What It Takes to Beat a Tesla


While Tesla has received a fair amount of criticism – much of it warranted – over missed production deadlines, increasingly negative profit margins, and issues with its driverless operations, the reality is that they seem to be making some pretty good cars. A recent Consumer Reports study, which included the top 30 vehicle brands, saw Tesla receive the industry’s highest marks for customer satisfaction.

Among their offerings is a vehicle that currently stands as the quickest 0-60 mph production vehicle in existence. The Tesla Roadster boasts the ability to go 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. And while the view from the top can be rewarding, it also makes you an easy target.

Such is the case with the group behind the Japanese electric supercar called the Aspark Owl. The group recently offered a video that supposedly showed their vehicle, which is a prototype, matching the Roadster time by hitting 60 mph in 1.92 seconds. And while the video is ripe for scrutiny, even if you take the team at its word in matching the Tesla speed, it’s interesting to see what they had to do to get there.

First, the company used a confined area for the test to mitigate any wind. Second, it used racing tires, or slicks, instead of road-legal tires. This lack of grip translates to quicker acceleration. And while it might match the Tesla in one respect, its top speed of 174 mph is far less than the Roadster’s 250 mph.

The Owl also needed to generate more horsepower – 430 vs. Tesla’s 268 to match acceleration rates. The strain placed on its two electric motors could create some interesting challenges in the near future.

Oh, and then there’s the projected price tag for the Owl – about $4 million to Tesla’s $200,000 for the Roadster.

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