The Tesla Model S P85D’s Power Figure Is In Dispute

Today, there are few numbers which can so effectively argue in favor of the electric drivetrain as the way of the future as the claimed power figure of the Tesla Model S P85D all-wheel drive EV: 691 horsepower.

Yet, it turns out that this oft-repeated number is under some scrutiny, most notably from Tesla Motors fans and owners; motoring website World Car Fans reports that an open letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, submitted by a collection of Model S P85D owners, accuses the company’s claimed power figure of inaccurate optimism. These owners figure that the true peak output of the Tesla Model S P85D performance EV is closer to 557 HP, before any drivetrain loss is taken into account.

According to WCF, Tesla Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel was quick to reply, stating that “there is some confusion about our methodology for specifying ‘equivalent’ horsepower ratings for our all-wheel drive, dual motor vehicles.” The claimed figure of 691 HP was attained by simply adding the power rating of the car’s rear motor (360 to 470 HP, depending on the variant) to that of the front unit. “When we launched the all-wheel drive P85D,” wrote Straubel, “we took the straightforward and consistent approach of specifying the combined capability of the two electric motors, front + back.”

Meanwhile, though the automaker seemingly stands by its appraisal of the Tesla Model S P85D’s power, they have removed any reference to the 691 HP combined output figure. The car’s total output rating is now absent from any of the website’s literature.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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