Ferrari's CEO shoots down claims that Tesla's Model S is secretly a supercar
- Tesla has posted some crazy fast 0-60 numbers for its Model S, raising comparisons with supercars.
- But there's more to supercars that straight-line speed.
- Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne helpfully pointed this out.
The Tesla Model S P100D, with "Ludicrous Mode" acceleration, can go from 0-60 mph in a mind-boggling 2.3 seconds. This has led to declarations that this all-electric four-door, a family sedan for the future, is secretly a supercar.
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On Thursday, it became clear that Marchionne doesn't think Tesla has created a real supercar (even though Tesla did unveil a new Roadster last November that, when built, will be the fastest thing on the road, with a predicted 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds and styling that's anything but stodgy).He reiterated his "Ferrari will be first" comment, in the process taking a shot at the handling characteristic of electric vehicles. They aren't great. The P100D is stunning in a straight line, but that makes it more of an electric muscle car than a flashy European go-around-corners demon, like, say, a Ferrari 488 GTB.
He also took a shot at Tesla, citing an earlier 0-60 time."I have read some interesting analyst reports that suggest that that now that Tesla has done a car that does 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and there is no room for supercars," he said. Hollis Johnson
"Well, I would challenge anybody who's driven an electric car to try and drive at the same way we drive a Ferrari and you'd recognize immediately that the handling characteristics of the car are totally different. So whenever Ferrari will express itself in a fully electric vehicle, it will do so by making sure that both sound and handling are reflective of Ferrari's heritage."
Zero-to-60 performance makes headlines because it's a neat way to deliver the "fast" message, but those in the know about performance cars understand that acceleration is but one piece of the puzzle. A useful piece, but simply a piece nonetheless. For example, the huge electric batteries that EVs have to lug around present a bigger challenge for handling than the internal-combustion components of a Ferrari, which can be moved around the vehicle's frame to optimize balance.
Ultimately, Tesla and other EV brands might produce "their" Ferraris. But for now, Ferrari thinks they have some work to do - and is convinced that its electric supercars, should they ever exist, will still be not just Ferrari-good, but Ferrari-better.Get the latest Tesla stock price here.
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