The Tesla is a monster down low, whereas the Merc screams up high.
Motor1.com’s digital pages have witnessed many drag races, and when a Tesla Model S is involved, you usually know the outcome before clicking the play button. This seven-minute clip from Lovecars is a bit different, in that it actually features three races between the mental P100D and its competition, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-Door. Does the Tesla win? Of course it does, except when it doesn’t. Come on, you know we won’t spoil the end result, or at least, not all of them.
However, we will explain why this video isn’t just another episode of Tesla humiliates the world. For starters, it’s always nice to see Tiff Needell behind the wheel, and his new Lovecars gig looks great so far. Secondly, the mighty Merc isn’t humiliated – its 577-bhp twin-turbo V8 makes it a formidable four-door against any challenger, be it a two-door supercar or an electric super saloon. Yes, the Tesla absolutely leaves the AMG for dead off the line, but these drag races don’t stop at a quarter-mile, which is where the P100D shines.
Gallery: Tesla Model S P100D vs Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-door
There’s also a rolling-start race with both cars pinning the skinny pedal from 50 mph. We don’t often see Tesla roll races, but before you start thinking this is the Tesla’s weak point, the Mercedes gets absolutely slaughtered. Tiff had the Merc set up to shift gears by itself, and in just the brief moment it took the transmission to shift down, the Model S with its instant power was simply gone. Had the AMG been ready and waiting in the right gear, well, we still think the Tesla would’ve had the jump. But not by much.
There’s another interesting aspect to this competition that’s not about winning the race, but rather, the ability to drive home afterward. Drag racing certainly uses considerably more fuel than normal driving, and the same can be said for Tesla's battery-draining full-power blasts in Ludicrous mode. The distance-to-empty figure for both cars was noted before and after the racing action, and surprisingly, both vehicles lost approximately 50 miles of range. In that aspect, then, petrol and electric power were nearly equal.
Beyond that, this video is an excellent showcase of where current petrol and electric cars shine, and where they suffer.