0-100 MPH: Tesla Model S Versus BMW M5

It’s not often you see an electric vehicle at a drag race. Then again, it’s not often you see an electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S. Tesla is hoping that changes soon. Until it does, Automobile Magazine arranged a drag race between the Model S and the longtime king of performance sedans – the BMW M5. In developing the Model S, Tesla didn’t want to just make a high-mileage vehicle (which, with 300 miles of range at the top end…they did) but also an uncompromising one in the area of performance.

The result is a sedan that in Performance guise hits 0-60 in 4.4 seconds – faster than a Porsche 911. An extremely impressive figure, but still not enough to beat the M5′s 4.2 second 0-60 time – theoretically anyway. The Model S puts out 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, versus the BMW’s 560 hp and 500 lb-ft. We know that electric vehicles have instantaneous torque, but still the proof is in the numbers, right? Wrong, according to Automobile. In their tests at Gingerman Raceway, the Tesla beat the BMW a majority of the time in the 0-100 mph dash. Not sure how that happened, but you can check out the results on video for yourself below.

Tony Pimpo

Tony Pimpo

Automotive Editor
Tony Pimpo is a young automotive journalist who lives in Northern California. He believes the future of the automotive industry will depend in a large part on the recommendation of enthusiasts and Generation Y. More than ever, automakers lately have realized the power of Gen Y. Not only in regards to buying power, but in driving opinion and spreading a brand’s message through the internet and various forms of social media. His appreciation for cars formed at an early age, thanks to his dad, who has always been involved with cars in different ways over the years. Tony has contributed to various websites in his pursuits, and is on staff at GMInsideNews, where he has been writing since the age of 12.
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Filed Under: BMWCar NewsTesla


  • Thomas

    The reason why it happened is pretty simple. The M5 is marginally faster if it has a perfect launch. But it’s launch control is complicated and balky, and there are tremendous mechanical lags compared to an electric drivetrain.

    In contrast, the Model S is essentially a direct drive system with instant throttle response. When you press the pedal you go. Fast.

    So sure, the M5 can be quicker if you do everything perfectly, but it has no margin for error, while the Model S is simple and consistently fast.

  • Nima

    Actually the M5 does come with an automatic lunch control so the times it puts up are very consistent.

    But the main reason the last time they did the run the M5 won, was cause the peak Current supply of the battery pack is reduced from the moment you discharge it slightly. Its like opening the cap on a soda bottle. The initial release of pressure is sudden and fast but after that the rate goes down to a steady level as the gas slowly bobbles out of the fluid. The model S when topped off completely can easily take on an M5, but do it a few times and then it just wont hit those numbers. That being said the drop is not that significant after the initial drop. So you get more or less even performance as the car discharges.

    I love the model S and I would take it over the M5 any day for millions of reasons. Not just that if it really had to it could drag race an M5 from standstill. Its not about that, the luxury, the technology inside, the space, the handling, the fact that while cruising at 40mph hitting the pedal will allow you to smoke any ICE car on the road without a doubt (i.e. instant torque), the amazingly low operating cost, like 10x less. and the fact that there are less moving parts to break, all amount to an amazing one of a kind car for a loooong while..

    PLEASE MORE TESTS LIKE THIS… DRAG RACE FROM CRUISE, AT 30, 50, 60 miles an hour.

  • Paul

    A couple issues with this video…
    1) as other have stated launch control was not used which gives the M5 a consistent launch.
    2) BMW driver was bad… Delayed start

    Reality is m5 will beat tesla s 0 -60, 0-100 and quarter mile all day long. 10 out of 10 times.

    Tesla propaganda here plain and simple….wake up people

  • Chris

    @Nima: The car doesn’t get slower as the battery depletes for the same reason your iPod doesn’t play songs slower and slower as the battery gets older. The battery delivers consistent power until it reaches a fairly high depletion point, at which point Tesla drops the power it’ll pull (kicks in at something like the 10% battery level).

    @Paul. Really, conspiracy theories? Automobile Magazine is going to pimp Tesla and bash BMW. You think that somehow makes financial sense to them to intentionally bash a huge company like BMW? Break out the tinfoil hat.

    The reasons are just what @Thomas said. The BMW looks bad off the line because it that’s the nature of gas engines. Damn near any electric will kill the BMW off the line because of the power curves. The BMW would incredibly quickly make up that gap on a Volt, but the Tesla is a bigger, stronger engine and that’s why you don’t see the BMW gaining ground until much later in the run.

  • http://nedratv.com/ tina juarez

    Never mind, gossip has it the S out performed the Roadster in real dragstrip racing. check out the National Electric Drag Racing Association [NEDRA] for timeslips! There ARE faster EVs than Teslas, but you have to DIY!
    Sweet demo VDO!
    Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday

  • Fats times

    Really electric faster than ICE PLEASE! You have fingers please find the fastest electric drag times and the fastest ICE times; the electric is a turtle. Keep the hype up though and when you get your doors blown off by a Ford Pinto at thr strip don’t say you weren’t warned. Try looking up fastest street cars in America and then come back and tell me how fast your electric is. And to the guy yapping about 40mph rolling runs, I assure you the M5 will kill the S; try math sometime A=F/m.

  • july augustus

    I have a new M5 F10. I will bet all my wordly pocession if any Tesla wants to race with me. 0-100 M5 without launch control 9 seconds with launch control 8.5 secs. This race is rigged. You could see the Tesla jump on the M5. How about a quartermile race. I will bet 10 to 1. Any takers?