Tesla promises the new Model X crossover can tow 5,000 pounds when it’s properly equipped, but it hasn’t revealed what effect towing a trailer has on performance. Eager to find out, an enthusiast boldly hit the drag strip to see what happens when an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is pitted against a Model X that’s towing another 4C Spider.
A video of the race was published on Facebook by Sterling Anderson, a man who is the former director of the Model X program and who was recently put in charge of Tesla’s Autopilot program. There’s no word on whether Anderson is behind the wheel or where the race was filmed, but the video clearly shows the X — presumably a range-topping P90D model with Ludicrous Speed turned on — silently pulling away from a red 4C Spider with a yellow 4C Spider in tow. The roughly 6,000-pound X beat the 4C in a quarter-mile race, but no times were given so we don’t know how far ahead it was.
For those who need a refresher course, the Tesla Model X P90D comes standard with a 90kWh battery pack, and a compact electric motor mounted over each axle. In comparison, the ultra-light Alfa — not Alpha, as Anderson spelled it — 4C Spider is equipped with a mid-mounted turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels only via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that can be controlled with shift paddles.
Officially, the 4C Spider can hit 60 mph from a stop in approximately 4.1 seconds. The Tesla Model X P90D performs the same task in 3.2 seconds when Ludicrous Speed is turned on, meaning it’s about as fast as a Porsche 911 GT3. It’s clear that the X easily beats the Alfa, even with a trailer in tow, but we’d be curious to find out how much electricity was left in the battery pack after the high-speed jaunt.
Also published on Medium.