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How Much Has Tesla Model S Really Improved? Model S Plaid vs Model S P100D Drag Race

When Tesla unveiled the Plaid variant of their premium sedan, the Model S, few could believe what they were reading. A production vehicle that accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) in 1.99 seconds? No one had managed it before, but somehow Tesla did get it done. Over the next few months, many people with different supercars have tried to race the Model S Plaid. But none of them have really come close. But what happens when an older version of the Model S goes up against the Plaid?

Tesla Model S Plaid vs Model S P100D

Youtuber Scott Hilse owns a Model S P100D from 2016. He recently got a chance to test the Model S Plaid and drive it around. This included making some test runs with the Model S Plaid and compare it to the Model S P100D he owns. And he was absolutely amazed by the way Tesla has gone from the P100D in 2016 to the Plaid in 2021.

Let’s first review the two vehicles. Since we saw a drag race between the two, it is but obvious that we first compare the acceleration timings from 0-60 mph (96.5 kph). The Model S P100D was the third-quickest production vehicle on the planet when Tesla launched, with a 0 to 60 mph timing of 2.3 seconds. That was beyond impressive. However, when you compare it to the Plaid, it seems rather ordinary.

The difference between the Plaid and P100D maybe just 0.31 seconds. But on the tarmac, it seems colossal. The major reason for this is the “perfect power curve” that Tesla has managed to achieve with Plaid. This means that the vehicle has more than 1000 horsepower even at high speeds like 180 and 200 mph (290 and 322 kph). So the vehicle just keeps pulling more and more power till it reaches 60 mph (96.5 kph) and then gets constant power over the entirety of the remaining acceleration.

The result? The Plaid absolutely smoked the P100D in every run they tried out. They even gave the P100D a roughly half-second headstart, and still, the Plaid was past it in a couple of seconds. There is something about a rising power curve, but even a sustained flat power curve at very high power can become unbeatable. And that is exactly what the Plaid demonstrates.

You can the full video here:

Mihir Tasgaonkar
Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.


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