Watch a Tesla Model X beat an Alfa Romeo 4C in a drag race … while towing a 4C

Tesla Model X
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.

Fun fact: many high-performance cars cross the quarter mile line faster when towed by a Model X than they do on their…

Posted by Sterling Anderson on Saturday, March 19, 2016

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.

Cars

Lamborghini’s ST-X will likely spawn a super-Urus with the soul of a race car

Lamborghini is taking the Urus racing in 2020. The racing version will be lighter than the production model it's based on, and we expect it will be a good deal quicker. It is also trickling into a performance version of the Urus.
Cars

Ford gears up to build rugged, capable hybrid trucks and SUVs

Ford is planning to put hybrid powertrains into big trucks and SUVs, and doesn't want to sacrifice things like towing capacity and off-road capability. A new hybrid system may help do that.
Cars

2020 GMC Sierra sees a bunch of updates, including adaptive cruise

GMC announced updates to its 2020 GMC Sierra pickup truck, including much-needed adaptive cruise control, a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine option, improved towing cameras, and expanded availability of the 10-speed automatic transmission.
Cars

Tesla’s recent Model S fires prompt the company to update its battery software

Following three Model S incidents where the cars caught fire while parked, Tesla has started pushing out an update for Model S and Model X batteries to improve their safety. The company is still investigating the cause of the fires.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Semi-autonomous and always available: A peek into the near future of car rental

Soon we will see connected rental fleets with a dedicated lane at airports for self-driving cars, where drivers control the car to the airport, and then the empty car drives itself to the rental lot.
Product Review

Want an electric car that doesn't look like an electric car? Meet Audi's E-Tron

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the German automaker’s first series-production electric car. Rather than make a bold statement with its first electric vehicle, Audi chose to make the E-Tron as much like its other cars as possible.
Cars

Walmart slashes prices on electric hybrid bicycles for National Bike Month

Electric bikes can be economical, convenient, and fun. Heading into summer, Walmart slashed the prices for two pedal-assist Hyper E-ride Mountain and City Electric Hybrid Bikes by 40%. We found a variety of e-rides for under $1,000.
Cars

GM thinks up new electronic brain for its cars, allowing over-the-air updates

General Motors is launching a new electrical architecture to support more tech features in its cars. The system debuts on the 2020 Cadillac CT5, and will roll out to most other GM models by 2023.
Cars

Ford aluminum truck beds prove haters wrong, are cheaper to repair than steel

Repair costs were a major concern for truck buyers when Ford launched its aluminum F-150. But insurance data indicates that, if anything, the F-150 may be cheaper to repair than traditional steel trucks.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz safety-car concept monitors the road ahead and your kids

The Mercedes-Benz Experimental Safety Vehicle 2019 was designed for a world where humans and machines share driving duties. It can use lights to communicate with other road users and even monitor an infant's vital signs.
Cars

GM hits reverse with Maven carsharing as it closes service in eight cities

GM-owned Maven will close its carsharing service in 8 of the 17 North American cities where it currently operates. Competing with the likes of Zipcar and Car2Go, the app-based service offers car rental by the hour or day.
Cars

Crisp and connected, the Volkswagen Golf will get a digital reboot in 2020

Volkswagen is putting the final touches on the eighth-generation Golf. The hatchback will still be recognizable as a member of the Golf family, but it will receive a crisper design inside and out.
Cars

With Tesla bleeding money, Elon Musk initiates hardcore spending review

After posting a sizable $700 million loss in the first quarter of 2019, Tesla announced it will review every expense, no matter the size, to keep spending in check. Company CEO Elon Musk will personally approve every 10th expense page.