Tesla Model S beats a BMW M5 (F10) in a drag race [video]

A very close race

Earlier this week we should you a surprise ending for a drag race between a Ferrari 458 Italia and a BMW 3-Series (E30), and now we have another one involving a Tesla Model S and a BMW M5 (F10). Automobile contributor Ezra Dyer has managed to organize a drag race between these two totally different cars at the Gingerman Raceway in western Michigan.

We remind you that the new M5 is equipped with a V8 4.4-liter twin-turbo engine with 552 hp (412 kW) and a peak torque of 502 lb-ft (680 Nm), linked to a 7-speed M double clutch gearbox. As for the Model S, this has a rear-mounted electric motor capable of generating 416 hp (310 kW) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of instant torque.

The sticker price on that M5 after destination is $106,695, while the Tesla Model S Performance costs $102,270. The BMW is considerably lighter than the electric Tesla, with a curb weight of 4387 lbs (1990 kg) in comparison to the 4640 lbs (2105 kg) of the Model S.

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Comments (28)

bert2578 bert2578
I have a feeling that they intentionally gave the Tesla a better driver.
Oct 12th, 2012 11:53pm
0 0
Shotokan6 Shotokan6
I think we are missing the point here. The Tesla S is not intended to be a sports/performance car. So regardless of who won the drag race, this is an extraodinary performance for the Tesla.
Oct 12th, 2012 4:04pm
1 1
eddie eddie
Tesla great looking, no gas needed, no oil changes or tune ups, awesome performance. I want one!
Oct 12th, 2012 2:24am
1 1
Siawa Siawa
False start by Tesla. Not bothered about the results, just pointing it out :)
Oct 11th, 2012 10:43pm
1 1
xoff xoff
I'll take both of them, thank you.
Oct 11th, 2012 6:47pm
1 1
Ivo_205 Ivo_205
I wonder what would happen if there would be corners on the course.
Oct 11th, 2012 5:37pm
2 0
HristoStoychev HristoStoychev
Hey all. We all get that the Electric cars have instant torque and all - but lets face it the Tesla's top speed is 130mph and that far from a sports car. Also - I do not get the need of a car that has a range of 300 miles if you only do 55 ... And now on the Drag race - lets just look at pure statistics: BMW official tests show: C/D TEST RESULTS: Zero to 60 mph: 3.7 sec Zero to 100 mph: 8.3 sec Zero to 150 mph: 18.3 sec Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.8 sec Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.4 sec ¼-mile: 12.0 sec @ 122 mph Top speed (governor limited): 155–190 mph Braking, 70–0 mph: 165 ft you can reference to the Car and Driver Magazine test. and Tesla Model S Performance - claims 0-60 in 4.4 and 1/4 mile drag in 12.6 seconds So really - there is no way that the M5 will lose to the "Performance" package of Tesla model S Oh - and I read somewhere that maybe the race was 1/2 miles instead of the standard Quarter - and once again NO WAY because the tesla will hit it's electric limiter at 130 ( just before it runs out of charge)
Oct 11th, 2012 4:59am
1 1
Oct 11th, 2012 4:35am
0 2
RuleZ RuleZ
I do like Teslas, but I bet that once out of 3 that the Tesla lost was when the M5 driver learned how to drive. The M5 started late, AND it spun wheels and shifted into 3rd too early and, therefore, it was running in the 3-4000 rpms. You can hear it!
Oct 11th, 2012 3:53am
1 1
Joao Oliveira Joao Oliveira
THE TESLA ONLY WON BECAUSE IT IS AWD AND NOT BECAUSE HAD MORE POWER!! the race was too short, Put the tesla against a Panamera Turbo S and see how it get raped in not time.... Best 0-60 times recorded so far by independent journalists Tesla model S: 3.9 Panamera Turbo S: 3.3 M5 F10 DCT: 3.7s E63 AMG: 3.8s PS. The BMW launch was poor.... And then, when the 60 goes by, electric cars are slower than a Honda Civic SI, and when the corners arrive, I woulde like to see the tesla performing with it 2100+ kg of weight.... And yeah the tesla has 400+ of torque at 0 RPM, the porsches and M5's have 0 torque at 0 RPM and are still faster... how cool is that? Dont get me wrong, electric cars are great, but people just try to make it better than they realy are...
Oct 11th, 2012 12:43am
0 1
CDspeed CDspeed
Wrong! The Tesla Model S is rear wheel drive RWD. The Model S's motor is mounted between the rear wheels and only drives the rear wheels. The upcoming Model X will have two motors for AWD.
Oct 11th, 2012 1:32am
1 0
davetibo davetibo
I don't think it's AWD, but it would be a great option. Like it or not, you have to admit it's impressive for a first car from Tesla (I know, there was the Roadster too). And no this wasn't the most serious drag of all time!
Oct 11th, 2012 5:52am
1 0
rare6499 rare6499
Not sure why you guys are hating on Tesla so much. The model S is a great looking car.
Oct 10th, 2012 11:03pm
2 0
NYyanks NYyanks
443 lb-ft of torque at 0 rpm is definitely fast.
Oct 10th, 2012 10:58pm
1 0
BMariosW BMariosW
Who TF cares about Tesla? I thing TEsla needs to visit Top GEar again in order to see how long it takes to break down!
Oct 10th, 2012 9:40pm
0 3
CDspeed CDspeed
The Teslas Top Gear tested never broke down, it's been known for a while now that the break downs were staged. When Jeremy doesn't like a car sometimes he likes to make them look foolish, he often makes Porsches look bad because he doesn't like them. And we all know he doesn't care for any car that is or tries to be environmentally friendly.
Oct 11th, 2012 1:41am
1 3
Mikeado Mikeado
In the run they showed us, the Tesla set off about half a second before the M5. So considering it was faster "two out of three times", and one of them was effectively a jump start, it's probably fairer to say that they're about even. Either way, I didn't realise the Model S was that fast.
Oct 10th, 2012 7:57pm
1 0
AlinCare AlinCare
2 tones?:/
Oct 10th, 2012 7:37pm
1 2
norther norther
PATHETIC video. id take the m5 annyyyy ddaaaayyy
Oct 10th, 2012 7:30pm
2 3
bmw2002m bmw2002m
Don't know if you could call that fair - the Tesla jumped first and if anything the M5 was pulling it in at the end. Over a mile and both cars starting at the same time the M5 would murder it.
Oct 10th, 2012 7:20pm
2 4
mhectorgato mhectorgato
As pointed out, low end power has never been the issue of electric motors. My question is, a drag race impacts the driving range of the M3 by, what, 0.1%. What impact does this have on the range of the Tesla before recharge? 5%? 10%? I wish there was the was a Tesla model with the Volt's power train. Tesla cars are very nice, well designed, technologically advanced. But until the infrastructure supports pure electric vehicles, this will be a hard sell.
Oct 10th, 2012 6:54pm
4 0
Very well said.
Oct 10th, 2012 7:08pm
1 0
mroctober mroctober
So all else being comparable except Tesla owner can't drag race 20 times a day. How often do $100k car owners drag race anyways?
Oct 10th, 2012 7:29pm
3 1
Wickedated Wickedated
Range is not really the issue unless you drive long highway commutes daily. Most people drive around 20 miles at a time. The issue is charging, Who wants to wait 10+hours for a charge? Until they make electric vehicles that recharge as fast as a gas car fills up, my guess is it's a hard sell indeed.
Oct 10th, 2012 11:48pm
0 1
Madness Madness
Its all well and good setting one's own drag-lengths, but when it comes down the the traditional quarter of a mile, the M5 would smoke the Model S. Now I've nothing against Tesla, or electric cars, but you could see the M5 rapidly gaining ground as they approached the finish. Plus the M5's start was a bit snakey, put the stig in there and then we'll see who's boss.
Oct 10th, 2012 6:15pm
2 3
tazcubed tazcubed
Hold on...I have absolutely nothing against Tesla, but even the announcer says it beat the M5 2 out of 3 times. So, is it a factor of the Tesla's battery on the last run or driver experience/getting to figure out the launch control in the BMW (or both)? Regardless, I'm glad to see that you get comparable performance either way, but what's less apparent is the method of getting the results...
Oct 10th, 2012 6:10pm
2 3
dcars62 dcars62
Electric motors are more powerful than ICE's. Always have been, that's not the issue. Transferring energy quickly is the major factor effecting electric cars.
Oct 10th, 2012 6:03pm
3 0
Shotokan6 Shotokan6
Oct 12th, 2012 3:34pm
0 1