Model S horsepower

Model S horsepower


I'm about to reserve my Model S, but I wasn't able to find the amount of HP this one will have. I read figures between 280 and 400hp, but I need to be sure so I can ask my insurance company if I ever will be able to get insurance (which isn't easy here in Belgium).

Sorry if this has been asked before.


Timo | 11 janvier 2011

Tesla has not released that info yet, only vague info that it will have a bit more torque than Roadster, which means somewhere around 300hp if the RPM range is the same.

Zorba | 11 janvier 2011

Thank you. Let's hope it won't be too expensive, can't wait to order this amazing car.

Schlermie | 20 février 2012

@Timo, what sort of horsepower would you estimate for the performance edition? I've seen a curb weight of 3825lbs reported, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. Of course, Tesla reports the Cd is 0.22, and the 0-60 is 4.4s. That seems like all the information you should need to derive a fairly good horsepower estimate, but I haven't the slightest idea how to do it.

Tom A | 20 février 2012

The stats came out not long after the unveiling. The Model S motor is 300kW, which converts to 402 hp, and is capable of putting out 306 lb-ft of torque. The Performance version will have a 324kW version of the same motor (from a relatively recent Musk interview). It's not surprising, since the Roadster Sport has a 288hp motor (hand-wound) while the regular Roadster has a 244hp motor.

It is certainly possible that those numbers may have changed, but that's what I have on my spreadsheet that I created a while back to keep track of pure EV offerings from any automaker for the US market, including various stats (power, torque, torque band, battery size (kWh), 0-60 times, top speed, efficiency, drag coeff., etc.).

Tom A | 20 février 2012

The peak torque bands for the Roadster and Roadster Sport were 0-5400 rpm and 0-5100 rpm, respectively. The peak torque band for the Model S is 0-7000 rpm. I do not know how different, if at all, the Performance motor will be.

Timo | 20 février 2012

Just now noticed that I used hp instead of kW. That's a typo.

In some of the post here I read that Model S would have it's HP peak point at 75mph, which corresponds to around 8400RPM. Torque starts to drop sooner, but it does get its top torque in wider RPM range than Roadster.

brianman | 20 février 2012

@Tom A
Perhaps I missed it (is the math linear?), waht was the horsepower you have down in your spreadsheet for (Sig) Perf? Is it 434hp(324kW * 402hp / 300kW)?

Tom A | 21 février 2012

@brianman, I used a free unit conversion app on my iPhone. I do not know if the relationship is linear.

Schlermie | 21 février 2012

Yes, it's linear. The performance version will have 434hp.

mwu | 22 février 2012

From what I have seen, HP and torque numbers don't directly correlate performance between ICE vehicles and Tesla's vehicles mainly because Tesla's vehicles get their torque numbers from 0 RPM while ICE takes time to build it up.

In other words if an EV and ICE vehicle with the same peak HP and torque numbers raced off the line to say 60Mph, the EV would win because it gets to those peak HP and torque numbers faster (basically immediately).

I haven't seen a roadster autocross, but I imagine that same situation gets compounded in autox because there is more time spent accelerating out of low-speed corners where an EV will maximize its torque advantage against an ICE vehicle.

brianman | 22 février 2012

Unless I'm misunderstanding, I get the impression you're saying that horsepower should be reported as a variable number (relative to speed and/or gear) rather than a fixed number to make comparisons meaningful. Correct?

If so, that would be interesting to see as well.

mwu | 22 février 2012

I don't know if I would go that far since horsepower vs torque measurements event between ICE vehicles can have similar discrepancies in comparisons. Mainly, I was just bringing up the point that ideas of performance have to come from multiple numbers (and preferably graphs over RPM ranges) rather than single values.

Btw, another value sometimes used for an estimation of performance is power to weight ratio. However it'll suffer from a similar skew with EVs where it doesn't show that torque doesn't need to ramp up.

If you just want to compare 0-60 accel, the best numbers would be 0-60 times :)
Another EV to ICE comparison that I believe would work well would be some overlay graphs. The first would be an overlay of the two vehicles' torque vs rpm curve and the second would be an overlay of the two vehicles' horsepower vs rpm curve. One more that could prove interesting would be torque vs time up to 60Mph or so. This way you could see gear shifts in the ICE's curve vs no shifting on the EV's curve.

Those would require taking both cars to the same dyno. Different dynos can provide different numbers, so it's more meaningful to see numbers compared from the same dyno.

mwu | 22 février 2012

grr, no edit feature -- 'event' in the first sentence should be 'even'. Since I'm already adding another post I'll add:

Basically, I don't know that any single number would be an unskewed comparison of performance as there are many facets to performance. Nice visual displays of the data can provide a clearer representation of the strengths and weaknesses of two vehicles.

I'd call myself a car enthusiast, but by no means would I say I'm a definitive source of performance info... this is how I understand it as I've learned from my early post-college days of autox and modding. :)

jbunn | 24 février 2012

To put my spin on what mwu said, where an electric shines is racing stoplight to stoplight. Take an ice and an ev that can both go 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.

With immediate torque, by the time both cars are doing 30 mph the ev will be well out in front. At the end of 5 seconds, both cars will be going 60 but the ice must still be playing catch-up, no?

The big difference for your passengers though is going to be that off the line kick which will make the car feel much more highly powered than we are used to. Or so I suspect.

Discoducky | 25 février 2012

Exactly, and at the light I hope to have my foot on the accelerator pedal, not the brake, as the car should come to a stop on it's own (assuming I'm not on a downslope), so that I'm ready to go.

Also, the advantage is to the EV in any scenario where the ICE isn't in a better torque scenario. For Model S this is assumed to be up to a much higher RPM or MPH (~7800RPM or 80MPH possibly). So I'm assuming that you'd beat that same ICE handily on a slalom or any course that doesn't require true 4WD (read: gravel, dirt, mud) or have a very long straightaway where speeds are sustained where the ICE torque curve would have an advantage.

Net is I'm expecting Model S performance to beat a 2013 M5 just about everywhere and be very close at Nurburgring.

Even though this car looks to be quite amazing lb/hp''s still shifting, has a much higher CG, Cod and might weigh more than Model S while not being 50/50 and rear wheel drive.

560BHP and 7.66 lb/hp

List price est $100,000

Curb weight est 4288 lb

Wheelbase 116.7 in.

Length 193.3 in.

Width 74.4 in.

Height 57.3 in.

Coefficient of drag 0.33

"Make sure you brace your head and neck before stepping on the accelerator when launching the new M5 because as soon as the wide rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires grab the driving surface, the forward surge is violent. With traction control switched off, Launch Control is activated by pushing the shift lever forward, allowing optimal performance off the line (Launch Control can be used only once every few minutes). In this mode, the computer performs the gear changes of the new 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox, dubbed M DCT with Drivelogic. If you prefer shifting yourself, make sure your fingers are ready to pull the upshift paddle because under full acceleration, the 7200-rpm redline comes in an instant. Project leader of the M5, Siegfried Friedman, says that you should leave the shifting to the computer because it’s faster than any human. This gearbox has six different settings—three in “D” for full auto and three “S” modes for manual shifting. Most of our time at Ascari was spent with the gearbox in S3, designed for serious track sessions. In whichever mode you’re in, the M5’s passing power is amazing, with gobs of torque coming on as soon as you tip into the pedal."

Model S is still going to eat this car's lunch every time while being CO2 free and perfectly quiet

Volker.Berlin | 25 février 2012

One reason why the M5 is so superb is that in fact it has (practically) even 50:50 weight distribution (engine in front, gear box at the rear axle). Long wheel base, short overhangs and, obviously, RWD. It is as good a car as an ICE can possibly get. Not an easy contender to beat, that's for sure. As you know, I'm totally sold on the "S", but I would not bet my money against the M5 just yet.

Discoducky | 25 février 2012

I have no doubt it will be close, but the low CG in hammerhead might make the difference:

1:27:0 BMW M5 E39

1:27.2 Tesla Roadster (mildly moist)

Timo | 25 février 2012

Net is I'm expecting Model S performance to beat a 2013 M5 just about everywhere and be very close at Nurburgring.

It won't beat M5 anywhere where high top speed is required. In Nürburgring there are couple of very fast sections where M5 could easily get so much lead that Model S wouldn't catch it at the rest of the track. You would need that missing second gear to do that.

AWD Model S Performance with a bit longer gear ratio would be tough to beat (two motors giving the much needed acceleration and longer gear ratio to give high speed). I'm pretty confident that GenIII Roadster would be too much to M5, but Model S isn't quite that yet. I actually think that AWD Model X Performance would be tougher cookie for M5 to beat than Model S Performance. We really need that AWD Model S if not else but comparison sake.

brianman | 25 février 2012

IMO, the key point here is this...

The last few posts in this thread suggest:
EV is in the ballpark of one of the performance shining stars of the ICE industry, which has 100 years of technology evolution behind it.

Given that, it's easy to conclude:
Tesla has already accomplished it's goal of EV competitiveness on the performance front.

Quite impressive regardless of the S results on the track.

That said...
It's going to be very fun watching the track results for the S.

Discoducky | 26 février 2012


Since it's nearly assured that Top Gear will acquire (not sure how but sure they will) a Model S Performance and run it around their track what do you think will be the time then? as well as F10?

MSP: 1:26.5
F10: 1:26.7

Just sayin'

Sudre_ | 26 février 2012

I am pretty confident that Top Gear has proven they are immune from liable suits so when they acquire a Model S Jeremy will claim the car ran out of power so they couldn't complete the test.

I noticed they test cars they don't like on rainy days. They will wait for a day when it is pouring ran and test it then. The time will be much closer to the 2 minute marker in the pouring ran.

I stopped watching the show before the Tesla lawsuit because of the unequal way they test cars. It really truly is not a car comparison show. It's a comedy show with cars and I found it boring after the first year of watching.

Timo | 26 février 2012

@Sudre_, stop reading my mind! :-)

Brian H | 27 février 2012

Yeah, the "just funnin'!" defense seems bullet-proof so far.

BTW, it's "liability suits", not "liable".