Road Tests Real world tests of Model S vs SL 500


In 300-mile battery trim, an available performance option using its own drive inverter will reduce 0-60 mph time to 4.5 sec.
Model S | by

Top speed

Model S
130 mph
Top speed is 130 mph, and a sub-5-second, 320-mile range has been mentioned for a sport variant.
Model S | by MotorTrend


Aided by liquid cooling, the motor generates 306 hp at 7000 rpm and 362 lb-ft of torque between 6500-10,000 rpm (redline is 14k)!
Model S | by MotorTrend

1/4 mile

Overall, its presence struck me as something like a more organic Audi A7, meaning it's a stylishly windswept four-door fastback with a clear accent on performance.
Model S | by MotorTrend

Differences What are the advantages of each

Side view of Tesla Model S

Reasons to consider the
Tesla Model S

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A lot faster in the quarter mile 12.4 s vs 15 s More than 15% faster at the drag strip
A lot faster to 100mph 9.5 s vs 15.2 s More than 35% faster to 100mph
More powerful engine 416 HP @ 5,000 RPM vs 306 HP @ 5,600 RPM More than 35% stronger engine
More torque 443 ft-lb @ 5,100 RPM vs 339 ft-lb @ 1,500 RPM More than 30% stronger engine from a stand-still; more acceleration power
Significantly better power-to-weight ratio 9.19 lb/hp vs 13.29 lb/hp More than 30% better power-to-weight ratio
More expensive sticker price $107k vs $86k Around 25% more expensive harder to own
Slightly lighter curb weight 3,825 lb vs 4,068 lb More than 5% lighter curb weight; less inertia to overcome when accelerating
Front view of Mercedes-Benz SL 500

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Faster top speed 155 mph vs 130 mph 25 more mph; leaves lesser cars in the dust on the straights

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Model S  vs
SL 500 
Brand Tesla Mercedes-Benz
Price 107,350 85,990
Type of car Production car Production car
Year 2010 2003-2009

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 9.19 lb/hp 13.29 lb/hp
Maximum hp 416 HP @ 5,000 RPM 306 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Maximum torque 443 ft-lb @ 5,100 RPM 339 ft-lb @ 1,500 RPM
Steering system Rack and pinion Rack and pinion


Air compressor None None

physical dimensions

Curb weight 3,825 lb 4,068 lb
Width 77.3 in 71.5 in
Height 56.5 in 51.1 in
Length 196 in 178.5 in
Wheelbase 116.5 in 100.8 in

road tests

Model S  vs
SL 500 
Top speed 130 mph 155 mph
1/4 mile 12.4 s 15 s
0-60mph 4 s 6.2 s
0-100mph 9.5 s 15.2 s


Drivetrain RWD Front Engine / RWD
Gearing Traditional Traditional
# of gears 1 5

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc Disc
Rear brakes Disc Disc
Tesla Model S
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