When people talk sports cars, arguments tend to center around two main factors; top speed, and acceleration. The Tesla Model S P85D can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.1 seconds, but while it technically has more than enough power to reach 200 MPH, it is electronically limited to just 155. But if someone were to remove that limiter, how fast could the P85D go?
Green Car Reports seems to think that with the electronic speed limiter removed, the Tesla P85D could go as fast as 210 MPH, and the logic isn’t totally without merit. Perhaps the best comparison for the Tesla P85D would be the Dodge Charger Hellcat, which weighs nearly as much as the P85D and makes 707 horsepower to the Tesla’s 691. The Hellcat tops out at a heady 204 MPH, and does so with raw brute force, shrugging off its rather average drag coefficient of 0.35 as it forces its way through the atmosphere.
The Tesla P85D in comparison is one of the most aerodynamic cars on the road, boasting a 0.24 drag coefficient that’s even better than the Toyota Prius. At high speeds drag is one of the main enemies of speed, through the P85D faces other limitations. Specifically, overheating motors and batteries. One owner who attempted to take the famous Nurburgring in his Model S found out the hard way that after just a few minutes of full throttle, the Tesla is designed to limit power in order to prevent battery damage. That’s the most likely reason Elon Musk insisted on a limited top speed. From the factory the typical Model S can only go 130 MPH though, so P85D owners do still have an advantage over their less-powerful brethren.
That’s not to say that might not change some day, especially since other electric vehicles like the Rimac COncept_One already boast a top speed of about 190 MPH. Of course the Rimac also costs about ten times what a fully-loaded P85D will set you back, and the Tesla is infinitely more practical than a two-seat supercar. And one day, it might even be as fast as one too.