Feb 11

Volt drag races Model S

 

It was a matter of time before someone did it just because – but a video of a Chevy Volt going against a Tesla Model S Signature Performance in a quarter mile shows a predictable result.

The Volt was meant as a Prius beater, not a Viper beater – which, by the way, the Model S is, as it showed when it recently set the world’s fastest production quarter mile against a 1995 500-horsepower Viper.

Vol vs Model S drag race
Listen for the kid in the background at the end: “Dad, that one on the left was so quiet!”
 

As for the Volt vs. Viper beater, the Model S turned a respectable 12.562-second run at 108.34 mph compared to the Chevy’s time of 17.201 at 80.36 mph.

It wasn’t really a race, more a demonstration run, and apparently it was all in good fun. The engine noise heard is of course from cars in proximity, not the two electric cars facing off.


 

Now, if someone can just post a drag race between the Rimac Concept One and a Model S, that could be entertaining indeed. The Model S was entered in the world record book by the National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) for its speed feat, but in existence in another part of the world is the fringe-lunatic Rimac which has been called the fastest electric car in the world – estimated at north of 186 mph, not the 130 to which the Model S is limited.

Pitting the Rimac against a Tesla would of course be even more unfair, given the AWD Croation creation costs around 10-times more, and boasts 1,088 all-electric horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque.

Even though it’s long-legged enough to top 300 kph, Rimac says the no-excuses Concept One will sprint from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds which ought to help it on its way to completing a quarter mile in a respectable amount of time.

The company also says lateral acceleration from the torque-vectoring supercar rolling on Vredestein Ultrac Vorti tires is a C7 Stingray beating 1.4 g. (Do you believe this?) All-electric range from the 4,300-pound car’s 91-kwh LiFePO4 pack is said to be a Model S-beating 373 miles (600 km) – (“realistic range” estimated at 310 miles (500 km). As for how they calculate “realistic,” we’ll have to see, but we’d expect using its speed potential overly much and achieving such range to be a case of one or the other, not both.


Only 88 units of the $980,000, full carbon fiber bodied Concept One are said to be planned for launch this year.
 

You can read more about that astonishing EV here, but this is not so much about the Rimac or even the Model S – rather, it’s about the Volt.

The Volt does a great job for what it is, and is not as out of reach as the Model S costing 2-3 times more. The Volt is a step closer to a mass market vehicle leading away from oil, and GM wasn’t thinking of baking in bragging rights for cruise night.

But Volt fans often say they’d love to see a high-performance Voltec model, and GM is actually bringing one out that has such a posture, this being the Cadillac ELR.

So, if in place of the Volt on that drag strip against a Model S there happened to be an ELR, do you think the result would have been much different?

And, does it matter?

This entry was posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 1:11 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 34


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (5:17 am)

    While the Volt is no race car, I would say it’s a bit faster than the average car, especially from 0 to 30.


  2. 2
    Xiaowei1

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (6:05 am)

    Virtually soundless take off, bliss :-)


  3. 3
    James McQuaid

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (7:23 am)

    The Volt, of course, handily defeats the Model S in any road rally.


  4. 4
    Roy_H

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:23 am)

    I expected the ELR to have a gen 2 motor with significantly higher power. However I guess that is not ready yet. Since it is pretty much stock Volt drive-train with software allowing short high power bursts greater than the Volt, it will perform only mildly better than the Volt and no where near Tesla Model S territory.


  5. 5
    Roy_H

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:28 am)

    What is far more relevant is the drag race between the Viper and the Tesla. This was closer to a match. Electric cars have to compete with existing ICEs not just with each other.


  6. 6
    Roy_H

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:31 am)

    James McQuaid:
    The Volt, of course, handily defeats the Model S in any road rally.

    ? Are you assuming that the rally would exceed the Model S range?


  7. 7
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:43 am)

    Volt vs Leaf drag race (skip to 2:30)

    http://youtu.be/AEeIKNUZ_Jk


  8. 8
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:46 am)

    And another Volt/Leaf race at the drag strip. (looks like it confirms the first video, Leaf is faster out of the gate, but then the Volt passes)

    http://youtu.be/rkgio9YvOfo


  9. 9
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (8:55 am)

    Volt vs Prius
    http://www.driveforinnovation.com/we-drag-race-a-prius/

    Looks like the Prius wins in the video, but if you read below:

    Brian Fuller September 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Truth be told, gents, that we had both heats in the parking lot. I wore that silly costumed knight’s helmet and could barely see out of the slit! Harry had the outside lane and I was scared witless about driving into parked cars. So he blew my doors off in heat 1. I took him in heat 2 however.


  10. 10
    Dick The Bruiser

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (9:22 am)

    For the speeds allowed around town, the Volt is plenty fast and accelerates quicker than others.


  11. 11
    steve

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (9:41 am)

    Volt is probably quicker than both the cars I drive now. I’m looking for transportation, not a drag race car.


  12. 12
    steve

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (9:51 am)

    James McQuaid:
    The Volt, of course, handily defeats the Model S in any road rally.

    That’s more impressve than a drag race to me.


  13. 13
    kdawg

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (9:51 am)

    And here’s two Volts drag racing. Have to love the silent take-off. You can hear some ICE car grumbling in the background while the 2 Volts speed away.

    http://youtu.be/YBNf4iKOMak


  14. 14
    James

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (10:00 am)

    In the EVIndy 300, the Volt would leave the Model S 100 miles from the finish line.

    I love both cars, but this contest was nuts.

    NEDRA rocks though, and future EV racing events are definately possible with battery
    swaps in the pits, or a shorter race ( say 70-100 miles ). One option I thought of
    was a car swap rather than the common driver swap we see in endurance races. Just
    pull into the pits and jump into the sister EVracer for the second half of the race.

    Racing improves the breed, and maybe more importantly – captures the hearts and
    minds of future auto buyers. “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday”.

    ( Plug In ) POWER TO THE PEOPLE! ,

    James


  15. 15
    Jim I

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (10:09 am)

    My racing days are over. Now I look for the coolness factor!!!

    C-5277


  16. 16
    Davidl

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (10:48 am)

    I’ll leave it to someone else to run the numbers, but if you calculate the Tesla / Volt price ratio versus drag race finishing time ratio, I’d think the Volt would figure favorably.


  17. 17
    Kent

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (10:52 am)

    “But Volt fans often say they’d love to see a high-performance Voltec model, and GM is actually bringing one out that has such a posture, this being the Cadillac ELR.”

    From what I’ve read so far, “high-performance” to describe the ELR is kind of a stretch.

    Also, was the Volt in “Sport” mode during this drag race (not that it would have changed the result)?


  18. 18
    Dave G

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (11:27 am)

    kdawg: Volt vs Leaf drag race (skip to 2:30)
    http://youtu.be/AEeIKNUZ_Jk
    By the way, if you want to link to a specific time in a YouTube video, just add ?t=[seconds] at the end of the link, like this:
    http://youtu.be/AEeIKNUZ_Jk?t=150


  19. 19
    Noel Park

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (12:12 pm)

    “And does it matter?” Obviously not.

    If I wanted to drag race I wouldn’t have bought a Volt And I’m SURE not going to buy a Tesla.


  20. 20
    Raymondjram

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (12:21 pm)

    I want to Volt to beat any other vehicle, but let us wait for the Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR to arrive. Then we can see which is the fastest production EV from GM.

    Raymond


  21. 21
    kdawg

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (12:38 pm)

    OT: did you guys see the new Chevy lineup ad? Volt has the spotlight.

    http://youtu.be/cvjgZWZoeWg


  22. 22
    Noel Park

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (12:42 pm)

    kdawg:
    OT: did you guys see the new Chevy lineup ad?Volt has the spotlight.

    http://youtu.be/cvjgZWZoeWg

    #21

    Yeah, actually I saw it just last night. Pretty cool. +1


  23. 23
    Streetlight

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (1:12 pm)

    Can’t pass up your question. Last month at ELR’s intro I argued with a 1.4 it can hardly get out of its own way. I’m not alone.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/gm-unveils-volt-based-cadillac-elr/
    “That said, Tesla Model S and Fisker Karma owners will have no need to worry about losing a stoplight drag race to the Cadillac ELR unless they are caught slow off the line. Cadillac says the performance is to be announced, but – unless GM has a trick up its sleeve – the numbers do not add up to much better than possibly 0-60 times in the neighborhood of 8 seconds or so. We shall see on this question.” January 15, 2013

    To have even half a chance Caddy needs to install its award winning (Ward’s Engine-of-the-Year (1 of 10)) turbo 2.0.

    However, its hard to see why GM even fuzzed around with a 1.4 which doesn’t meet that market-segment point one would expect in upgrading from a Chevy to Caddy in terms of luxury/performance/price. Remember how GM used to advertise-showing a young family – “See the USA in your Chevrolet”…Whereas Caddy advertised “They choose the best. Their friends and associates…their motorcar…Cadillac.”

    Actually for a top quality tire the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti line is pretty reasonable at under $300 per.


  24. 24
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (1:46 pm)

    Roy_H:
    I expected the ELR to have a gen 2 motor with significantly higher power. However I guess that is not ready yet. Since it is pretty much stock Volt drive-train with software allowing short high power bursts greater than the Volt, it will perform only mildly better than the Volt and no where near Tesla Model S territory.

    For anyone that hasn’t seen this forum thread, It is very interesting. It seems we FINALLY have someone that is hacking code in the Volt. He claims he has the Volt running 6.5 seconds 0-60.
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?22034-Hi-Guys-almost-done-with-Hybrid-volt-support-in-efilive-to-tune-your-car-yourselves.


  25. 25
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (1:52 pm)

    Kent:
    “But Volt fans often say they’d love to see a high-performance Voltec model, and GM is actually bringing one out that has such a posture, this being the Cadillac ELR.”

    From what I’ve read so far, “high-performance” to describe the ELR is kind of a stretch.

    Also, was the Volt in “Sport” mode during this drag race (not that it would have changed the result)?

    and also was it in EV mode or in CS Mode.

    The forum thread I mentioned in #24 wait4me (Jesse). Is messing with maps in Hold mode and he has the Volt adding more accel with the ICE….ie battery buffer PLUS ICE= faster accels.

    Check it out.


  26. 26
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    kdawg:
    OT: did you guys see the new Chevy lineup ad?Volt has the spotlight.

    http://youtu.be/cvjgZWZoeWg

    Pretty good add for once.


  27. 27
    Mark Z

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (2:35 pm)

    I always found the Volt to have great acceleration when first at the traffic light. Zooming ahead of the pack is a thrill, especially when next to a Prius. The Volt makes it effortless by just pressing the accelerator to the floor without worry about losing traction or excessive tire wear. Since the traffic signal speed limit is generally in the 30 to 45 mph range, Volt acceleration to maximum speed occurs quickly.

    The Tesla Performance Model S requires careful acceleration from a stop to avoid tire wear. When the road surface is wet, the tire spin is excessive, especially if painted surfaces occur in the acceleration zone. A bit of shimmy may occur with damp roads, although the traction control does a good job. No matter what the EV, it’s fun to zoom ahead without the noise and added pollution.


  28. 28
    DonC

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (2:49 pm)

    kdawg:
    And here’s two Volts drag racing.

    Good find. Now we know for a fact that the red ones are SLOWER! LOL (Don’t tell George).


  29. 29
    George S. Bower

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (3:24 pm)

    DonC: Good find. Now we know for a fact that the red ones are SLOWER! LOL (Don’t tell George).

    I heard that. (Actually I ended up with silver). So now I’m pretty sure silver ones are faster:)


  30. 30
    volt11

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (4:57 pm)

    It’s easy to forgive the Volt for being slower. Eventually, similar videos will appear with Tesla S vs. ELR, and that won’t be easily forgiven. This is part of what GM is facing in (my predicted disastrous) public relations with bringing out the under-engineered ELR.


  31. 31
    Noel Park

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (7:12 pm)

    volt11: This is part of what GM is facing in (my predicted disastrous) public relations with bringing out the under-engineered ELR.

    #30

    Or maybe Tesla will lose sales because its “over engineered” car is too expensive. If I wanted to drag race the last thing I would do is buy a BEV. What do you think happens to the range when you mat the throttle like that?

    Better IMHO to have less acceleration and more range. Or the same range and a smaller motor/battery to get the price down. If their strategy is to sell enough very expensive cars to the “1%” and have a viable business that way, then good luck to them. “I’m from Missouri.”


  32. 32
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (10:41 pm)

    Streetlight: Can’t pass up your question. Last month at ELR’s intro I argued with a 1.4 it can hardly get out of its own way. I’m not alone.

    I would go the other way. Give it a 250hp electric motor and and keep the 1.4 range extender. That will give you loads of acceleration, which is what people want. In the U.S., nobody cares about top speed, they only look at 0-60.


  33. 33
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (11:00 pm)

    Noel Park: Better IMHO to have less acceleration and more range.

    Why not both?

    I’ve heard larger, more powerful electric motors are actually more efficient. This is the exact opposite of gas engines, so it takes a while to get used to. Think about it, a larger structure allows a more effective transfer of induction. Also remember that with induction motors, you can control the B-field on the rotor, allowing high efficiency throughout the operating power range.

    For example, let’s say you have a 150hp induction motor operating at 30hp. Compare that to a 250hp induction motor operating at 30hp. The larger electric motor running at the same 30hp output may actually be more efficient. It’s a new world…


  34. 34
    DonC

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    Feb 11th, 2013 (11:55 pm)

    George S. Bower: He claims he has the Volt running 6.5 seconds 0-60.

    I think he has it down to 5.5 seconds now.

    Noel Park: If I wanted to drag race the last thing I would do is buy a BEV. What do you think happens to the range when you mat the throttle like that?

    You’re not going very far so I don’t think range is a big deal. FWIW I think all EVs should have three modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco. That way you can pick what you want to do.