It’s that time of year again where Motor Trend is going through the tedious process of determining the “Best Drivers Car of 2017.” And one of the most popular test segments in this competition is what we know now as the World’s Greatest Drag Race. It’s a simple test, but it’s one that clearly determines which of the competitors is the quickest when it comes to a standstill quarter mile race. Normally, only cars that are in the running for the highly acclaimed title of Best Drivers Car compete in the drag race. But this year, Motor Trend decided to allow what could only be described as a “Designated Hitter,” and that is the Tesla Model S P100D, which is arguably one of the fastest production cars on the drag strip.
What’s so interesting about this particular test is they take all 12 competitors, line them up and unleash them all at the same time so you can directly compare one to another. In order to do that, you need a massive runway and that’s when the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the fine men and women that run it, comes into play and offered up their pristine runway that is approximately 15,000 feet long because it was built with intentions of the space shuttle landing there. Needless to say, there is more than enough room.
In years past, we’ve seen winners from McLaren, Audi, Porsche, and of course Nissan with the all mighty Godzilla. But this year, the test is a little different in the sense that everyone started to realize that while the Mazda MX-5 may be a great car when the roads get twisty, it’s outmatched in every possible way when it comes to drag strip. So, to shake things up a bit, they decided to bring in the big guns with the Tesla. This is the first time that an electric car has been used for the test, but it won’t be the last. Especially after you see the results.
As a lifelong moto enthusiast, it can be hard to wrap your head around this whole silent electric performance car thing. But the fact is, when it comes to sheer acceleration, an electric motor is hard to beat with that instant torque delivery. Even when matched up against cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and Porsche Tubo 911 S and their 660hp and 580hp respective power outputs, the Tesla put on a spectacular performance.
Spoiler Alert, the Tesla wins. But you already knew that as soon as you saw it was used in the test. Granted, it should be mentioned that both the Porsche, McLaren, and Ferrari, were all quickly gaining on the P100D and had the race been just a little longer they all would’ve passed it. But through that first quarter mile, that Tesla is nearly untouchable, and even though we may not want to, I think it’s time we start accepting the fact that electric power is here to stay.
Here’s a list of the competitors from this year’s race.
- McLaren 570GT
- Aston Martin DB11
- Nisan GT-R Nismo
- Ferrari 488 GTB
- Lexus LC500
- Porsche 718 Cayman S
- Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
- Alfa Romeo Guila Quadrifoglio
- Mercedes-AMG GT R
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
- Porsche 911 Turbo S
- Tesla P100D replacing the Mazda MX-5 RF, just for the drag race segment