That Tesla Model S Plaid 0-60 Time is Bunk

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
that tesla model s plaid 0 60 time is bunk

Continuing a theme from earlier today, we need to remind you to read beyond the headline.

Especially when someone like Tesla boss Elon Musk makes a claim that seems too good to be true.

You’ve probably heard by now that the Tesla Model S Plaid can hit a 0-60 mph time of 1.99 seconds. But the gang at Motor Trend found that there are a lot of strings attached to that time.

The whole thing’s worth a read, but the short version is this — Tesla wanted MT to test on a surface specifically prepped for drag racing (meaning stickier than regular roads). Furthermore, the car needs to be placed into a drag-strip mode and a launch-control mode needs to be engaged. And you need some time to make this all happen — the drag-strip mode needs eight to 15 minutes to precondition the powertrain and brakes.

So, in order to reach the time Tesla and CEO Elon Musk claimed, you need to accommodate for the special setup.

Tesla tried to claim that any Plaid owners seeking speed will actually use that setup at the drag strip, but MT points the car doesn’t have the safety gear necessary to run at those kinds of speeds, and the launch-control’s timing requirements would leave any driver in the lurch anyway.

To be fair to Tesla, Motor Trend did point out that car still hits 0-60 in close to 2 seconds on a less-sticky surface and that it was consistent in terms of returning fast times. And the previous 0-60 record holder at the magazine was also a Tesla.

So the Plaid is not, in any way, slow. It’s one of the fastest-accelerating cars on the market. Yet Elon Musk overstated the claim because … well, we can only guess why. Probably because under 2 seconds sounds better than “slightly above 2 seconds” and Musk likes to boast.

Still, it’s an unnecessary distortion of the truth. Zero to sixty in almost two seconds is still goddamn fast. Those numbers are almost unfathomable.

Musk needn’t have stretched the truth. Thank God Motor Trend — yes, Motor Trend, of all places — had the resources to poke holes in his claim while keeping perspective. Musk may have misled, but the fact remains the car is ludicrously fast.

[Image: Tesla]

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    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 21, 2021

      Community Service Moment: To post a youtube link on TTAC, look down below the video [current youtube format; they'll probably change it 20 minutes from now] and click on the "→ SHARE" text. Then hit the "COPY" button and you have a link which should survive the posting process. Bonus: To link to a specific start point in the video, select the "Start at..." check box; you can adjust the time here in minutes and seconds (or by changing the "t=" figure in the link, here listed in seconds only). [Someone (not me) should also post a "How To" on which specific "Reply" button to use in which circumstances (to reply to a specific post and to avoid posting to the wrong article, which is easy to do with the current setup).]

  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Jun 21, 2021

    Kinda surprised to see Motor Trend criticize anything new. Usually, they wait until the next model has come out and you're 22 payments in before they confess as to how lousy it was!

  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!
  • Merc190 I would like to show the stylists this new model side by side to a 93 Accord SE in black and point out how the older model looked better in every single detail.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Too many folks need that /sarc/ tag. In my opinion, that tag is the equivalent of a television laugh track. If you need the laugh track to know that last line was supposed to be funny, you're pretty hopeless.
  • Canam23 A fine car, but I still preferred the Mazda 6, very pretty and zoom zoom!