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Tesla Model S Performance (L) and BMW M5 (R)  (Source: Automobile Magazine)
Tesla's Model S is no joke

Some people have plenty of doubts about Tesla Motors and the Model S. The company is still struggling to get production numbers up and is battling its way to profitability. And the fact that federal money is being used to fund a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of a $100,000 vehicle doesn't sit well with a lot of people.
However, there's no question that Tesla Motors has developed a remarkable car in the Model S. From its sexy exterior looks to its high-tech interior, the Model S aims to impress. And now, we're still learning that the five-door hatchback has some serious performance credentials backing it up as well.
Automobile Magazine pitted a fresh Model S Performance against BMW's new F10 M5. The BMW M5 ($106,695) is powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine developing a whopping 560hp and 500 lb-ft of torque (this is backed by a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission). The Model S Performance ($102,270) has a rear-mounted motor that generates 416hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
When the two were set on the drag strip for a 0-100 mph race, the 4,640-pound Model S Performance simply walked away from the 4,347-pound M5 off the line. This stellar performance is no doubt attributed to the electric car's instant torque that is available from 0 to 5,800 RPM.
The M5 narrowed the lead towards the end of the run, but there's no question that the Model S bested BMW's high-echelon performance sedan in this particular test. However, this is just one test, and we'd like to see a complete head-to-head comparison between the two vehicles in the usual battery of acceleration, braking, and handling metrics.
To see the Model S go up against the M5, take a look at the video below:

Source: Automobile Magazine

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RE: Still only practical as an extra vehicle
By Colin1497 on 10/10/2012 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
I only want that if it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. I'm presently happy with the 3.6l horizontally opposed engine that I have that produces > 300 hp and netted me over 25mpg on the trip I mentioned. Adding extra batteries and electric motors to the vehicle would make it more expensive (dear God, it already cost me enough), heavier (the enemy of vehicle performance is weight), while allowing it to be marginally more energy efficient. The engineer in me loves hybrids for the technology and squeezing out the efficiency, but the consumer in me doesn't particularly want to buy one.

The problem with hybrids is that they add a lot of complexity/expense without adding a lot of savings. If the government wasn't heavily subsidizing them in multiple ways (including both direct subsidies to buyers as well as bonus credit they provide in CAFE formulas), people wouldn't find them particularly attractive. That's why a practical EV has to be the end goal -- only one power train. Problem is, EV's aren't practical today.

You can argue (somewhat reasonably) that subsidization of hybrids will drive technologies required to develop good EV's, but that doesn't make me want to rush out and buy one.

By Mint on 10/11/2012 7:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
the enemy of vehicle performance is weight

That's not necessarily true. For traction, unless you have stiction from hot tires, their friction is proportional to the weight holding them to the road.

Weight is usually felt more in the handling/responsiveness, because a heavier gas car usually adds weight to the periphery, increasing it's moment of inertia faster than weight/friction. An EV, on the other hand, can keep its weight low and - most critically - closer to the center of mass. Compared to a gas car, it can be heavier with a lower moment of inertia. That's why many reviewers said that the Fisker Karma is the best handling big car on the market (it is big despite the styling giving it a small cabin).

The future is really bright for performance PHEVs. Going from a 200kW motor to a 500kW motor adds a fraction of the weight/cost of going from a 270hp gas engine to a 670hp engine.

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