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Tesla S performance outdrags BMW M5

I had convinced myself at one point that at least sup worked.

OK, here's the bottom line: Tesla Model S is family sedan.

It is not build to be pure performance beast. Single motor, low power density batteries, huge weight, large size... The fact that it has such good performance is just side-effect of it being BEV with big enough battery to deliver enough power to have it. Unlike ICE cars, huge power motor is not much more expensive than low power motor, so it doesn't cost much to have such power if other parts allow it.

GenIII Roadster will beat Model S Performance in every way when it comes to street performance, and yet Model S is competing with the very best of the same price ICE cars.

Just wait couple of years, and there would be no ICE car of similar price tag to beat it's BEV counterpart.

@jbunn: +1 yes impromptu racing at small airport is a blast. Too bad things have gotten so formal even at most small GA airports. But pilots, mechanics and motorheads all tend to gather there and keep their cool!

@Timo: +1

@Timo: +1 for me too!

+1 Timo. The unfortunate thing is that Gen III has the possibility to destroy the resale value of the Model S. It SHOULD be so much cheaper/faster/more performant.

Nickjhowe. Off topic with apologies. Which would you rather have- a 3-4 year old, loaded ‘S’ or a new, fully loaded, GIII? Probably be about the same price.

@petero - good question. Depends what Gen III actually turns out to be. This is the problem when car tech starts accelerating at the speed of computer tech. Look what happened to the price of the iPhone 4 (dropped to zero on contract) when the iPhone 5 came out. I KNOW this is a massive apples to oranges comparison, but with improvements potentially moving a lightning speed, we MIGHT see depreciation curves that make you wince.

But I'm still buying my P85!

Model S will stay as a viable choice, a large luxury sedan that happens to have insane performance.

I agree what Timo said, that GenIII Roadster will beat Model S performance, but a roadster has a different purpose and target market. Even GenIII sedan would not displace the Model S.

I had a laugh reading the BMW M5 F10 forum- every rationalization they could come up with! "they did not use launch control" , " bad driver" , etc..

Gen III is not the Roadster. It is the BMW 3 series equivalent.

Sudre is right. It's not just the torque from 0, it's the ability to have instantaneous traction control. My Roadster has never been beaten stop light to stop light. Kids on Ninja's, Porsche 911 GT, Ferrari, and a 600hp hot rod. The tire speed is measured on all 4 wheels in milliseconds and the power adjusted instantaneously to the traction available. ICE motors have difficult traction control. They apply brakes, retard timing and wait for the torque and hp to calm down. A run down the track 10 times in an ICE and you get 10 different times. Your Grandmother could get 12.2's in the quarter, every time. Mash the pedal from a stop into a right turn, you go very fast, but no peep from the tires or spin out. Probably due to Elon's insistence since his McLaren F1 "incident"! Take off traction control and you will shred the tires, spin out and lose the race. Soooo.... you can have fun every day at every stop light; 0-35 in about 2 seconds....and never get a ticket. And, no one is mad because the motor isn't roaring and the tires aren't screeching. Most of the time, you look back in your mirror and the people are still at the last light wonder what the hell just happened here or maybe taking a video! The fun you anticipate when you get your S is underestimating this car. Someday soon you will be doing an ordinary everyday drive. Everything will be going just right. The Elegance of the moment in your S will slam you, and you will wimper like a little girl at a romance flick. Can't let them see that tear. It's THAT overwhelmingly good. I'm so happy I was able to gat a Tesla or 2 in my lifetime.
Every friend and every total stranger you take for a spin in your car, you WILL give it a G Force shot. Every one of them will turn to you, look you straight in the eye, usually with their head tilted toward you and give you the biggest, happiest, most genuine grin you have ever seen. It's a "moment". You and the passenger will remember that intimate, quiet "moment". The Tesla grin. BMW M5? That is nothing. All other cars are nothing. You will look at all other cars as antiques.
SpaceX too? Oh my God.

Heh. You sound like a first-in-line candidate for the SpaceX-Bigelow orbital hotel vacation in a few years!

@nickjhowe: Correct.

And consider how many iterations of M5 sit behind that test car while the Model S is just the "first effort" by Tesla?

GenIII is platform for different models, not just one model. There will be that affordable hatchback/sedan compact car, but AFAIK Tesla also use that as base for their next Roadster that will be pure Tesla design.

Pure speculation of course, but I think Model S as a platform is just plain too big for roadster-equal small sport car.

I had a laugh reading the BMW M5 F10 forum- every rationalization they could come up with! "they did not use launch control" , " bad driver" , etc.. (Andrew18)

I had a look "on the other side", too, and I have to say two things: First, most (not all) comments by BMW fans are surprisingly fair and balanced. Many expressed a lot of respect for what Tesla is doing and concede that the Model S is a very interesting car. Second, it is very obvious in the video that indeed the BMW does start rolling only shortly after the Model S is already on its way, that it lost some traction already in first gear and then totally smoked it when shifting into second. There can be no doubt that an optimal start of the BMW would have yielded a different result (I don't speculate how different).

You may argue that the ease with which the Model S can be launched by any untrained driver is a virtue in itself, and I would agree. In this video however, the fact that the BMW obviously fails to leverage its potential, leaves a bad taste and undermines the message: That the Model S is comparable to "the" sport sedan par excellence, the BMW M5.

Frankly, I'm much more interested in handling than drag races.
I wish they'd put them on a track together.
It would be difficult to beat the M5 with all the extra weight Tesla S is carrying.
But I like surprises ;)

Weight difference isn't that big between BMW M5 and Tesla Model S, both are well over 4000lbs cars (difference is less than 300lbs). Considering Model S much lower CoG it could do quite well in comparison, but BMW suspension has always been one of the best into market (for street cars), so close race again.


The comparaison to an electronic device is not so far off. The only difference is it has wheels...

Just like a 42" flat screen was $$$ 10 yrs ago, today it's 1/10 of the price for a bigger-better one. Same thing will happen with Tesla products.

Well, the manufacturing costs, material costs and other assorted basic car part costs are not going down. They have had over 100 years now to get those down, and they still cost quite a bit.

Battery cost will go down and electronics probably also quite a lot, but even with those completely out of equation we are still looking for ~$50k+ car with all options and ~$30k with minimal configuration.

I got a good laugh from the M5 forum as well but at the end of the day the numbers don't lie nor do your eyes.

Now what's the excuse.

Phew. That's a hefty scorcher by insideline.


They did say that the Model S won "2 out of 3" so clearly it's a tight race. The video was likely chosen for the drama. I'm guessing the one the BMW won had a better launch. Nonetheless, the message is pretty clear.

epley, agreed.

Timo. “GenIII Roadster will beat Model S Performance in every way…”
Keep in mind the GIII is designed to be a smaller LESS expensive BEV. I think pricing will trump performance on the priority list. TM needs a volume car and making $50K+ pocket rockets is not going to produce volume. IMO, the GIII will likely have less performance and greater range than the “S”. Even if battery performance improves and prices reduce the goal will probably be “the peoples EV.”
Then again, I could be wrong on the GIII. Elon Musk seems to have a wicked performance streak and builds things … because he can. The next generation Roadster, built on the GIII chassis is another story.

epley. My guess, the M5 won the third race as the battery was getting a bit low in juice.

Agreed BMWs are know for handling, I had one an it was great. One advantage the model S has is the CoG so it might be close on the track too especially considering the weight penalty is only about 7%. Be interesting to see a track test.

@ J. Hollingsworth - see Inside lines track test 5 posts earlier.

My guess, the M5 won the third race as the battery was getting a bit low in juice. (petero)

I don't think so. Just jack-rabbiting from 0-100 mph a couple of times hardly drains any significant amount of juice from the battery. Overheating is more likely, but the Model S seems to be much more robust in that regard than the Roadster, and the performance loss would be so drastic that they would have mentioned it. No, I firmly believe that the M5 had a clean, straight launch just once and the Model S reliably and reproducibly delivered its max performance during each of the three runs.

jaq1, having read the entire inside line piece I think it's a bit laughable. They praise practically every aspect of the car, criticizing very few details, and those may well be a matter of taste; and then prominently conclude they don't like it. Of course that's fair as an opinion, but it's not like the new M5 is an underperformer.

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