a screen shot from Motorweek's video shown under the story.