The speed merchants at DragTimes wanted to see if they could set the world’s fastest SUV record. Thanks to the physics of electric motors, it look like they may have succeeded. At the Palm Beach International Raceway on Aug. 18, DragTimes staged a head-to-head race between a Tesla Model X SUV and a Lamborghini Aventador SV, one of the fastest cars in the Italian brand’s stable.
The souped-up Model X, a P100D model with 100 kWh worth of battery packs, set what DragTimes says is a new record for the world’s quickest SUV. The Model X hit a top speed of 118 mph and traveled a quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds, according to race slips from The Palm Beach International Speedway. The Model X crossed the finish line 0.05 seconds aheads of its rival. An official at the Speedway confirmed DragTime’s race by phone, but could not certify claims as official records.
The feat is impressive since the $165,000 Model X, essentially a luxury family car, beat a hand-built $530,000 sports car from one of racing’s most venerable brands.
Electric cars are faster off the block because they offer instant torque: almost 100% of the batteries’ energy goes to accelerating the car at a standing stop. Internal combustion engines aren’t able to exert the same degree of torque, even if a conventional gasoline fuel tank packs more energy than a comparable-sized battery (for now). This likely won’t be the last speed record to fall as electric powertrains are tuned for high-performance vehicles.
Correction: A previous version of this post stated a incorrect 0-60 time for the Model X. This has been corrected.