Tesla Model S Plaid closes on 8-second quarter mile, sets new record

A blue Tesla Model S Plaid unit with new aeros attacks the Nurburgring. (Photo: Stefan Baldauf/Auto Motor Uund Sport)

Jay Leno’s time was beaten by a Tesla Model S Plaid at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL.

The Tesla Model S Plaid is a monster of a car. Even before its delivery event at the Fremont Factory in California, reports were already swirling that the vehicle had established a new world record at the quarter-mile with legendary late-night host Jay Leno behind the wheel. Leno’s time was impressive — 9.247 seconds with a trap speed of 152.09 mph, quicker than the Bugatti Chiron Sport.

In a recent run at the World Wide Technolgy Raceway, the Tesla Model S Plaid ran the quarter-mile in 9.08 seconds with a trap speed of 154.10 mph. It was a whole new record, beating Leno’s time of 9.247 seconds and popular YouTube host DragTimes’ 9.248 seconds.

The video of the record-setting run did not indicate if the Model S Plaid achieved its record-setting numbers with a stripped interior or if the time was achieved with a bone-stock car. Even with a stripped interior, however, a 9.08-second quarter-mile time is extremely impressive. Even the Dodge Challenger Demon, a car built for the quarter-mile, could only achieve a 9.65-second quarter-mile time with a trap speed of 140 mph, after all, and that’s under perfect conditions.



It is quite interesting that the Tesla Model S Plaid could achieve these numbers fairly easily. Even if the car was gutted, more weight reduction in the form of lighter wheels and other lighter components could allow the Model S Plaid to achieve a quarter-mile time in the 8-second range. And that’s not counting any software updates from Tesla that could unlock more performance from the vehicle.

The Model S Plaid is Tesla’s best vehicle today, but it is not the end-all and be-all for the flagship sedan. Its top speed is currently limited to 163 mph pending a software update, which would unlock the car’s real top speed of 200 mph. Considering how hard the Model S Plaid pulls from 60-150 mph, there’s a good chance that the car’s quarter-mile times could improve even further in the near future.

Watch the Model S Plaid’s record-setting run in the video below!

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