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Video: Tesla Top Speed Proven on German Autobahn

What’s the top speed of a Tesla Model S, and how quickly can it get there? We suspect a lot of Tesla fans — and Model S owners — have wanted to know, but in most countries, answering these two questions would require you to either have access to a private test-track or be willing to break several laws in the process. But in Germany, where certain stretches of its Autobahn network have no speed limit, Tesla fans can push the Model S to its absolute limits…legally.

Enter Martin Thomsen from EV Network DK, (via GreenCarReports) who borrowed a Tesla Model S P85+from a friend in Copenhagen to see just what the luxury sports sedan could do when he next visited Berlin for work. As he passed from a limited section of the Autobahn into an unlimited section, Thomsen pushed the pedal to the floor — and videoed what happened next.

From a start point of 105 kilometres per hour (62 mph), Thomsen’s borrowed Tesla takes just over 6 seconds to accelerate to 161 kph (100mph), touching 170 kph (105 mph) in 7 seconds. Things then slow down a little bit as the Model S winds itself up to 200 kph (124 mph) six seconds later before plateauing at its electronically-limited top speed of 212 kph. (131 mph) twenty seconds or so after the acceleration experiment began.

Given that we know the Model S P85+ sprints from 0-60 mph in around 4.2 seconds, we can safely say that the Model S P85+ will go from standstill to top speed in round about 25 seconds.

Combine this with the news last month that Tesla will provide free Autobahn tuning for Model S customers in Europe to ensure their cars handle exquisitely at top speed, and we think just like owners of powerful gasoline cars, the Autobahn will become a mecca for all European Model S drivers. At least once in their lives, that is.

Tesla Model S can do 131 mph on the Autobahn. Who Wouldn't?

Tesla Model S can do 131 mph on the Autobahn. Who Wouldn’t?

While Thomsen’s speed test with a Model S might be of most interest to those wanting the sheer adrenaline-filled joy that only comes from driving a really powerful car really quickly, his return trip from Berlin back to Copenhagen is also extremely interesting.

After having had a bit of fun on the way up, Thomsen decided to see if his friends’ Model SP85+ could make the trip from Berlin to Copenhagen on a single charge. On paper, the two cities are just about at the limit of the 265-mile EPA-approved range of the Model S P85+, so Thomsen decided to play it safe by setting the cruise control to just 90 kilometres per hour (55 mph).

Arriving with 10 kilometres (6 miles) of predicted range left, he completed the return leg, having totalled 424 kilometres (258 miles) in total. On a single charge.  And while most of his trip would have crossed the flat landscape of the Northern European Plain, Thomsen’s trip is testament to just how far the Model S can go if you’re careful… and how fast you can go if you’re not.

It does however leave us with some really important questions. If you were a Tesla owner, would you lend your car to someone else to do a 500+ mile round trip to Berlin? And if you were the person who the Model S had been loaned to, would you seriously have the self-control to not drive the car flat out, all the time?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.



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  • Dennis Pascual

    Nikki – Had Mark had written this article, I suspect that the line after your sentence “If you were a Tesla owner, would you lend your car to someone else to do a 500+ mile round trip to Berlin?” would be something closer to: “May I borrow it for a spin?” rather than what you wrote. nnnGreat link and article as always.

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  • Donald

    I would want to try its top end – but only for a mile or two because the fear of ending up out of energy on a Motorway layby would a great limiting factor. I would lend it out but there would be an agreed surcharge for running out of power before the destination.

  • Will Davis

    That’s not the top speed. This guy takes the speed above the limiter on the autobahn (note how the speedo turns red):


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