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Model S quicker than 0-60 time suggests

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by PeterW, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. PeterW

    PeterW Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    I have been thinking about how fast the Model S seems, and the drag race against the M5.

    I believe that the 0-60 times are misleading. A 0-60 time is a measure of how long it takes for a vehicle to reach 60mph. It is not a measure of distance. The Model S may be quicker off the line than an ICE but have a slower 0-60 time. The ICE may reach 60mph before the Model S (remember we are only talking tenths of a second) while covering less distance.

    Therefore a vehicle with a comparable or slightly superior 0-60 time may still lose a drag with a Model S race even if they achieve their specified 0-60 time.
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Apr 20, 2012
    Rocklin, CA
    A bit of a thought experiment to be sure.

    If the acceleration is constant, then same distance. If nonlinear then 60mph could be reached quicker or slower. 1/4 mile is measure of both; how fast when cross finish line and how fast to travel the distance.

    However I think the main trick is the launch control on the M5 -- if you don't use it, or don't get it quite right, then the time will suffer. But the S is so simple it'll just give the same time as long as the batteries aren't overheating.
  3. Johan

    Johan Funds for M3 secured. Contingent on wife aproval.

    Feb 9, 2012
    Drammen, Norway
    You may be correct and it's interesting to think of it. I made a super crude graph that is exaggerated, but shows the principle. One S and one ICE with the same 0-60 time.
    Think of the Model S with high torque from 0 rpm and no gear - quick off the line, maybe not as good at higher speeds.
    The ICE: slow off the line but gradually builds up more and more acceleration.
    The curves intersect at a given time (say 4.4 seconds) and at that point both cars have the same speed (say 60 mph).


    Distance travelled is a function of speed and time (speed x time). In the diagram the AUC (Area Under the Curve) represents distance travelled. From this exaggerated drawing you can see that the Model S has gone a greater distance than the ICE curve at that particular point in time = larger AUC. Actually I think that is what we saw in the Model S v.s. M5 video: The Model S won the race even though it looked like at the end the M5 was maybe even going faster (all though yes the M5 did loose traction in the beginning and probably did not use launc controll correctly).
  4. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

    Oct 12, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    This should also make it easier to merge into traffic.
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Believe me, it will. The Roadster can easily pop into a pretty small gap in traffic. The main thing you have to watch out for is scaring the other drivers. :wink:
  6. ken830

    ken830 Model S 85, Model 3 Performance

    Jun 19, 2012
    San Carlos, CA
    The Model S is definitely quicker than the 0-60 time suggests. In acceleration tests that start from a dead stop, ICE vehicles have an advantage. ICE vehicles have no torque from 0 rpms, but if they are allowed to rev to the peak of their power band before dropping the clutch in a proper launch, then they "magically" gain a lot of torque at low speeds, which will help get the car moving a lot quicker.

    A better test of acceleration is a rolling start test, like the 5-60 mph test. This would be more indicative of how much quicker the Model S is compared to an ICE vehicle. In general, ICE vehicles have 5-60 mph times that are worse than 0-60 mph times. It's quite the opposite for an EV, and I expect the Models S to have a 5-60 mph time that is better than the 0-60 mph time. And 5-60 mph times more closely resemble our day-to-day traffic-light-to-traffic-light experience no matter what car we drive.
  7. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

    Jan 22, 2010
    I couldn't find a rolling start (5-60) for Model S but the BMW M5 is a lot slower from 5-60 compared to 0-60. Car and Driver pegged a 2013 M5 "rolling start" at 4.6 seconds compared to just 3.7 for 0-60.
  8. goyogi

    goyogi Member

    May 22, 2011
    ::Silicon Valley:: ::Home of Tesla::

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