Tesla’s Model S P85D performance hero has been called into question over its claimed power output, and the US EV-maker has immediately responded.
A group of 71 owners, investors and fans were willing to put their signatures to a letter addressed to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and obtained by hybridcars.com.
Seems a row has developed over the combined output from the D’s dual electric motor setup, and how much of this translates to usable power for the driver.
Musk himself has quoted the P85D’s power figure at 691 horsepower (515kW), but the group claim the real figure is closer to 557 horsepower (415kW).
The group also claims the “missing horsepower” is noticeable at highway speeds, and that their Model Ss don’t accelerate from 70-90 MPH as rapidly as an Audi RS 7; which the group used as an example car.
In fact, the group went as far as to say the P85D was “easily outperformed”.
Tesla wasted no time in responding, with Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel discussing the Model S’s power ratings in a blog post.
“There is some confusion about our methodology for specifying ‘equivalent’ horsepower ratings for our all-wheel drive, dual motor vehicles,” Straubel said.
“Attempting to directly correlate horsepower ratings in petroleum burning vehicles to horsepower in an electric vehicle is a difficult challenge.”
“Defining electric power in terms of horsepower is not very intuitive. Kilowatts or Megawatts are a much more useful unit. Electricity alone can’t generate physical motion the way a horse or a fuel-burning engine does. An electric motor converts electricity into motion.”
Straubel said that rear-wheel-drive single motor Model S variants produced between 360 and 470 horsepower (269 to 351kW) depending on the battery pack.
“When we launched the all-wheel drive P85D, we took the straightforward and consistent approach of specifying the combined capability of the two electric motors, front + back,” Straubel said.
Tesla’s website quotes the power output for the Model S P85D as 193kW for the front, 375kW for the rear, 976Nm of torque and a range of 491km.
MORE: Electric Vehicle Sales Break Through One Million Barrier
MORE News & Reviews: Tesla | Model S | EVs