Jay Leno Confirms Tesla Model S Plaid Broke Quarter-Mile Record With 9.4s Run

Tesla Model S Plaid 7 photos
Photo: Tesla
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Jay Leno has a soft spot for anything that goes fast, so he naturally fell in love with Teslas. After all, very few things out there offer the same kind of exhilarating experience under hard acceleration as a Model S Performance does, not to mention room for kids and baggage as well.
He made no secret out of his close relationship with Elon Musk, with the latest public outing being when he drove the Cybertruck with the Tesla CEO right next to him during an episode of the MSNBC show "Jay Leno's Garage." However, a recent appearance on the Spike's Car Radio podcast has revealed he's had more recent contact with the EV maker's products since, though not the kind we can expect to see online. At least not before June 10.

Talking to the hosts, Jay suddenly felt the need to brag a little—not judging, we'd be bouncing around the room if we sat on such a bombshell—about his accomplishments. Almost 14 minutes into the show, he brings up his Tesla Model S Plaid shenanigans at the Bakersfield Drag Strip from earlier this year.

According to the revelation, the former host of "The Tonight Show" had driven the yet unreleased electric sedan on a (then) record-breaking quarter-mile pass of 9.247 seconds and with a trap speed of 152.09 mph (244.76 kph). Leno says people from the NHRA were also there to make it official, so expect all this to break out precisely one week from now when the first deliveries for the new Model S Plaid are scheduled to begin. Unless, of course, we'll see another delay.

The only thing tainting Tesla's and Jay Leno's party is the release of the Rimac Nevera electric hypercar. Even though they play in very different leagues (the Croatian EV costs $2.4 million and has a limited production run of 150 units, all sold out already), it's still the first time a company managed to build an EV that's more capable than the best Tesla has to offer (Porsche Taycan Turbo S aside since that one is still undecided).

Not only did the Rimac beat it, but by the numbers we've seen so far, it's done so by a huge margin. Carwow host Mat Watson managed an 8.62-second run on a non-prepped surface, and the only downside was that the numbers came from a GPS-based performance tracking device, not homologated timing gear. We're still waiting for an official figure from Rimac, but they're probably holding on because they feel there is still room for improvement.

If Tesla wants to regain the crown, it'll have to bring the Roadster quickly, and the sports car will have to be everything that was promised and nothing less. For now, we have a strange feeling Rimac will troll Musk's company by releasing their official record run one day ahead of the Model S Plaid event. That would force Tesla to change the narrative from "the quickest production car" to "the quickest four-door production car". Bummer.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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