The Tesla Model S Plaid’s nought to sixty time has caused some controversy recently because while you can dip below the 2-second mark, there are a few associated asterisks. Firstly, Tesla measures with rollout (meaning the timer is started after first foot or about 30 cm of a run) and it seems like in order to match the claim, you also need to be on a drag strip with a special grippy drag-prepped surface.
Others who have tried launching the Model S Plaid have managed around 2.3 – 2.4 seconds to 60 mph without rollout on normal tarmac. In this video, posted by ICSI, the Plaid is launched on an empty stretch of road, and it takes quite a leisurely 2.59 seconds to hit the benchmark speed from standstill.
It is worth noting this is not exact same car posted by ICSI in previous videos. It belongs to a man called Steven Thompson and in case you were wondering, yes, he did do the 15-minute warmup required to unlock maximum power, or drag strip mode.
Another explanation why it wasn’t quicker could be that there were three people on-board the vehicle during the run. Sure, the added weight of two passengers may not sound like it would make a big difference in a car that has 1,020 horsepower, but for timed acceleration runs like this, literally every pound counts.
The car also appears to have had no problem hooking up, although being an EV you can’t really tell if it’s slightly dialing back the power because it can’t put all of it down. In an ICE vehicle it’s easier to observe this than in an EV.