The Tesla Model S Plaid Can’t Hit 60 MPH in Under 2 Seconds Without Special Prep

Tesla Model S Plaid 7 photos
Photo: Tesla
Tesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S Plaid
Pretty much any automaker is going to great lengths to make their products more appealing. But often rather than rarely, an overpromising product disappoints in the real world. That’s also the case with Tesla, which is advertising the Plaid with a 1.99-second acceleration to 60 mph.
These being said, look closer at the build-your-own tool on Tesla’s website. There’s no asterisk next to the 1.99-second claim on the main page of the configurator, but curiously enough, the asterisk is listed on the “feature details” menu. The explanation for it? As expected of the boastful automaker, that time is only possible with the first foot of rollout subtracted.

MotorTrend wanted to find out for themselves how the Model S Plaid fares in a straight line, and their best run ended in 1.98 seconds. From the very beginning of their story, MotorTrend highlights very specific preparations that include a VHT-covered speedway and Drag Strip mode turned on. Without the super-sticky black resin that improves traction, the most the Model S Plaid has to offer is 2.07 seconds according to the cited publication.

As far as quarter-mile performance is concerned, the demo vehicle managed 9.25 seconds at 152.6 miles per hour (245.5 kilometers per hour) and 9.34 seconds at 152.2 miles per hour (244.9 kilometers per hour). Oh, and by the way, the biggest headache Model S Plaid owners will face when drag racing is the Cheetah Stance because it takes approximately 10 seconds to engage.

Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained isn’t exactly convinced by these numbers, highlighting on Twitter that MotorTrend hasn’t mentioned the rollout once in their story. Features editor Christian Seabaugh then replies 2.28 seconds without rollout on VHT-less asphalt, which isn’t quite as impressive as the 2.07 seconds with rollout mentioned in the article.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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