Feature Flick: Tesla Model S Out-Drags BMW M5

Are electric cars always slow, planet-saving vehicles? Not necessarily. Contributor Ezra Dyer recently pitted a Tesla Model S electric sedan against one of Germany's hottest performance four-doors -- the 2013 BMW M5 -- in an impromptu drag race, and the result was closer than anyone expected.

Dyer subjected the two luxury sedans to a 0-to-100-mph drag race at Gingerman Raceway in western Michigan. While we won't spoil the result, it's worth looking at how the two cars compare on paper. The 2013 BMW M5 has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission directs that power to the rear wheels. The EPA says the car swills gas at a rate of 14/20 mpg (city/highway).

The 2013 Tesla Model S Performance uses a rear-mounted electric motor rated for 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. That's less grunt than the BMW, but the key is that the motor produces all of its torque instantly, whereas the M5's torque band peaks at 1500 rpm. The Tesla's electric motor is backed up by an 85-kWh lithium-ion battery that the company claims will allow for a driving range of about 300 miles per charge.

When it comes to price and weight, there's little difference between the two. The BMW M5 seen here wears an as-tested sticker of $106,695 (after destination) and weighs 4387 lbs, while the Tesla Model S Performance costs $102,270 and tips the scales at 4640 lbs.

So, which will take the drag-racing crown: a twin-turbocharged gasoline performance sedan, or a futuristic electric luxury car? Watch the video below to find out.

Click here for video

Mike Fuser
M5 is a pinnacle of XX century automotive technology,  but it is 2014 and its obvious that its time had run out. 
Despite its impressive performance Tesla S design is still really quite basic, a lot could be done to further improve performance. Upcoming all wheel drive model will be faster. 

motornature
I love EVs but you should add the Tesla is the slowest of all cars with more than 400 hp. A M5 can do 305 kph (189 mph), it would be much quicker off the line than a Tesla if it add the same gearing.
Driftster
This video/test alone makes the legitimacy of every single "test" you've performed become terribly suspect. You compare 2 cars....Not only do you launch them at completely different times and don't bother to do it again as to get accurate test results... but you manage to NOT use the M5's launch control, in effect testing a car in it's peak performance range vs a car completely out of it..... You've managed to tell the world that a 414HP and 440ftlb car that weights 4600lbs is faster than a 560+HP 500+ftlb 4300lb car..... Way to go...It's articles like this that are the reason the automotive world is filled with a bunch of slack jawed morons who believe the FT86 is gods gift to man and there isn't anything faster than a GT-R
Samuel Hoogendoorn
It's kind of sad, but the infernal combustion engine is finally going away. This video is proof. With 144 less hp, 57 less ft. lbs of torque, and more than 200 lbs heavier; the Tesla Model S with its seamless electric power train smoked the far more powerful M5.
František Kubiš
sweet :) M5 is cool, but I like Tesla and its silent power.
Mike Fuser
@motornature  Tesla could be faster too. The point is that how the cars were designed given the trade offs of respective technologies.
Where can you drive 305km/h .. I drove on autobahns and 2/3 of that speed is really pushing it. 

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