Tesla's Ludicrous Mode Is No Match for this McLaren 720S
There's a new king of the drag strip in town.
Tesla has undoubtedly been one of the kings when it comes to drag racing from a dig. It has demolished the hopes and dreams of many die-hard car builders when the realization that a stock vehicle marketed towards economy and luxury could blow the doors of their blood, sweat, and tears. But that's all come to end now that the McLaren 720S is here to twist things up a bit.
It was only a few weeks ago that the guys from DragTimes brought us an interesting piece when a Lamborghini Aventador went up against a Tesla Model X P100D. Now the Tesla's lighter, more agile sibling, the Model S, has brought forth its own blood for comparison against a different opponent, the McLaren 720S.
Despite the weight savings, the Model S isn't going to do much good compared to its latest rival. Both cars look good on paper, but only one will walk away crowned with the title of drag race king.
Let's get price out of the way. The McLaren starts at around $290,000, more than double the price of a base Model S P100D. It's important to remember that the McLaren has historically marketed its cars towards the likes of Porsche owners more than it is to Tesla. That alone makes it a difficult comparison to put them both in the same test, which speaks wonders of the Model S acceleration.
On to performance details then. The McLaren utilizes a 4.0-liter V8 engine paired with twin-turbos, ultimately pumping out a respectable 710 horsepower and 568 foot-pounds of torque. The Model S, on the other hand, uses both of its electric motors to put 588 horsepower and 920 foot-pounds of torque to the wheels. The Tesla takes full advantage of its instant power delivery and will sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in an astounding 2.275507139 seconds. The McLaren is just a tad slower to ramp up, making the same run in about 2.8 seconds. The zero to 100 mph race is what begins to separate the two competitors. While the Tesla takes 6.52 seconds to make the run, the McLaren shows its true colors by getting there nearly a full second faster.
When comparing the two over a full 1,320 feel, the pressure is on. The Tesla can blast through the quarter mile at 10.72 seconds, while the McLaren leaves it in the dust at just 10.4 seconds. Dragging it out further will finally distance the two even further, allowing the petrol-powered sports car to reach its top speed of 212 mph while the Tesla hits its software-limited 155 mph before going no faster.
The McLaren also has its diet to its advantage, weighing 3,150 pounds versus the Model S' scale-tipping 4,960 pounds. That's basically like strapping a Smart ForTwo to the McLaren's roof in order to make the two weigh even remotely close to each other.
Although we have a new and more expensive king of the drag race, the price point of the Model S makes it far more achievable to own than the McLaren, just not as stylish.
Coupled with the ability to haul a family versus seating two, the Tesla definitely makes a more approachable vehicle, that's also more likely to be underestimated. But compare the two, and the mid-engine rear-wheel-drive roadster comes out on top. It may have two fewer drive wheels to put the power down, but does it far more effectively.