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Factcheck? R&T: Vice President Biden Bet the Cadillac CTS-V Is Quicker Than a Tesla Model S, Lost $10

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Vice President Biden is a bit of a gearhead. He loves Corvettes, particularly the new Z06, and seems to be a muscle car sort of guy.

So it's a natural that he'd bet on the new 640-hp, Z06-powered, Cadillac CTS-V to be the quicker car to 60 over the Tesla Model S P90D.





On the Model S page, Tesla shows:






All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive All-Wheel Drive
Show rear wheel drive specs

* Battery limited maximum motor shaft power

Model S Performance base option acceleration ratings follow Motor Trend's test procedure of subtracting the first foot rollout time to represent drag strip performance.

Range 270 miles (EPA) 294 miles (EPA) 240 miles (EPA)
Acceleration 2.8 seconds 0-60 mph (Ludicrous)
3.1 seconds 0-60 mph
4.2 seconds 0-60 mph 5.2 seconds 0-60 mph
Torque 713 lb-ft 485 lb-ft 387 lb-ft
Top Speed 155 mph 155 mph 140 mph
Motor Power 503 hp rear, 259 hp front 259 hp front and rear 259 hp front and rear
  532 hp (Ludicrous) *
463 hp *
417 hp * 328 hp *



The 2016+ Cadillac CTS-V Cadillac claims goes 0-60 mph in 3.7s. 


Now which version of the Tesla is 0.2s faster (quicker)?


2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

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The P90D btw starts at $119,000. Ludicrous mode is a $10K upgrade above that. Not clear if the Cadillac CTS-V time is with rollout or without rollout.

To be clear, the CTS-V is between the Model S P90D and the Model S 90D or 70D in claimed performance.


2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

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It's still slower than my 1999 Suzuki Bandit 1200S, at 2.7 seconds 0-60 mph. The quarter-mile time of 11.19 seconds (both times from Cycle Magazine tests) may well be slower, though. I've seen modded CTS-V quarter mile times quicker than that. Typical modded street CTS-V rear wheel horsepower is 700 hp.

The maximum sustained horsepower of a Tesla is apparently limited by the battery discharge rate. In a piston engine, the horsepower is a complex function of the gear ratios and instantaneous speed, cycling as the car goes through the gears. The maximum sustained horsepower of an internal combustion engine is limited by efficiency and heat removal. An engine that uses boost is also limited by IAT2 for a given compression ratio, fuel, and RPM, which is to say the intercooler temperature delta.

The unerlying message here is that electrics and hybrids apparently are the future of high-performance street cars.

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