Tesla Model S Plaid Drag Races Nissan GT-R, Destruction Comes With Zero Effort

In theory, the presence of the brand-spanking new Tesla Model S Plaid at the drag strip shouldn't be disruptive. After all, everybody knows the tri-motor monster comes with a quarter-mile time of 9.23s, so it's not like its performance can surprise any potential competitors, right?
Tesla Model S Plaid Drag Races Nissan GT-R 6 photos
Photo: Drag Racing and Car Stuff/YouTube
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Things don't work like that in the real world, where the 1/4-mile number of the 1,020-hp monster can be affected by factors such as the track prep and tires. Still, it's safe to say the electric nature of the machine means it won't have the hot temperature issues of internal combustion machines.

Besides, its AWD should enable consistent launches, while the vehicle's single-speed transmission means there's no gearshift to influence the run. For the record, the Palo Alto company explains the presence of a more complex two-speed gearbox, such as that on the Porsche Taycan, wasn't necessary. That's because the Plaid's single front and twin rear motors feature a key update compared to the Model 3/Model Y hardware they're based on, sporting carbon-fiber sleeves that allow the hardware to spin all the way to 20,000 rpm.

In fact, we've brought along a sample of what happens when a Model S Plaid hits the strip. The action, which can be seen in the video below, was recently captured at the Great Lakes Dragway in Wisconsin (lens tip to YouTube label Drag Racing and Car Stuff).

Despite the EV having already matched the official 1/4-mile time and on the street nonetheless (the lack of proper third-party verification does raise some questions, though), this Pearl White example only manages a 9.71s run.

Even so, that's enough to see the Tesla blow the doors off a 2009 Nissan GT-R (3:18 timestamp) that had dominated the drag strip up to that point, albeit with one notable exception.

You see, Godzilla, which had been gifted with bolt-on mods and sips on E85, managed to one-up a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody and a tuned 2020 BMW X3 M Competition but never stood a chance against a 1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass.

The G-body toy, which seems to have been heavily modified, not only one-upped the GT-R but delivered a run—sadly, the camera steers clear of the scoreboard—that made us believe it could give the Tesla a hard time.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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