Drag Race: Tesla Model S vs BMW M5

Videos | October 10th, 2012 by 34
Tesla Model S and BMW M5 drag race Drag Race: Tesla Model S vs BMW M5

Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine pits the Tesla Model S against the BMW M5 in a drag race during Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the …

Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine pits the Tesla Model S against the BMW M5 in a drag race during Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year testing.

Let’s start with the new F10 BMW M5. The super sporty sedan comes equipped with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 producing 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

Tesla brings the Model S to the fight. The all-electric sedan ouputs 416 hp and 443 lb-ft.

Tesla Model S and BMW M5 drag race Drag Race: Tesla Model S vs BMW M5

A fair fight? Watch the video below to find out which car wins.

  • bmwMczy

    I’m shock about he Tesla being quicker off the line. The M5 was clearly catching up.

    • http://twitter.com/CapitalistOppre Thomas Fisher

      At higher speeds the M5 has an advantage because it has a transmission. The Model S has a single gear differential (essentially direct drive) and is limited at the high end by how many RPM’s the motor can put out (~17,000).

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Full torque at 0 rpm?

  • MK

    How can a car with so much less HP beat the M5 so easily. I’m not an expert so forgive the newbie nature of it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFB3FQZQUNFC3T4CZTC2QTLVQA Eric

      -1000 lbs

    • http://twitter.com/CapitalistOppre Thomas Fisher

      The M5 is marginally faster if you execute a perfect launch, but it has a complicated launch control and it has all kinds of mechanical lags.

      The Model S is extremely consistent because you just press the pedal and go. Fast. It’s essentially direct drive and has no mechanical lag. You don’t wait for the engine to spool up between shifts, and in fact it doesn’t have a transmission.

      All in all it makes sense to me that M5 would be beat 2 out of 3 times, because everything has to go right for the M5 to win at all.

    • http://twitter.com/CapitalistOppre Thomas Fisher

      I guess to reply more directly to your question about horsepower, the important number is torque. M5 still has a lot more than the Model S, but its in much narrower bands (maximum torque is ~1500rpm’s) and at lower speeds the M5 actually spends relatively little time at its peak because it has to keep shifting gears to accelerate.

      Model S has an extremely broad torque band, with full torque available between 0 and ~5,000 rpm. It has a single gear and spends most of its time at lower speeds (less than 100mph) in heart of its power band. The net result is that the Model S puts more power through to its wheels on average while accelerating.

      Once the M5 gets up around 100mph it spends more time at peak power, which allows it to quickly overtake the Model S because the Model S has a lower peak and that peak starts to fall at those speeds. If Model S had a second gear, it could shift gears and keep ahead of the M5 for longer.

    • fredyschiftan@aol.com

      TORQUE . TORQUE and weight buy a small Tesla and keep the change! (PRIUS)

  • bmw1989

    thats because this car put out 443 lb-ft of torque off the line….but I’m still not a fan of electric cars.


    Totally bullshit,the M5 just haven’t show the real power.Don’t fool yourself.

    • http://twitter.com/CapitalistOppre Thomas Fisher

      Nothing BS about it. There is every reason to think that the M5 will get pwned at speeds of less than 100mph. Faster than that and you don’t have to worry, because the Model S only has a single gear and is limited to 130mph.

      • Laszlo

        yes, this is true. And also how many people drive over 100mph EVER ? How many can drive legally outside of Germany ? Yes, this is why Tesla makes a lot of sense. BMW M5 makes very little sense. It is nothing but a product of a HP war between car makers. Pointless number war, bragging right victory.
        Give me a car with about 335HP and 70mpg fuel economy in a size that is about the size of the 5 series but weights only as much as the 3 series and I say that is all anybody needs to be happy… which is exactly what the Tesla S is. Perfect car.

    • Titan

      Of course, foolish asshole. LOSER!!!!! M5 sucks against an Opel-like car….

      • pyinte2001

        Says the guy posting trying to annoy people. Is your life that worthless you feel the need to call people names and bash them? Pathetic.

  • DTM Power

    Weight is a huge factor here. If the M5 was the same weight as the Tesla it would smash it much harder

    • petero

      If I understand you correctly, if you add another 253 pounds to the M5 (to make them the same weight) the M5 will be faster than the Tesla? Sorry DTM, I don’t get it. I am not surprised the “S” had the advantage to 60 mph, the M5 was closing rapidly but…

  • fredyschiftan@aol.com

    Sure electric power is good up to a speed of 90 miles then you can see how the m5 starts gaining speed and why did they stop at a quarter mile ? because after that the story is different the m5 leaves it for dead !! the tessla is so quiet people will fall asleep !! no action, no drama ,

    • grendal johnson

      I’m sure it’s every day that you’re driving over 100 MPH. In the everyday world the Model S is the faster sportier car. It doesn’t even need launch control. In a race for pinks you’d be the proud owner of a ton of M5’s.

      • fredyschiftan@aol.com

        sorry but electric is not a sports car, part of being a sports car is the balance between your body sensations coming from the cars motor noise and feel of the cars energy movement, this car is a sleeper with a lot of torque, no drama ! its like my sons remote control battery racing toy .press turn and go.

        • Laszlo

          welcome to the future. In about 10 years we will see the 1st electric race cars, and

          20 years from now most race cars will be electric. I’m sure swappable battery packs will replace refueling and no noise. Sad but that is the truth.

          The noise is what we make, electric cars will be able to mimick any noise from a media player :-)

  • grendal johnson

    The other thing is that a Performance Model S is $21K less than the $106K BMW M5. The Model S they used in the test was a Signature version that is completely sold out. A Performance Model S that will perform just like the one in the video and you can buy is only $85K now. Other cool things is that it is Made in the USA, costs less to maintain and power, doesn’t need or use foreign gas and oil, and has SUV-like space on the inside. I’d like one.

  • auaq

    Mind telling the point of this race?

    • titan

      To show all the world that those who pay such huge amounts of money for BMW’s are nothing more than IDIOTS!!!

      • auaq

        If it were a race between this tesla and an audi or perhaps a mercedes, would you say the same thing?

        • Johnny B

          Don’t you dare to compare the Opel-status bmw with luxury Audi and Mercedes.

          • auaq

            Oh, I see! I see that you do not want to admit that your beloved audi will perhaps end up with similar result as our M5. Oh well! I’m off to bed.

  • JRobUSC

    To everyone asking how the Tesla was faster — it’s because this was a stickshift M5. No DCT, no launch control. The DCT would have won fairly easily, the stick is about half a second slower.

  • ///MPOWER

    No BMW Fan should be nervous about this “NONSENSE”. If it was a Audi or a MB, i think it would have being more frighting, but unfortunately its not, because they can’t and you expect this piece of electric junk to beat the ///M5. Even a blind man could see that this video is fake.

  • Drake y

    A couple issues with this video…
    1) as other have stated car was not using DCT transmission or launch control features.
    The DCT with launch control can shave a 1/2 second off 0-60
    2) BMW driver was bad… Delayed but expected considering stick shift

    Reality is m5 will beat tesla s 0 -60, 0-100 and quarter mile all day long. 10 out of 10 times.

    Tesla propaganda here plain and simple….wake up people….

  • Emm

    could it mean that we should buy Tesla rather that BMW or BMW should buy Tesla to have an “eco” brand?

  • mo davoodi

    i like how people are blaming propanga? lol this is automobile magazine, not tesla that put out this review. they have no reason or no interest to lie or fake this video? electric motors put out 100% torque ratings at 0 rpm, can the 4.4L twinturbo engine do that? the answer is no. sure its sounds nicer, but would anyone here sacrifice performance for sound? if you say yes, then you are not a true car enthusiast and you do not deserve to be here right now. all biased and prejudice aside, the Model S is a faster car.

    • GTR FAN

      NO ITS NOT FASTER..A manual M5 is almost impossible to launch and get a consistent time.. Automobile magazine stacked the deck to make a Buzzz and what i mean stack the deck they used a manual M5 instead of the much faster DCT and they only ran to 100 not a quarter mile…So obvious..Get Real. Try it again with a DCT oh and what happens when telsa doesn’t have full charge oh yeah thats right performance numbers drop like a ROCK!!!!

      • ///MPOWER

        great feed back GTR FAN, let him try dig his way out of that one know.