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Published on February 23rd, 2017 | by James Ayre


How Does The Tesla Model S P100D Accelerate From 0 To 60 Mph In Just 2.28 Seconds?

February 23rd, 2017 by  

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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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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