Published on March 6th, 2015 | by Christopher DeMorro


Tesla P85D VS. $400,000 Lamborghini Murcielago (Video)

March 6th, 2015 by  

I don’t condone street racing in any way, shape, or form. That said, Tesla Model S P85D owners nationwide have put out plenty of videos of their 691 horsepower electric supercars racing, and beating, a whole host of respectable competition. The latest video to emerge on YouTube shows the Tesla P85D trying to keep up with the feared, $400,000 Lamborghini Murcielago (hat tip to Mr X).

The bull-branded Italian supercar boasts a 670 horsepower V12 engine, making it the perfect ambassador for the world of conventional engines. That’s just a few ponies shy of the 691 horsepower of the Model S, and both cars benefit from some of the most advanced all-wheel drive systems in the world. But the one area the Lamborghini holds a huge advantage over the Tesla in is weight, coming in at a comparatively svelte 3,600 pounds to the P85D’s 4,900 pounds.

That 1,300 pound weight advantage (which is about how much the battery pack weighs) makes all the difference in this impromptu contest of speed, and the Murcielago also has a much higher top speed. The Model S is normally limited to just 130 MPH, though the P85D can reach up to 155 before an electronic limiter kicks in. The Murciélago LP 670–4 SuperVeloce had a claimed top speed of 212 MPH, and while it didn’t come anywhere close to those speeds on public streets, both cars almost certainly hit triple digits. However, the P85D is comparitively cheap, with an average MSRP around $140,000 compared to the Lamborghini, which ran between $350,000 and $450,000 when it was produced. On the used supercar market, they’re still fetching figures far beyond what the P85D costs.

So Tesla has that going for it, which is nice.

But remember kids, street racing is bad. These two knuckleheads could easily end up dead in a heartbeat, and all the money in the world can’t bring somebody back from the dead. I know, it’s exciting to get a new car and go race it, and with the dwindling number of legit drag strips to race at, arranging a legal race is much, much harder than it ought to be. It’s one thing to surprise your friends with instant torque, though, and another to engage in a race that greatly heightens the chance for a serious accident.

With great horsepower, comes great responsibility, and I don’t want to have to write a story about a street-racing Tesla owner who plows into a minivan full of nuns on their way to deliver orphans to a new family. Imagine Elon Musk trying to explain that one way. Keep it to the track like this Challenger Hellcat-beating Tesla owner did.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Dan Hue

    It doesn’t take anything away from the Tesla to acknowledge its limits alongside its prowess. The 0-60 is of course phenomenal, and that must be great fun to experience, but it’s mainly due to its technical advantage in that particular exercise, i.e., 100% torque from 0 rpm and a single gear. These advantages don’t necessarily turn it into a bona fide sports car. Even from a low speed rolling start, most of the advantage is gone, as evidenced by the video. Then there is of course the issue of overheating, which cripples the Tesla after about 3 minutes at full throttle. That’s clearly not the way the car is meant to be experienced.

    • Kraylin

      Is it true that the Tesla would overheat that quickly? I have always been curious if it could handle track(roadcourse) usage, charging infrastructure aside I just wondered if it could be tracked. Sounds like it wouldn’t handle the constant full throttle for 20+min.

      • Dan Hue

        Apparently so. The Tesla MS is strictly a street car, for now, though I’m sure the technology will improve.

  • Chris, this is just click-bait!

    Just saying you done condone it and then post the video is poor taste.

  • Jason hm

    Now I’m not saying a P85D will get ya laid, I just saying…?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I suspect it’s an issue of your intentions.

      I would bet the Tesla has higher female favorability. The Lambo more a male thing.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with either….

      • t1oracle

        Well it is 2015 now, we’ve progressed right?

  • QKodiak

    From a standstill, the Model S P85D would keep ahead of the much lighter and far more expensive dedicated 2-seat supercar until about 100 mph.

    • KennethR

      which is why smart non-Tesla drivers won’t let you trick them into a standing start race. you can’t play their game.

  • Benjamin Nead

    I know I’m going to get blowback from the usual chorus here who blindly exclaim that we need to continue beating people over the head with “EVs aren’t golf carts” propaganda, Or that this idiotic behavior somehow translates to new and valuable R&D for electric cars.

    But drag racing like this on public streets is just plain stupid. It’s not a victimless crime. Innocent people get killed doing this. I’m glad Christopher excoriates this fact in his byline, But I have to wonder why Clean Technica felt compelled to even report on it.

    It’s one thing when it’s done on a commercial drag strip. The EV speed demons can get their thrills and other EV advocates, like me, who really don’t care how fast the newest and most expensive Tesla iteration can go, can simply ignore it or dismiss it as pointless motorcar machismo. Nobody gets hurt.

    But someone is going to get killed doing these Tesla “cutting contests” on public streets. And for what? In the name of the environment and green living? Sadly, it probably won’t be the clueless millionaires driving like what is shown here who
    will die.

    • Joe Viocoe

      As one of the biggest Tesla fans here…. you shall receive no “blowback” for touting safety here.

      Tesla routinely sets up events to demonstrate the D using closed tracks. There is no excuse for this behavior on public streets.

      • Martin

        Sadly kids will be kids, never mind their age, and some of them like to show off, giving the rest a bad name!
        Perhaps next thing Tesla could do, is enter the Daytona 500, as long as they can change batteries fast enough, that would put all the naysayers to rest!

        • Radical Ignorant

          That can happen. But no earlier than they will have problems with demand. Right now it would be use of assets for something not needed when they need to focus everything on increasing production.

    • I was actually happy to see Chris emphasize your points so much.

      • Benjamin Nead

        I was too, Zach. I’m simply questioning the inclusion of any report on a website like this that features a dangerous and illegal activity such as street racing. Would you have included the video if it showed one of those cars killing a pedestrian, simply because one of them was a Tesla?

        If drag racing now passes as important clean technology news (and I don’t think it really does,) lets at least please confine the video coverage to the stuff that’s being done off the public streets.

  • NRG4All

    Am I mistaken or did I see them run a stop sign?

    • Martin

      Yes they did run a stop sign 🙁 ,not cool and dangerous.
      If they can not find a legal drag strip, go on the Autobahn in Germany!!

  • WeaponZero

    Starting at 30 is cheating, especially since 155 is not unlocked yet. It seems even the Italian supercar did not have the guts to start at 0.

    • t1oracle

      Obviously they didn’t want a fair race, there’s no way it’s going to win from a roll, but from a dead stop it’ll lead up to a point.

      • The Mogget

        Why don’t they just start the race at 155?

        The idea is to cheat until the P85D loses. Car that costs 3 times as much, and has no back seats? Check. Adjust the start speed and length of race to cripple the P85D? Check.

        Heck I expected them to take the air out of the Tesla’s tires.

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