Normally, when we post videos of a Tesla Model S racing [insert absurdly fast supercar here], it’s to demonstrate how the four-door saloon can bring the best of the ICE world to its knees. But not today, and not with a McLaren 720S to test against.

DragTimes managed to get a Tesla Model S P100D — the fastest model, with the Ludicrous launch mode — lined up against a McLaren 720S. It’s not exactly a fair fight, as the McLaren is a stripped-out supercar and the Tesla is more of a highway cruiser. But that doesn’t stop the result from being interesting.

As the video shows, a simple drag race between the two shows up the Tesla’s lack of high-end top speed. Although the Model S gets off the line faster, it doesn’t have the higher-end acceleration to hold off the onrushing McLaren, and it gets passed probably at around 100mph. The result was the same all three races: the Tesla gets off the line faster, but it couldn’t match the top speed of the McLaren.

The result is even more pronounced when they tried a rolling start. Without being able to show off the low-end torque that makes electric cars great drag racers, the Tesla just looks slow.

Does all this make the Model S inferior? Well, if you call losing a drag race at 100mph, to a car that costs $300,000 and can’t go over speed bumps losing, then sure. For everyone else who drives on normal roads at semi-normal speeds, the decision is less clear.


Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.