Jay Leno Set a 1/4-Mile World Record in a Tesla Model S Plaid

Jay Leno, the man who once hosted The Tonight Show, set a 1/4-mile world record in his Tesla Model S on Thursday.

Jay Leno set a 1/4-mile world record in his Tesla Model S Plaid.

Many EVs can outrun their ICE equivalents even without rocket thrusters. At least, when they don’t speed quickly enough to perform wheelies, as the Mustang Cobra Jet demonstrated. And the newest Tesla announcement adds to the evidence of EV speed. The Tesla Model S Plaid just set a new production vehicle world record with Jay Leno at the helm.

On paper, the Tesla Model S Plaid seems to be very quick.

Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla Model S

The Plaid is now the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S trim, with the Plaid+ being formally discontinued. On paper, it’s still a fast vehicle, even if it’s not quite as radical as the Plaid+ would have been. Not to mention less expensive.

There are three electric motors in the Tesla Model S Plaid: two in the back and one in the front. According to Autoweek, the front-mounted ones provide all-wheel drive, while the rear-mounted ones offer torque-vectoring capabilities. They put out a whopping 1,020 horsepower when combined.

With so much power and a reported drag coefficient of 0.208, the Tesla Model S Plaid is capable of speed and acceleration. The Tesla Plaid has a maximum speed of 200 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 1.99 seconds, according to Tesla. However, achieving the former will need the use of certain upcoming special wheels and tires. Tesla also says that the EV can complete the 14-mile in 9.23 seconds.

This is when Jay Leno enters the picture. Because he just had the opportunity to test whether the Model S Plaid could really pull it off.

With Jay Leno at the wheel, the Tesla Model S Plaid established a production vehicle record.

A red-and-black 2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport

Bugatti Chiron Sport | Bugatti Chiron Sport | Bugatti Chiron Sport | Bugatti Chiron Sport | Bug

The Bugatti Chiron Sport held the 14-mile production vehicle record until recently. According to Car and Driver, it runs the 14-mile in 9.4 seconds and has a 1,479-hp quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine. The Plaid, on the other hand, is much quicker.

Jay Leno sat behind the wheel—er, yoke—of a Tesla Model S Plaid on a prepared dragstrip to put its acceleration promises to the test. He raced the 14-mile in 9.247 seconds with a 152-mph trap speed with NHRA officials on site to validate the figures. Despite its speed, the vehicle was quiet enough to not disturb the surrounding birds, as he explains in the video below.


Jay Leno could not reach the optimum figures Tesla claims for the Model S Plaid on a technical level. Tesla also claims that the Plaid’s potential 14-mile trap speed is 155 mph, in addition to the 9.23-second figure. Nonetheless, the EV currently owns the 14-mile production vehicle record.

On a normal road, it probably won’t be able to travel that fast.

A red 2018 Dodge SRT Demon driving down a prepped dragstrip

Dodge SRT Demon 2018 | Dodge

However, that record, as well as Tesla’s other assertions, are not without caveats.

However, that record, as well as Tesla’s other assertions, are not without caveats.

Secondly, the 1.99-second 0-60 mph time Tesla quotes for the Plaid doesn’t include rollout. ‘Rollout’ describes the distance a car travels between the two sets of timing lights on a dragstrip, Road & Track explains. It’s meant to eliminate variation in driver reaction times and make acceleration tests truly comparable.


While a 1-foot rollout is the industry norm in acceleration testing, it isn’t realistic in real life. Even with launch control, a Model S Plaid will take more than two seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill on the road.

Despite this, the Tesla Model S Plaid ran a faster 14-mile time than a Bugatti or Demon under similar circumstances.

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Tesla killed the Model S Plaid+ and raised the Plaid by $10,000.

Jay Leno set a 1/4-mile world record in a Tesla Model S Plaid. The car was able to reach an impressive speed of 187 miles per hour during the test run, which is more than twice as fast as the previous record holder. Reference: tesla model s plaid price.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast is the Tesla Model S plaid?


What is the fastest stock car in 1/4 mile?

The fastest stock car in a 1/4 mile is the Ford Mustang.

Is Tesla plaid the fastest car?

Tesla is not a car, its a company.

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