One vehicle has 50,000 pounds of thrust with a top speed at three-quarters the speed of sound. The other vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and it uses no gas. Which one would win a race?
It sounds like a poorly written SAT math problem. But in reality, the race was a publicity stunt jointly run between Tesla and Qantas Airways to highlight sustainability and innovation. Earlier this year, Qantas pitted its $60M 737-800 against a $120k Tesla P90D in an epic drag race.
What’s the play-by-play?
It’s an impressive drag race. The nominally-loaded Boeing 737 typically accelerates to about 140 knots prior to rotation. While the rumble of a jet is pretty loud, the initial acceleration of an airliner is actually pretty slow, especially compared to the high torque of the electric sports sedan. The 737 is still impressive though. It quickly picks up speed to match the Tesla before the Tesla squeaks ahead and ‘takes the flag’ just prior to the 737-800 rotating and climbing into the sky while the electric luxury vehicle begins to slow down before reaching the end of the taxiway.