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‘Top Gear’ raced a Tesla 100D against a Mercedes sedan, and you’ll totally believe what happened next

Published Oct 18th, 2017 8:00PM EDT
Tesla P100D drag race vs Mercedes E63

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At this point, drag-racing a Tesla Model S P100D against [insert gas-powered car here] is a foregone conclusion. The Tesla’s electric motors can produce massive amounts of torque right off the line, which means that any gas engine isn’t going to come close to the 0-60 times.

But Top Gear wanted to thoroughly test the limits of the Tesla’s speed, so they put it up against a Mercedes E63 AMG 4-door sedan, the answer to every engineer’s question of “how far is too far.”

The result really isn’t surprising at all: the Tesla takes the Mercedes by a couple car-lengths. It beat it off the line, and there wasn’t really a hope of a comeback at any point. If the race had been twice as long, the Mercedes may well have caught up — electric cars suck at extremely high speeds, where air resistance is more of a factor — but over a standard drag-race distance, it’s humbling to see just how fast the Tesla is.

The video did showcase one other thing, though: Tesla’s aren’t nearly as reliable or intuitive as the gas-powered cars. We’ve been conditioned by years of driving to expect certain controls and processes, and by all accounts, driving a Tesla is a big change. That showed up here, as the driver of the Tesla had to turn the car off and on again just to get it to start.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.