2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Burnouts? Burnouts!

February 22, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

The thing about most electric vehicles is that they're incredibly conservative. Sure, they've got a bazillion pound-feet of torque, but they're so conservatively tuned that you get like, 9, from a stop and even then, if you get any wheelspin, the electronic nannies put you straight in the corner.

This, friends, is not the case with the 2013 Tesla Model S. With our Performance model's 85 kWh battery pack, we've got 443 pound-feet of torque available from 0-5,100 rpm and, with the traction control turned off, you get to use them all. Just mash the pedal to the floor as fast as possible and try not to slide into a tree.

No nannies. No careful meting of torque to prevent fun. Just power followed by a deficit of traction and a surfeit of smoke. The only odd part is the noise.

When tires give it up, they stop squealing and just sort of scratch at the pavement, this is normal. Usually, though, you've got to manage the engine speed to avoid the redline and avoid letting the tires catch. Here, you don't. It's only got one speed and torque everywhere. It's almost too easy. I think I see a Burnout Supertest in this car's future.

Thanks, Tesla, for trusting your owners and letting us have some fun.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 450 miles

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