Tesla Model S P85D: Offers More Torque Than Promised, but Slower Top Speed — For Now

With a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, and a claimed top speed of 155 mph, the Tesla Model S P85D is the fastest electric car Tesla has ever made — and the fastest production sedan of any fuel type currently on sale anywhere in the world.

The Tesla Model S P85D seems to produce more power than everyone thought.

The Tesla Model S P85D seems to produce more power than everyone thought.

But while the audience at the official Tesla Model S P85 D unveil back in October may have been more than content at shrieking at the car’s blistering, almost 1g acceleration and autonomous drive capabilities, some of the first owners to get their hands on this amazing car are actually putting some of Tesla’s performance claims to the test on the drag strip and the dynamometer .

And as the folks at DragTimes found out when they put a Tesla Model S P85D on the rolling road just after Christmas, the Tesla Model S P85D more than lives up to Tesla’s promise — even if the top speed isn’t yet the 155 mph top speed Tesla promised.

Strapping a brand-new Tesla Model S P85D to a special four-wheel dynamometer at Horsepower Logic in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, the guys at DragTimes were pleasantly surprised to find out that their brand-new Tesla Model S P85D was capable of developing an impressive 864 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels, far more than the 687 ft-lbs quoted by Tesla.

In true scientific style, Horsepower Logic repeated the test multiple times, each time producing a similar set of figures and of course, a truly impressive video of the testing in the process.

The official figures speak for themselves, with peak torque occurring less than a second after the accelerator has been pressed and power ramping up to an impressive 413 horsepower — a combined figure from both front and rear-wheel drive motors — after less time than it takes you to say ‘413 horsepower,’ although we should note that hardened drag enthusiasts are already disputing the figures posted — and the way in which they were gathered. Since we’re no experts in the high-octane world of drag racing, we’re going to leave that particular argument well alone.

The particulars of the Drag Times testing are being argued about -- but we think it's pretty impressive.

The particulars of the Drag Times testing are being argued about — but we think it’s pretty impressive.

What’s more interesting to us is the way in which the peak torque at the wheels quickly fades. In fact, if we had to guess, we’d say that impressive peak torque figure lasts for a few tenths of a second before dropping off fairly dramatically.

Want our first-hand report from the wheel of a Tesla Model S P85D? Check out Electragirl’s first-person drive report. 

Still, it’s more than enough to get the 4,900-pound luxury sedan tearing to 60 mph in that magic 3.2-second time, which to be fair is probably why most Tesla Model S P85D customers made their reservations in the first place.

Yet when the Tesla Model S P85D was unveiled Tesla promised something else in terms of performance: a top speed of 155 mph (where legal).

At the current time however, the P85D seems limited to 130 mph by its current software, something Tesla says it will be rectifying in a few months via a free over-the-air update for all Tesla Model S P85D customers. As well as increasing the top speed to the 155 mph promised at the P85D unveiling, Tesla says the over-the-air update will improve overall performance, which we assume will also change the all-too-brief peak torque demonstrated on DragTimes’ official rolling road test.

Next year, expect the top speed to be increased to 155 mph as Tesla originally promised.

Next year, expect the top speed to be increased to 155 mph as Tesla originally promised.

When that update takes place, we’re sure there will plenty more videos of dynamometer testing, as well as some obligatory head-to-heads on the drag strip with far more expensive and less environmentally-friendly cars.

There’s just one question we want answered though: how long will it take a Tesla Model S P85D to reach that 155 mph top speed? And who will be the first person to test it out?

Leave your predictions in the Comments below.

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  • LOL: “a top speed of 155 MPH (where legal)” nnu2026 this likely means private property only, as am not aware of any 155 MPH speed zones. nnBTW: nThere’s a Guinness World Record to be had if you can drive an EV at over 125 MPH for an hour! ;)nhttp://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/farthest-distance-driven-in-an-electric-vehicle-in-one-hournu2026 expecting at least one Model S(85) owner to set a new record in 2015 :)nu2026 a Tesla Roadster with 70 kWh pack upgrade will also have capability to break the record in 2015. 🙂

    • BEP

      Germany.

    • marcexec

      Ever heard of German motorways(Autobahn)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahn 🙂

    • D. Harrower

      That record has already been broken.nnYoutube giant and Model S owner Bju00f8rn Nyland has video of himself hitting 215 kph (133.5 mph) on the autobahn. See belownhttp://youtu.be/Usay0lOAooI

  • Michael Thwaite

    So, rumor has it, it’s been clocked doing 0-60 in 3.1 !

    • D. Harrower

      Yes, I believe that was Motor Trend magazine. They seem to have a unique testing methodology which knocks a few tenths off compared to everyone else.