How exactly does the Tesla Model S P100D accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.28 seconds (the figure achieved during recent Motor Trend testing)? In other words, how does a large sedan that looks as though its purpose is to provide a comfortable and leisurely experience for its passengers out-accelerate cars that are shaped like Ferraris and Porsches?
A recent video posted by Engineering Explained provides a pretty good explanation of the physics involved. Here’s the video:
Green Car Reports provides a basic overview of the video: “The P100D has plenty of power to move all of that weight (~4,600 lbs), and an all-wheel drive system to maximize traction, but the really important factor is grip, host Jason Fenske argues. Taking grip as the theoretical limit of a car’s ability to accelerate quickly, Fenske calculates maximum grip using 60-to-0-mph braking distances and times. The comparison demonstrates the importance of the P100D’s relatively wide 265-series rear tires and its slightly rearward weight bias in maximizing grip. That level of grip, along with a calculated 680 horsepower and the all-wheel drive system, are what allow the Model S to accelerate the way it does.”
Interestingly, Fenske got interested in the subject after reading online debates about a theoretical Tesla Roadster equipped with the same P100S powertrain that the new Model S variant has — would such an offering be quicker than the Model S P100D? Or slower to accelerate?
The video is worth a watch in my opinion.
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