QOTD: What's The Quickest 'Vehicle' Out There? (Because It's Not A Tesla)

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
qotd what s the quickest vehicle out there because it s not a tesla

Earlier today, one of the commenters on Bark’s article reiterated the oft-discredited claim that the Tesla P-whatever-D in “Ludicrous Mode” is the quickest production vehicle. Listen — I think the Tesla is a great car, and I accept that there is probably some highly-specific situation in which it’s the quickest production sedan.

But quickest production vehicle? No fuggin’ way. It would be the fifth-quickest vehicle in my garage, if I owned one…. and I don’t have a particularly quick set of vehicles.

Let’s start by throwing out the ridiculous idea of using a 0-60 time to determine “quickest.” That won’t even get you to freeway speed. At the very least, we’ve got to use the traditional American measurement of the standing quarter. The best quarter-mile time I’ve seen is 10.7 seconds, courtesy of a pair of on-site generators and chargers.

That’s pretty quick for a car, but you won’t hear anybody in the Tesla community talking about trap speed, because it’s pathetic. The trap speed of the 10.7 quarter mile was 122 mph. Any garden-variety Corvette Z06 will beat that by five or six miles per hour. My wife’s C5 Corvette can trap 120, just to put that in perspective. And by the time the Tesla reaches its top speed of 155 mph, it has been left behind by pretty much every performance car you could name, including the Chevrolet SS sedan that brother Bark was recommending earlier this week.

Needless to say, even in the quarter-mile the Tesla is easy meat for supercars. The McLaren 675LT I drove last year turns the trick in 10.5 @139, which is pretty much a different universe from the P100D in the best conditions. The Ferrari 488 and Lamborghini Huracan can’t quite match that, but either of the two will put lengths on a Tesla to the quarter and disappear shortly afterwards.

Keep in mind, however, that our commenter said “production vehicles.” That includes motorcycles, you know. Feel free to wander through the Sport Rider quarter-mile times; you’ll find remarkably few bikes that cannot beat the Tesla. All of the recent 600cc bikes, including the old Yammy R6es that you can buy for $2500 out of Craigslist, turn a faster ET and a higher ET. It would be out of character for me not to mention the 9.69 @ 148.7 turned by the ZX-14R. That’s not a time I can personally match, but even in traction mode 2 with my somewhat elephantine self aboard, the big Kwacker can see off a Tesla any time it wants.

We haven’t even begun to talk about snowmobiles — some of them are quicker in the quarter-mile as well. But maybe this is the place to turn it over to the B&B: How do you define “quick”? And in your definition of the term, what’s “quickest”? Take your time; I’ll wait for you the same way my old Porsche 993 and I would wait for a Tesla driver after a fifty-mile sprint. Patiently.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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  • Drunk_on_unleaded Drunk_on_unleaded on Jan 15, 2017

    It's worth looking into the laptimes posted by various Tesla Model Ss at various tracks: http://fastestlaps.com/tracks/virginia-international-raceway-grand-east-course-post-01-2014 At Virginia International Raceway, the Tesla's time of 3:17.40 puts it a few ticks ahead of the Ford Focus ST at 3:17.60. A Ford Focus RS posted a 3:03.90. Maybe that's not fair. After all the Focus RS costs less than half what a Tesla Model S P85D costs. Granted the Porsche Panamera Turbo cost a bunch more than this particular Tesla, but it's often been compared to the Tesla and it also has a lap time I can find: http://fastestlaps.com/models/porsche-panamera-turbo-s 3:00.70 Maybe Mr Baruth can comment on just how long 17 seconds is on a racetrack?

  • JustPassinThru JustPassinThru on Jan 16, 2017

    Quickest? I don't have the test results in front of me, so I can't prove it...but the Zero motorcycle line is DAMN fast. IIRC, their literature claims, or used to claim, a 0-60 time of about four seconds. I know from a test ride they are very, VERY lively. The salesman told me to baby the throttle until I got a feel for it...yeah, sure. Until I saw the tractor torque that it had. It literally can rear up without a yank if the rider isn't careful.

  • Cprescott Very expensive all terrain golf cart.
  • 56m65711446 ALL AEB systems should be tested using a SES executive from DoT as the test dummy.
  • TheMrFreeze Wife and I bought just bought new (to us) daily drivers...both have manual transmissions and neither has any kind of "new" safety nanny technology in it. By choice. That's how we roll.
  • IanGTCS Where I live safety inspections are only required when transferring ownership except between spouses. The ministry or police can in theory pull unsafe vehicles off the road but I haven't heard of that happening. Commercial vehicles over a certain weight required annual inspections and I've seen unsafe ones removed from the road a few times. I'm honestly fine with no regular inspections. A ball joint or bearing can go from fine to goodbye wheel in less time than a year anyways. Can't say I see too many total wrecks driving around so it would be kind of pointless.
  • IH_Fever No. I'd rather that money be spent to enforce vehicle laws on an as needed basis. The 10 year old car with a check engine light on for some sensor is a danger to no one. The crapbox with 5 different color body panels, paper tags and saran wrapped windows is more of a concern.