Leave it to MotorTrend to be the first publication to officially test the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid's zero-to-60-mph time. Tesla claims the car is the first to break the two-second barrier, with the ability to accelerate to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds. And, MT says it can, but there are many very specific conditions that must be met. It's important to note that this is also the case with other manufacturer's officially published times.
With that said, MotorTrend isn't the first to point out that there are plenty of caveats here. We've already mentioned the rollout situation, as well as the need for very specific conditions, tires, etc. However, MT goes so far as to say the Plaid can't pull off a sub-2-second 0-60-mph time unless "you write your own rules." Interestingly, it also says it pulled of the sprint in 1.98 seconds. Huh?
First of all, Tesla didn't allow MT to use its own testing facility. It basically told them the test had to be completed at Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California, or there would be no test. After plenty of back and forth, MT agreed. On the day of the test, Tesla said the test could only happen on a VHT-prepped surface, which caused more back and forth, but again, MT followed Tesla's rules.
To get the quickest Model S Plaid acceleration time, you have to choose Drag Strip mode, which MT says takes some eight to 15 minutes to precondition the car for the quickest acceleration. MT writes:
"Once you've enabled Drag Strip mode, quickly chirp the tires on the VHT—at Famoso, it was caked on so thick it very nearly pulled our shoes off—by stabbing the throttle to clear any debris from the tires. To engage launch control, push hard on the brake, press the accelerator to the floor, and wait. Over the next nine or so seconds, the Model S' nose drops into the Plaid's "cheetah stance." When the final "launch control ready" message is displayed, firmly press your noggin against the headrest (trust us), release the brake, and hang on."
MotorTrend is clear to say that no matter how you look at it, the Plaid is "staggeringly impressive," as well as the most consistent car it has ever tested. In the end, the Model S Plaid is certainly the quickest production car MT has ever tested. It may not be able to pull off a sub-2-second 0-60 without all conditions met, but it comes pretty darn close no matter what you do.
As with many of MotorTrend's articles, this one is a monster. There are a ton of details and juicy morsels you need to read, but we can't take credit for them. Follow the source link below to read MotorTrend's full coverage.