Ever wonder if a 691-hp Tesla can beat a 691-hp Lamborghini in a drag race? I did. So I raced my new Tesla Model S P85D against my Lamborghini Aventador.
First impression: That 0-50 acceleration from the Tesla is insane. I had a feeling that it was faster than the Aventador from 0-50, because I never felt that kind of pressure on my chest before from accelerating. With the Tesla, it felt like a 50-lb person was laying flat on your face and chest and stays that way for a few seconds. The way the Aventador feels is like being a boat on strong waves and you keep rocking back and forth between the gear shifts. And at each gear shift, you feel like you’re being tugged very heavily or kicked in the back from behind (depending on how you want to view it). The Tesla felt more like you’re being dropped from the second floor but you’re falling horizontally and not vertically. They’re two completely different feelings of acceleration. What’s amazing is that the Tesla kept up with the Aventador all the way up to around 80 mph, which is probably the highest you’d want to go anyway if you wanted to keep your driving legal.
The race setup: To keep it a fair fight, I did not engage Thrust Mode on the Lamborghini Aventador, which is where you drop the clutch in at 4,500 RPM from neutral. My new Tesla only had 44 miles on the dash when this race started, so it might not have been broken in yet (though I don’t think it needed to be). You might have also noticed that Tesla was in the standard suspension setting and not the lowered one. For some reason, the suspension kept returning to "standard" from "low" after a certain mph (will look into this later). Still, this became a very close race, and I was surprised to see the Tesla accelerating faster than the Aventador, a modern-day, top-of-the-line Italian supercar.
Analysis: Off the line, it does appear that the Tesla can accelerate faster than the Aventador from 0-50 mph (1st gear on the Aventador). And then from 50-80 mph (2nd gear on the Aventador), the two cars appeared to be traveling at the same speed. But after the gear change at 80 mph to 3rd gear, it was very obvious that the Aventador was accelerating faster than the Tesla, and the Tesla couldn’t keep up anymore.
Addressing the rumors: Yes, this was the first Tesla P85D delivered in Orlando, and one of the first ones in Florida. And yes, the Tesla Model S P85D is a Christmas gift for my mother to replace her old 15-year-old red Toyota Corolla. I wanted her to drive a safer, more luxurious car, so for the past year, I’ve been taking her to car shows to secretly find out which car she liked the best. She chose the Tesla Model S over all the other cars (including the BMW i8). As soon as the P85D and autopilot were announced, I ordered one. And no, she doesn’t know about the car yet (she doesn’t follow my YouTube).
Of course, I couldn’t resist making this race happen as soon as I got behind the wheel to bring it home. I’ll post a walk-through/review video of it on my YouTube later along with a Tesla P85D vs Ferrari 458 Italia race video as well.
My Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything):
Update: Here’s the video of the P85D against a Ferrari 458 Italia:
Note: These are professional drivers on empty roads. Please do not try this at home with your Tesla and Aventador.