It's difficult to describe electric car performance to anyone who hasn't experienced it yet. We can tell you that Tesla claims a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.1 seconds for the 'longer range' model, but even this archaic performance metric doesn't do the ferocity of the forward momentum justice. To explain how it feels, we have to create context. A Porsche 911 Carrera 4S will sprint to 60 mph in a best time of 3.2 seconds. To do that, it has to go through the entire internal combustion process and change gears at least twice. In an electric car, you just climb on the throttle, and the system's entire output is available immediately. In the case of the Model S long range, that output is 670 horsepower. Tesla claims a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. There is a Standard Range model now with 'just' 491 hp and a 3.7-second sprint time. The all-new Plaid model, which we review separately, has a claimed 0-60 mph time of 1.99 seconds. We get the feeling Tesla is currently held back by tire technology, which hasn't caught up with EV performance yet.
While this is impressive, it's important not to get caught up in the 0-60 mph times. In-gear acceleration is even more impressive. Once again, an ICE car driving at 60 mph in top gear would have to drop down a few gears, wait for the turbo to start boosting, and only then will it start accelerating. In an EV, the torque is there instantly. From 60 mph to 100 mph, the Model S will outsprint even a BMW M5 Competition. How angry are you going to be in the BMW, knowing that you just got blown away by the base-spec Model S?
Tesla set the EV standard that every other manufacturer and startup is currently following. It's colloquially known as a skateboard design and beautiful in its simplicity. You have a battery pack mounted low down between the front and rear wheels. In the case of the Tesla Model S, this battery pack powers two electric motors. Each axle gets its own individually-powered motor, making the Model S all-wheel drive without using the traditional mechanical components. In an ICE car, you'd have the engine mounted on one side and a prop shaft running from one end to the other.
The power is transferred to the road via a single-speed gearbox. Porsche equips the Taycan with a two-speed transmission on the rear axle for a higher top speed, but we reckon the Tesla's 149 mph is enough.
|Tesla Model S Trims||Tesla Model S Engines||Tesla Model S Horsepower||Tesla Model S Transmissions||Tesla Model S Drivetrains||Tesla Model S MPG/MPGE||Tesla Model S Range|
|Standard Range||Electric||670 hp||Single Speed Automatic||AWD||N/A||320 miles|
|Model S||Electric||670 hp||Single Speed Automatic||AWD||120 MPGE||405 miles|
Tesla is the king of range, and the Model S can achieve 405 miles on a single charge at an EPA-rated 124/115/120 MPGe. Compared with the mpg ratings of ICE vehicles with similar performance, the Model S is amazing. If you go for the larger 21-inch alloys, the range drops to a still-impressive 375 miles. New for 2023 is the Standard Range trim that gives you less miles on a full charge - 320 miles is nothing to sniff at, however.
Tesla also has a large network of superchargers, and the new Model S can be charged at 250 kW, bringing charge times to an all-time low. Tesla claims 200 miles from a 15-minute charge at a Supercharger station. Equipping your home with a Tesla Wall Connector and you can recharge in six to 15 hours.
To make travel as easy as possible, the Model S's built-in navigation has a trip-planning function and will automatically calculate a route with superchargers. This system is now so advanced, it can even detect whether a spot is available at a Supercharger station. Other manufacturers have a lot of catching up to do in this department.
|Tesla Model S Trims||Standard Range||Model S|
|Tesla Model S Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||N/A||124/115|
|Tesla Model S Hybrid Battery Capacity||100 kWh||100 kWh|
|Tesla Model S Charge Time||15 Hrs Charge Time @ 220/240V, 0.75 Hrs Charge Time @ 440V||15 Hrs Charge Time @ 220/240V, 0.75 Hrs Charge Time @ 440V|