Tesla Model S Plaid Fails To Break The 2-Second Barrier

Electric Vehicles / 19 Comments

But it has a few excuses.

After several unfortunate delays, the fastest Tesla ever was finally delivered to the first lucky customers at a live event hosted from Tesla's Fremont Factory. The 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid arrives boasting some incredible specifications, including a 0.208 drag coefficient, a tri-motor setup with 1,020-horsepower, a sub-2-second 0-60 mph time, and a 200 mph top speed. With deliveries now underway, we will soon see owners pit the Model S Plaid in drag races against the world's best supercars. Before then, noted drag racing enthusiast Brooks from DragTimes experienced the Plaid's acceleration at the Tesla event.

This is our first look at Plaid acceleration mode, named after the comically-named speed reached in Spaceballs, Elon Musk's favorite movie. This demonstration uses Tesla's new "Cheetah Stance" function to achieve acceleration that looks painful to watch.

DragTimes / YouTube
DragTimes / YouTube
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Rear View Driving Tesla

The Tesla driver warns Brooks and his passenger to rest their heads back and hold their phones tightly. This acceleration looked shocking even for someone who runs their own drag racing YouTube channel testing the world's fastest cars. The jolt looks immediate, as expected from a Tesla. Using a phone-based app, Drag Times measured the Plaid's acceleration during one of the runs.

The results show a 2.74-second 0-60 time with a 6.63-second eighth-mile time at 98.04 mph. The phone app is likely not 100% precise, so we wouldn't put too much stock into the car not achieving its claimed sprint time. And remember, there were three people in the car. With such a low claimed number, a prepped road surface can make a huge difference as well.

DragTimes / YouTube
DragTimes / YouTube
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Central Console Tesla

We can't wait to see the Model S Plaid go up against the Porsche Taycan Turbo S in a drag race. The latter has a claimed 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds, and in our experience, Porsche always underestimates its acceleration times. If the demonstration from DragTimes is not a fluke, perhaps the race will end closer than expected. Tesla previously planned an even faster Plaid+ model but canceled it because the standard model is supposedly good enough. The Model S Plaid is available now, starting at $129,990.


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