Elon Musk must have infused the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid with some SpaceX DNA, because the all-electric four-door family sedan just broke the world record for the quarter-mile at an organ-shifting 9.2-seconds.
News of the Tesla Model S Plaid’s feat comes from Spike’s Car Radio Podcast (opens in new tab), also reported by Electrek (opens in new tab), in which former late-night host Jay Leno revealed that he got to witness Tesla’s record-breaking run in person. The EV reached a top speed of 152 MPH, which is rather impressive for such a short distance. This makes the Tesla Model S Plaid officially the fastest production car ever. If only it could be fast enough to avoid the delays that keep pushing the Tesla Model S Plaid's launch back.
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The run took place at Famoso Bakersfield Raceway in McFarland, California, last month, and Leno says it included an official from the National Hot Rod Association. By having the official there, it made Tesla’s run, well, official. That’s in contrast to the 8.6-second quarter-mile run by the $2.45 million Rimac Nevera, which didn’t have an official present. It also means that Tesla won’t be able to hold on to this title for long, as Rimac is likely working on making its run official as soon as possible.
Either way, the quarter-mile time by the Tesla Model S Plaid is incredibly impressive. The Model S Plaid, which starts at $120K, beat out multimillion dollar internal-combustion giants like the Bugatti Chiron Sport, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and the Ferrari 488 Pista.
Granted, EVs do particularly well in acceleration tests, as electric motors don’t have to wait for fuel mixtures to activate, causing hundreds of mechanical parts to get the wheels moving. With electric, the torque is instantaneous. Although gas vehicles do have an edge in terms of top speed, hypercars like the Nevera are proving that they too can break that 200 MPH barrier.
At the moment, there’s no official release date for the Tesla Model S Plaid. It’s also not possible to pre-order one right now. The car is expected to land sometime in early 2022.