We’ve already seen the range-topping P100D version of the Tesla Model S embarrassing exotic machinery on drag strips or on a straight piece of road, but we never really had the chance to see what the cheaper and less powerful versions can do against similarly powered ICE cars. Until now.
Top Gear took a Tesla Model S 75D and pitted it against a Kia Stinger GT S. The two cars are pretty closely matched when it comes to horsepower, but the electric car comes with 110lb-ft of torque more and, of course, all-wheel drive.
Still, the Stinger has more than a fighting chance, as it’s almost 200kg (440lbs) lighter.
Kia’s range-topping Stinger GT S is powered by a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 with 365hp and 376lb-ft of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear axle for an official 0-60mph (0-96km/h) sprint of 4.7 seconds.
The cheapest Model S, on the other hand, offers 362hp and 486lb-ft of torque that’s available from zero rpm thanks to switch-like nature of its dual electric motors. Tesla says that the 75D will complete the 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds, half a second quicker than the Kia.
So, on paper, the Tesla has the upper hand. Does this translate on real-world performance against the Kia? There’s only one way to find out.