All of the zoom, none of the vroom.
Two of the biggest players in the electric vehicle game had yet to measure up to one another—at least on the drag strip. Whether you like the brand and the guy at the helm or not, one thing we can all agree on is that Tesla makes devilishly fun cars. As for Zero, it introduced its first performance-oriented model earlier in 2019, the SR/F. Now, our colleagues over at InsideEVs Italy decided to have some fun and pit the Zero SR/F against the Tesla Model 3 on the quarter-mile. Which vehicle do you think crossed the finish line first? Place your bets.
The Teslas have a reputation for being particularly fast—ever heard of the “Ludicrous” mode anyone? The Tesla Model S, in particular, has shown its acceleration chops on the quarter-mile strip on numerous occasions. It would have been easy to plan for a race between, say, the Model S and the Energica Ego. Easy and obvious—a little too much so, if you ask me.
So I’m glad InsideEVs opted for two more affordable models instead. It perfectly demonstrates that when it comes to electric powertrains, price and prestige don’t factor in as much. Any electric vehicle is able to accelerate (relatively) fast.
The video sets the mood by introducing the two vehicle’s specs. In the blue corner, the Tesla Model 3 Performance weighs in at 4,036 lb and is good for 520 electric horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. In the red corner, the standard Zero SR/F weighs 485 lb and produces 110 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque.
The team gained access to a small airport landing strip to run the very scientific experiment. This is your last chance to take a guess a who won the race because there are spoilers ahead!
As the two vehicles take off, the host breaks down the race. It first points to the fact that the Tesla is the first one to reach the 100 km/h mark (or 62 mph in American). Tesla’s entry-level sedan reaches the marker in only 3.5 seconds—not too shabby for a base model—while the Zero clocks in at 3.94 seconds.
From that point onward, however, the motorcycle’s lighter weight tips the odds in its favor and allows the Zero to gain on the Tesla and to ultimately win the race. By the time the two vehicles cross the finish line, the Zero is traveling at 114.41 miles per hour while the Tesla is tailing at 114.31 miles per hour.
Had the race been longer, chances are the Tesla would have caught up since its top speed is much higher than the Zero’s (162 mph versus 124 mph). With that said, the Zero is the undisputed winner of the challenge. It won fair and square against a 500+hp electric beast and that’s something to be proud of. The motorcycle wins the day.