Tesla was very specific about how and when it allowed MotorTrend (MT) to conduct its measured tests of the new Model S Plaid’s performance. MT was told that if it didn’t agree to carry everything out at the Famoso Raceway just outside Bakersield, California, it would not be allowed to test the car.
MT initially pushed for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California but eventually agreed and it did manage to do an acceleration run to sixty in the Plaid that dipped below the 2-second mark. The car they tested completed the benchmark sprint in 1.98 seconds (ever so slightly quicker than Tesla’s claim) and while previously we had no video evidence of the run, now we do courtesy of this TikTok video we found on MT’s official account.
It is worth noting, though, that the publication says you can’t really dip below 2 seconds unless ‘ you write your own rules.’ What it’s referring to is the fact that you have to take rollout into account and the run needs to be done on a VHT-prepped surface (also known as PJ1 TrackBite that’s a special kind of resin-based surface specifically designed for drag strips to enhance grip and allow for crazy launches).
In MT’s test, the Model S Plaid completed the quarter-mile in 9.25 seconds at 152.6 mph / 245.6 km/h. For reference, the Bugatti Chiron Sport held the record previously and the quickest it was ever recorded was 9.4 seconds and the speed was 158 mph / 254.3 km/h. It will be interesting to see if upgraded wheels and tires will allow the Plaid to drop that time even more, or if they will just allow it to achieve similar results without requiring a special grippy drag surface.