Tesla Model S Performance Now Runs 10 Second Quarter-Mile Times From the Factory

The refreshed Model S now can run a quarter-mile time that rivals that of a half-million-dollar Lamborghini Aventador SV.

byRob Stumpf|
Electric Vehicles photo


The Tesla Model S has been one of the most subtle kings of the drag strip for some time, blowing the doors off nearly everything in its path from a dig with little resistance. Now, thanks to a few key updates, Tesla is becoming even more predatory to even the most hardened track veterans by entering the 10-second quarter mile straight from the factory.

As a vehicle platform matures, engineers often make decisions that better the platform. For most automakers, this often includes a mid-cycle refresh with a few software tweaks, or perhaps a revised powerplant that pumps out a few extra ponies.

Tesla has historically updated its vehicles with over-the-air updates, often improving vehicle efficiency or performance while the owner sleeps at night. Most recently, the automaker has decided to upgrade its Model S and X vehicles with a new electric motor that it borrows from the Model 3, improving overall range and efficiency even more.

This motor, called a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Reluctance Motor (PMSRM), is typically found in the all-wheel-drive Model 3 as the rear motor, while the front remains the conventional electric induction motor already found in the older Model S and X. The new Model S Performance features unique motor placement to the Model 3, installing the induction motor in the rear and leaving the Model 3's PMSRM motor to power the front wheels.

One unexpected benefit is just how much quicker the car has become with this upgrade. Check out the video below starting at about two minutes and 30 seconds to see just how quick it can gobble up all 1,320 feet.

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At 10.6 seconds, that puts the Tesla Model S Performance (previously known as the P100D before rebranding earlier this year) on par with the Lamborghini Aventador SV at nearly a fifth of the price. Granted, the Tesla is no supercar, but knowing that it can sprint down the track as fast as one of the most revered exotic performance cars on the road is still impressive.

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