Tesla’s record su­per­car

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - MO­TOR­ING

Tesla un­veiled its new elec­tric-pow­ered truck this week, at an event where Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Elon Musk sold his truck as safer, more re­li­able and not to men­tion, bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment. That wasn’t the big news for mo­tor­ing fans. Musk, in a very Steve Jobs-like, ‘‘Oh, and one more thing’’ mo­ment, in­tro­duced the Tesla Road­ster. The $293,427, all-wheel drive su­per­car goes 0-95 kmh in 1.9 sec­onds, mak­ing it the fastest pro­duc­tion car ever. Oh, and it tops out at more than 400kmh. Why does speed mat­ter? Au­tomak­ers have been spon­sor­ing rac­ing teams since the be­gin­ning of the au­to­mo­bile. Man­u­fac­tur­ers have seen the merit in the ‘‘Win on Sun­day, Sell on Mon­day’’ mar­ket­ing for­mula; re­cent stud­ies back up those be­liefs.

Fast halo cars like this are as­pi­ra­tional ve­hi­cles cre­ated for shop­pers. We spend time gawk­ing at the slick lux­ury dream cars in the show­room and end up buy­ing sport-util­ity ve­hi­cles or or­di­nary sedans.

When Musk first rolled out the Tesla Model S P100 ‘‘Lu­di­crous Mode’’ in 2015, re­ports noted that ‘‘100kmh in 2.8 sec­onds is crazy fast.’’ For a frac­tion of the cost, the five-pas­sen­ger, four-door sedan was com­pet­i­tive with the likes of Lam­borgh­ini, Bent­ley and Porsche. It was not long be­fore videos of the Tesla Model X P90D Lu­di­crous – a bul­bous, un­gainly SUV – was shown smok­ing a Fer­rari F430 in a drag race.

Pure elec­tric cars like the Road­ster have sev­eral in­her­ent per­for­mance ad­van­tages, most no­tably im­me­di­ate peak torque and a sin­gle-gear trans­mis­sion. That’s a large part of the rea­son why these cars tend beat their gaso­line-pow­ered com­peti­tors in drag races.

The same day Musk was rolling out his Road­ster, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­viewed the brand new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 (price, $477,186 as tested) with the ques­tion ‘‘Is this the fastest street­car ever?’’ The an­swer - 0-60 in 2.7 sec­onds - was al­most. But within six hours, once the Tesla Road­ster was in­tro­duced, it wasn’t close.

Other su­per­cars are suf­fer­ing sim­i­lar fates. The $1.9 NZD mil­lion McLaren P1 hits 60 in 2.7 sec­onds (tweaked ver­sions can reach 60 in 2.4 sec­onds).

Tesla Road­ster 2 goes from zero to 95kmh in un­der two sec­onds.

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