Ferrari's CEO shoots down claims that Tesla's Model S is secretly a supercar

Ferrari's CEO shoots down claims that Tesla's Model S is secretly a supercar

I’d wager that Tesla Model S is more of a supercar than Ferrari is a family car. And I feel confident that the new Roadster will best Ferrari’s BEV effort in more ways than one.

He also took a shot at Tesla, citing an earlier 0-60 time:

“"I have read some interesting analyst reports that suggest that now that Tesla has done a car that does 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and there is no room for supercars," he said.

He can’t even admit the correct 0-60 time (2.3 seconds) for the P100D.

Why does this guy have such a vendetta against Tesla?

SO | 5 février 2018

Why? Because deep down he knows that Tesla is starting to eat his lunch. And when the Roadster 2 comes out, game on!

carlk | 5 février 2018

"He can’t even admit the correct 0-60 time (2.3 seconds) for the P100D."

Because that beats any of his cars super or not.

Frank99 | 5 février 2018

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Upton Sinclair

Silver2K | 5 février 2018

"If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first," Ferrari Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters, according to Bloomberg. "People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I'm not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it's doable by all of us."

Nexxus | 5 février 2018

Then why aren't you doing it yet Marchionne?

jordanrichard | 5 février 2018

Ferrari makes 100% of its living from selling an image. They like others are quickly changing the narrative. They will no longer brag about acceleration times, but will tout the "soul" of their cars. They will also put even more emphasis on track ability.

If you think about it, Tesla is in a way forcing Ferrari to "retreat" back to where Ferrari got it's start and that was on race tracks.

There will however always be a group of people that will always buy a Porsche, Lambo, Ferrari, etc just because of the name. Mercedes-Benz stopped building real cars over 20 years ago and have been living off a well crafted image ever since. Jaguars were notorious for breaking down, yet people still bought them because of the "prestige" associated with the brand.

jordanrichard | 5 février 2018

"......So whenever Ferrari will express itself in a fully electric vehicle, it will do so by making sure that both sound and handling are reflective of Ferrari's heritage" Sound!? Is he implying that they will follow BMW's footstep and play a sound track of vroom, vroom when one is driving a BEV Ferrari?

Also, why on earth are they comparing a MS to a 488? If anything, they need to compare it to their FF car. | 5 février 2018

I suspect most ICE companies that are negative on EVs and Tesla actually have emergency projects to build their own EVs. Otherwise they will be left in the dustbin of failed companies. Hard to sell $250K+ cars when Tesla offers vehicles that are more comfortable and have better everyday performance.

johnse | 5 février 2018

Car companies have been faking engine sounds for years. One article:

“[BMW] M division engineers discovered that the F10 chassis, like that of so many other new cars these days, is so effective at insulating the cabin from road and engine noise that the M5 lost one of the characteristics that made the previous two iterations such visceral thrills to let off the leash: its bark. To give the driver a better feel for the engine, an exterior recording of the M5’s motor plays through the car’s stereo. The precise sample is determined by engine load and rpm. Some of the real engine notes are still audible to the driver, so the recording is more of a backing track. BMW says the setup helps the driver shift by ear and reduces the chances of bumping the rev limiter when using the full rpm range.“

The article goes on to list several other brands doing similar feats.

Dramsey | 5 février 2018

A supercar is defined by much more than simple raw acceleration. I'm sure even the most rabid Tesla fan knows that the Model S is not a supercar, and doesn't compete with Ferrari in any way. There are no comparisons to be made between available Tesla and Ferrari models, other than that a wealthy person might well own one of each.

Of course the new Roadster, when it appears, will change things. We'll see.

I did like @jordanrichard's comment, though:

"Ferrari makes 100% of its living from selling an image."

As if Tesla doesn't? | 5 février 2018

To me a supercar can be used as a daily driver, and still have fun and performance. Yes, not the definition everyone agrees on, but the traditional supercar prior to Tesla is often a awful daily driver. Impractical in so many ways due to lack of cargo space, zero back seat passenger room, limited range, high noise levels, poor egress, high maintenance costs and slow off the line. Basically they look nice and are expensive toys for the track - that's about it.

jordanrichard | 5 février 2018

Dramsey, what then is the definition of a “supercar”. A Model S P100D out accelerates most if not all road going Ferraris. So in that regard it does “compete” with Ferrari. Handling, well of course a Ferrari will be better but that is like comparing a NHL player with a figure skater.

As for Tesla selling purely on image. Please point out the ads ran by Tesla to sell an “image”. To this day there are still people who don’t know what a Tesla is. Even my dog has heard of Ferrari.... I will grant you that Ferrari doesn’t run ads either, however at all the big car shows they always talk about their racing history, their exclusivity, etc. IF Tesla is at a car show, they simply display the cars without the aid of mini-skirt wearing models. They also will let anyone sit in their cars and even test drive their cars.

Silver2K | 5 février 2018


Tesla has supercar performance. The model S does not have hyper car performance.

The rs7 is a supercar and any P model does well against it or beats it outright. This also goes for the M series from BMW and AMG from Mercedes.

RedShift | 5 février 2018

Teslas cannot be tracked. Even though most supercars aren’t tracked, they retain that ability. Even though their owners don’t do it.

Also, the maximum speed (how ‘fast’) of supervars is above current Tesla models, and they can sustain it for a longer time.

That’s the difference.

carlk | 6 février 2018

Image does sell cars although you have to have something to support that image. Acceleration and top speed no one else could reach and race track winnings are always what are needed to support a supercar image. Ferarri kinds are thinking hard now what else they could use to maintain that image but I'm afraid there is nothing else other than the engine noise they might still be able to use for that. Even the engine noise will get old when it's not supported by performance behind that. I always feel sound of a loud car that does not go (as) fast just adds the feeling of the car is struggling.

Madatgascar | 6 février 2018

We can scoff about sound all we want, but it’s important. Tesla would do well to focus on it. The sound of the electric motor is pretty cool on hard acceleration - like you are being vacuumed into hyperspace! But at some levels it is an unpleasant whine that could probably be changed or negated with noise canceling technology. I wouldn’t suggest emulating ICE noises, but in general, whining is bad.

Silver2K | 6 février 2018


actually BMW has the performance, but it is recommended not to push the car regularly. there are many youtube videos that show you M3's are very fast car but should not be pushed on a normal basis. the e46 models had weak frames that would crack under heavy torque. they had a recall on that issue. on the other hand, you can push a tesla all you want and not have the issues a BMW has.

I also doubt very much you can sustain high speed for a long period of time on those cars without heavily reducing the life expectancy on the engine and transmission. Even race cars can't maintain those high speeds without having major overhaul done after the race. If you don't do heavy regen on a Tesla you can sustain the speed for quite a bit of time.

Silver2K | 6 février 2018


we all know our cars can most likely do better, but Tesla is holding them back, because they need to cover the drive units and pack for 8 years and infinite miles.

carlk | 6 février 2018

"We can scoff about sound all we want, but it’s important. "

It's actually important only for people outside the car. Like when you watch car races or someone in his sports car gunning the engine to impress others. Car makers like Lambo or Ferrari all know that. They say sound sell cars but they never say sound improves driving pleasure. This is the opinion from someone came from Porsche Cayman S with the sweetest flat six just inches from your ears. Believe me you get pleasure of acceleration form your body not from your ears. Otherwise we will all be driving a diesel truck.

RedShift | 6 février 2018


I had a friend who worked for GM and recommended I buy my previous car, a sport pack puny E46 325i. Best car I ever owned.
He owned it too. He tracked it too. No issues.
Track a Tesla and you might go into limp mode. Thing is, the Tesla BMS is not built for hardcore tracking or racing. It will limit power.
So the weak link is not the chassis, (though we don't know that, since car won't allow you to push it) it's the battery.

The heavy curb weight doesn't encourage sporty behavior on the track either.

The new Roadster might change that though. We will have to see.

carlk | 6 février 2018

How those guys do that? Other than those obvious weight reduction mods do you think they have done anything on the battery or drivetrain?

RedShift | 6 février 2018

In that link they specifically state Battery and BMS being the limitations that couldn't be overcome. Car starts to shut down.

jordanrichard | 6 février 2018

In the scheme of things, relatively few people track their street cars.

carlgo2 | 6 février 2018

I still remember the first time I saw a Ferrari race. It was a foggy day at Laguna Seca, way back when, and the featured race had a Ferrari GTO driven by Ken Miles, the new Stingray Corvette, an all-aluminum XK-E and numerous other older Corvettes and Porsche racers with giant two liter engines...All enthusiast looked forward to this event.

The Ferrari 3.0 liter V-12 had what, maybe 300 hp, not much more than any number of nondescript cars today, not to mention pick-up trucks!

It had a quiet, smooth and fabulous V-12 sound and Miles would honk the horn and flash the lights as he pulled ahead of the others, winning handily. I don't care that Aunt Maude in a Mustang might beat one at a stop light today, not even knowing she was racing. That Ferrari was and is still a supercar. It is more than speed.

That Tesla roadster in space today is also a supercar. It is a matter of context.

warren_tran | 6 février 2018

IF anyone claim or consider Model S is in any level performance of super car such as Ferrari is ludicrous or insane.

Performance is NOT about straight line acceleration. Can you take your Tesla to the track and run the course for 10 laps? Can it keep up in the corners with Ferrari at the track. How about sustain top speed for more than 10 seconds?

Can the new Roadster do it? Maybe but then we don't know yet. But please, do not place Model S in the same category as Ferrari as super car performance.

Silver2K | 6 février 2018

You think a model S cannot sustain high speeds more than 10 seconds? Thats an idiotic statement

The p100d takes most production Ferraris in 2 out of 3 categories.

Have a nice day.


Silver2K | 6 février 2018

I find it funny that most pick on the Tesla weakness, the multiple rounds on the track, but don't talk about the categories it excells in.

When Tesla takes all 3 categories, I will look forward to someone saying "well, it doesn fly so it sucks because the space shuttle can beat it"

Silver2K | 6 février 2018
NKYTA | 6 février 2018

@warrentt, if all you want is track performance an not a daily driver, why not just go all in on a Formula1 car instead of the Ferrari?

In other words, why settle for the top 1% car when you can afford the the top 0.1%?

@carlgo, I drove my 85 vette to! Laguna Seca. Tracking it vs a mere Formula 4 would have been silly.


El Mirio | 6 février 2018


warren_tran | 6 février 2018


So posting a video of model S able to track 1 lap with similar time as an Audi and BMW translate to it being super car category? Now, that is funny. Did I miss part of the video where it compare against a Ferrari?

I believe the Op main discussion was about model S is equal or better than the Ferrari.


I'm not the one claiming all I want is track performance car. I believe the thesis is model S is consider as supercar category by the OP (comparable to Ferrari). Let be honest and call a spade a spade. Tesla is Quick in straight line acceleration, Fast is different. Performance include top speed and handling in all scenarios.

Btw, when did formula 1 car become road legal. Didn't know Dot approve it.

NoMoPetrol | 7 février 2018

My Johnson is longer than your Johnson.

Oh, yeah? Well mine is thicker than yours.

Silver2K | 7 février 2018

Warrentt | February 6, 2018
So posting a video of model S able to track 1 lap with similar time as an Audi and BMW translate to it being super car category? Now, that is funny. Did I miss part of the video where it compare against a Ferrari?
I believe the Op main discussion was about model S is equal or better than the Ferrari.

The point of that video is to show it can keep up with a supercar (audi rs7) on the track. And keep in mind that's the p85d, not the p100d.

The Model S P edition can take all cars in 0-60 and that includes limited edition cars, can any Ferrari do that?
The Model S P edition can take almost all production cars in 2 out of 3 categories.

A tesla can fly now in space.. I'm sure you're going to bring up "it needed help to get into space"

I await your space shuttle excuse when the roadster hits.

PS: A track purposed Tesla does exist and I'm sure Elon can do the same in his cars but that's not their intended purpose.

Silver2K | 7 février 2018
alanduxbury | 7 février 2018

I know of one Tesla Roadster that's already probably got a record of more miles than any Ferrari ever built...

jordanrichard | 7 février 2018

Warrentt, then just exactly what is the official definition of a "super car". Don't list brands, list the official parameters, not opinions.

Also BTW, even my S85 will get the jump on a Ferrari. Sitting at a light, both cars sitting at "idle", no using launch control, no hitting the rev limiter in anticipation, just simply sitting their at idle, when the light turns green, I will be gone. I will most likely hit the speed limit before the Ferrari.

nadurse | 7 février 2018

The model S is a large luxury sedan with incredible performance. Can it out accelerate a lot of super cars? Sure. Does acceleration alone make it a super car? No. Does it have the top speed of a super car? 155mph... No. Does it track like a super car? No, the model S battery overheats at sustained high speeds (as in several road course laps/circuits). But it does have great performance overall and suspension is very good and well tuned. Does it look like a supercar? Not really, it looks like a very sleek and stylish 4 door luxury sedan.

That said, the Roadster 2 will be in the super/hyper car discussion for best of all time. We know its going to have the acceleration, top speed, and the looks of a supercar, the only remaining question is how it will track and how the battery thermal management system works under those extreme conditions; me personally, I am confident that Tesla will have that part figured out. And I will guess that it will be available before Ferrari has theirs ready to sell.

carlk | 7 février 2018

Does acceleration alone makes a supercar? Definitely not. Does acceleration worse than a 4dr sedan disqualify one as a supercar. I would argue that's the case. Everything Ferrari is making since P100D came along are just sports car and not supercars.. Just my humble opinion.

nadurse | 7 février 2018

I wouldnt say it disqualifies them because they check all the boxes that I mentioned, and though its 0-60 acceleration doesnt best a P100D they are still very quick. Its not like, theres only one car in the world that gets to say its a supercar and then if youre not the best in that one benchmark then you cant be in that category. That doesnt make sense.

There are tons of cars that can be built to go fast and quick acceleration (even more if you consider aftermarket mods) that are faster than a P100D, doesnt mean they are a supercar. Dodge Hellcat/Demon, COPO camaros, mustang cobra jets are all faster and quicker than a P100D and are production cars, I wouldnt consider any of them supercars.

Silver2K | 7 février 2018

If you can't take a 4800lb sport sedan with a 2500lb sports car, you're not a supercar.

carlk | 7 février 2018

Super means above and beyond. There is nothing super about a sports car having to chase the tail of a 5+2 large sedan. Tesla even not making a supercar yet has set the supercar bar much higher than it was before.

warren_tran | 7 février 2018

Great, by definition of all Telsa fan club because model S can beat Ferrari in 1/4 mile race then it is super car status.

Hard to argue with ignorance

SO | 7 février 2018

Warrent - it’s opinion. Not ignorance. And opinion sells cars. Supercars losing luster is not good for supercar manufacturers.

You have to admit, if a supercar cannot beat a family 7 seater sedan at the drag strip with grandma driving it, the supercar doesn’t look quite as “super”. But you should be happy. The “supercar” makers have to up their game in order to compete and that will make the supercar a bit better than the current version.

carlk | 7 février 2018

@Warrentt seems to have serious comprehensive difficulties. No one here has said the model S is a supercar.

jordanrichard | 7 février 2018

Warranty, you still haven’t answered my real basic question. What are the requirements for a car to be a “supercar”?

warren_tran | 7 février 2018


So what is the point of this thread? The content and discussion seem to suggest the model S is one. The OP stated this below

I’d wager that Tesla Model S is more of a supercar than Ferrari is a family car.

warren_tran | 7 février 2018


How about you state what is your requirement of classification of a super car . We can discuss if the Model S belong in that category

jordanrichard | 7 février 2018

I am not the one who said it was a “super car”. However you said it was a super car. So you obviously have a set definition.

jordanrichard | 7 février 2018

I meant you said it wasn’t a super car.

Tropopause | 7 février 2018


“I’d wager that Tesla Model S is more of a supercar than Ferrari is a family car.”

My point in making that statement was to point out that Tesla Model S is checking more boxes than Ferrari. Sure Model S isn’t a track car and can’t top 200mph but it can do a heck of a lot more things better than Ferrari. After Roadster 2.0 comes out I don’t see anything left for Ferrari to claim as the “best-of”. The Ferrari CEO can’t even admit that an electric non-supercar can beat his best offererings in 0-60 mph acceleration and most to 100 mph. He looks like a fool to me.