Tesla Model S P85D Proves You Don’t Need a Snowmobile To Be Quick in a Winter Wonderland

Tesla’s all-electric Model S luxury sedan has revolutionised the auto industry, proving that electric cars aren’t slow, boring and underpowered. And despite only being on sale since October, Tesla’s most powerful Model S to date — the range-topping, dual-motor, performance oriented Model S P85D — has been using its blistering 3.1-second 0-60 mph time to show up everything from expensive Italian supercars to hot-rod all-American muscle cars on the drag strip.

Can a Tesla Model S P85D beat a sports snowmobile? You bet.

Can a Tesla Model S P85D beat a sports snowmobile? You bet.

But it turns out Tesla’s world-famous Model S isn’t just good at beating ICE cars on the drag strip. It can out-perform snowmobiles in the frigid winter wonderland of Norway, too.

Enter Norweigan site Klikk.no, (via Autobloggreenwhose motoring section — aided by their local Top Gear crew — pitted an 800cc snowmobile against a brand-new Tesla Model S P85D on a frozen ice rink at Tisleia, Gol, right in the heart of Norway’s winter wonderland.

Built to take on the roughest of winter conditions, the snowmobile — a Lynx Boondocker 800cc model — is best at home powering through heavy snow, jumping through tough terrain and pushing its 160 horsepower direct to its robust rear track.

Those who ride the Boondocker models regularly describe them like a sports motorcycle — with skis.

By the end of the race, the Tesla Model S P85D has a clear lead.

By the end of the race, the Tesla Model S P85D has a clear lead.

When pitted against the Tesla Model S P85D with its ‘insane’ mode enabled and studded tires fitted however, the Boondocker is left struggling to keep up just like every other internal combustion-engined challenger in every P85D drag video we’ve seen. (You’ll have to click through to the site to watch the video for yourself, however.)

Of course, we’ve got to be fair to the Boondocker. The performance snowmobile isn’t designed for use on heavily frozen surfaces with a dusting of snow, and in the video you can clearly see it scrabble for purchase against the few inches of powdered snow covering the lake.

In heavy, foot-deep snow, where there’s plenty of grip for that monster track to do its stuff, we’d suspect the race would have been a different matter.

That said, we still think this is the coolest Tesla Model S P85 Drag race we’ve seen on video yet…

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  • D. Harrower

    Certainly an original video, if nothing else.nnUnfortunately, snowmobiles cannot maintain decent traction on hardpack because the lugs have nothing to grip. A studded track may have helped in this regard but I doubt it would have been enough against somelike like the P85D. However, I think we would have seen a different outcome if there have been even 6 inches of snow.

    • Espen Hugaas Andersen

      The P85D would of course also have accelerated faster if it had had studded tires. But you are likely correct that the snowmobile would have won in deeper snow – something the original article also notes.

      • D. Harrower

        The P85D in the article IS fitted with studded tires.

        • Espen Hugaas Andersen

          No, studdless winter tires, according to the original article.