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The REAL top speed of the Model S

The REAL top speed of the Model S

So, we all know that the top speed of the Model S is software-limited to around 130mph (depending on model/options)...If there was no software limitation, what do you think the real top speed of the Model S would be. I would think pretty high, considering the 416hp/443ft-lb torque, even considering the weight of the car. But if you had to pick a number, what would you guess? (Anyone out there "jailbreak" their S yet?!?!)

And, why do they limit the top speed in the first place? Is it vehicle/passenger safety? Is it to specifically protect the life of the batteries? Would it be too difficult to properly cool the battery pack while going 160, 180, 200mph? Not that you could even drive at that speed for a significant amount of time. But still...

Just wondering. Any thoughts?

Brian H | December 3, 2014

It was a joke, anne. About how to increase top speed. Smile much?

kwen197 | December 3, 2014

I would like to try this Autobahn in the UK, where is it located?

thisisthefuture | February 1, 2015

According to a formula that I have successfully employed for decades, the top speed of a 462-hp Tesla S would be a hair over 170 mph.

Meanwhile, with the P85D's 691 hp, its top speed would be 196 mph.

As far as how you would override the software or take care of any mechanical issue, I have no idea.

EVBeast | February 1, 2015

@thisisfuture: Would you believe this being true for the P85D considering the constraints on RPM limitations of both motors? Having enough horsepower is one part, but if the motors only wind up to a certain amount, it may limit the car to that same 170mph limitation of the non-D because the rear motor (or front) may be a limitation.

This makes me think that the top speed limitations of the D and non-D might be the same, or the D might be less due to the front motor having a limitation that the non-D would not have.

(Yes, I know this is all speculation, but it's fun to consider possibilities/limitations)

thisisthefuture | February 7, 2015

@ttitus: My calculations regard only the horsepower, drag coefficient, and frontal area of the vehicle. I didn't intend to address any mechanical limits of the motors. To me, it would seem sufficient to use a much taller final drive ratio to achieve these speeds. But I am no engineer.

rdalcanto | February 7, 2015

You probably would need a gearbox to achieve 196. If you limit a 911 GT3 to first gear, it will never get close to its wind resistance:horse power top speed. It's incredible that a Tesla can go as fast as it does with a single speed.

data02 | May 2, 2015
cephellow | May 2, 2015

It's pretty clear from the video that the PD is not horsepower/motor limited. It was pulling plenty hard all of the way to the limit.

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