Model S Plaid acceleration test confirms 'fastest' title (image: Tesla)
Model S Plaid acceleration test confirms ‘fastest’ title (image: Tesla)

The Tesla Model S Plaid managed to beat а Porsche Taycan Turbo S, a Lucid Air, and an electric Audi RS in real-life acceleration test done with a foot of rollout subtracted. The Model S Plaid has now become the fastest car ever tested in Motor Trend’s 0-60 MPH vehicle acceleration rankings.

While Tesla lists its upcoming Roadster 2 performance sports car as capable of going from 0-60 MPH in 1.9 seconds, it actually offers a full-sized family sedan – the Model S Plaid – whose specs include a 1.99 seconds acceleration time available to drivers right now. Granted, the sub-2 seconds acceleration is measured “with rollout subtracted,” clarifies Tesla, but Motor Trend’s standardized testing procedure just confirmed what Tesla has been saying all along about the performance sedan’s capabilities.

The Tesla Model S Plaid became the fastest car ever tested in its top 10 ranking, beating the more expensive Porsche Taycan Turbo S, but also its other competitors among performance EVs, the 2022 Lucid Air and Audi RS E-Tron GT models. The Model S Plaid accelerated from 0-60 MPH in 2.3 seconds with one foot of rollout subtracted, just like the National Hot Rod Association does in its drag tests.

That’s a bit slower than Tesla’s promised 1.99 seconds, but then again manufacturer numbers rarely match real-life third-party tests as the conditions often differ. What’s even more impressive, however, is the 9.3 seconds of quarter-mile time when the Model S Plaid was already clocking a 152 MPH speed.

Fastest production cars acceleration time list

  1. Tesla Model S Plaid: 2.3 seconds
  2. Porsche Taycan Turbo S: 2.4 seconds
  3. Lucid Air Grand Touring: 2.7 seconds
  4. Audi RS E-Tron GT: 2.9 seconds
  5. Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+: 3 seconds

One may think there would be no need to wait for the Tesla Roadster 2 release and its magic 1.9 seconds acceleration number given that the Model S Plaid is a larger, more comfortable car that is available right now and can churn out a very similar performance. The Roadster 2, however, is expected to offer a much longer range on a charge, being in practice a more compact sports car.

Moreover, a recent display of a Roadster 2 prototype at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA reads that a “SpaceX package would outfit the Roadster with cold air rocket thrusters positioned at the rear, allowing for a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 1.1 seconds – largely unprecedented among modern road cars,” in case 0-60 MPH in under 2 seconds wasn’t already quick enough.

Besides proving to be the fastest production car in standardized acceleration tests, the Model S Plaid also recently managed to become the first such vehicle to crack the 200 MPH top speed barrier in a not-so-standardized test achieving 216 MPH. There are some performance electric cars that are expected to be faster than the Model S Plaid when they land, such as the Lucid Air Sapphire Edition, or the Hyper SSR, but they are to be more expensive and largely in the vaporware stage still.

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Daniel Zlatev, 2023-01- 8 (Update: 2023-01- 8)

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