It's quicker than a Bugatti.
Shortly after its big debut, the Tesla Model S Plaid is capturing all the headlines. Not only does this latest Model S boast the lowest drag coefficient of any current production vehicle, but it also boasts some ludicrous performance claims. With 1,020 horsepower on tap from three electric motors, Tesla claims the Model S Plaid can hit 0-60 mph (with a rollout) in under two seconds. As we've already seen, albeit with four passengers in the car, those figures seem optimistic. What we need is someone unbiased behind the wheel to see what the Plaid can do. Someone like Jay Leno.
In a piece for CNBC, Jay Leno took the new Model S Plaid to the drag strip. The Plaid has reportedly broken several track records already, including the production car quarter-mile record. So, did Tesla do it again with Leno behind the wheel? Watch the video before you read on to avoid spoilers.
The 71-year-old late-night comedy star and car lover managed to blast down the quarter-mile drag strip in just 9.24 seconds at 152 miles per hour. This time was quick enough to validate the Model S Plaid as the quickest production car in the world; it's quicker than any Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Bugatti sold today. Remember, this is a five-seater sedan with two trunks, not a low-slung supercar lacking any usable practicality.
"I'm a huge fan of American technology," Leno explained. "Especially products developed here using locally-sourced stuff. That's why I love this car. $130,000 is a tremendous amount of money, but to get the same performance from an internal combustion engine, you'd probably have to spend (in the case of Bugatti) $2.5 million."
Tesla previously planned an even quicker Model S Plaid Plus model with 1,100 hp and a 0-60 mph time below two seconds. This model was canceled because the standard Plaid is "just so good." Clearly, the company had a point. Though the Model S Plaid is now the world's quickest production car, its reign won't last long. The upcoming Rimac Nevera clocked an unofficial 8.62-second quarter-mile at 171.7 mph, so it should blitz the Tesla.