Can Tesla’s mad Model S P100D beat the VW I.D. R electric race car?

It’s power vs. weight
by Ollie Marriage | Nov 2, 2018

We’ve done this once or twice before, but we thought you’d like to see how a tremendously fast car fares against a mad, no-limits racing car. In this instance, it’s an all-electric lineup, both with twin electric motors driving all four wheels.

In the case of the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak, those two motors develop 670hp, while in the Tesla Model S P100D, they’re even more potent, producing 760hp. And the difference in torque is even more pronounced, with the I.D. R’s 649Nm playing the Model S’s 978Nm. So the I.D. R, I’m sure for reasons of packaging, dynamics, and weight, falls 90bhp and 329Nm short of its ‘rival.’

But then more than gains it back when you put them on the scales. VW’s racer weighs a little over a metric ton (its 1,100kg published figure includes the driver), which is less than half the weight of the 2,241kg Tesla. Power-to-weight ratios are 654hp/ton for the I.D. R and 340hp/ton for the P100D.

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I asked VW to let me have all the data, but the figures below are what they were prepared to release (to be fair, I’m surprised they let me have anything). Here are the numbers:

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I.D. R

Model S P100D













From there on, of course, the I.D. R just walks away from P100D. As we’ve said about Teslas before, they have great real-world acceleration, but once above three figures, they tail off markedly. Still, 0-160kph (0-100mph) in 6.46sec is very, very fast indeed—as quick as a McLaren 540C or an Audi R8 V10. But the I.D. R takes just 1.45sec to get to 160kph from 100kph, and another 1.3sec beyond that to get to 200kph.

As the I.D. R reaches 200kph, the Tesla is just creeping up on 145kph. It’ll take more than double the VW’s time to reach 200kph. But it’s not like anything else can beat the I.D. R. Its 0-160kph time of 3.7sec is staggering. Bloodhound’s the next fastest thing, taking 4.5sec to reach that speed, then there’s the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder tied at 5.0sec, the 720S at 5.3sec, and the Ferrari 812 Superfast at 5.9sec. Nothing gets close.

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In fact, given not only the speed but also the suitability of electric to altitude and the relatively short sprint that is the 20km course at Pikes Peak, it’s hard to see a way back to the podium for the internal combustion engine on the world’s most famous hillclimb.

NOTE: This article first appeared on Minor edits have been made.

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