Even compared to the rest of Tesla’s lineup, the Model S is one of the most impressive. It truly sets the EV performance standard with sky-high horsepower ratings and battery range. However, when Elon Musk promised it could reach 60 mph in under two seconds, even die-hard Tesla fans were skeptical.
According to MotorTrend, Musk’s claim rings true for the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid, but there’s a catch. Here’s how the sedan performed during its test drive and why you might want one for yourself.
How fast is the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid?
Technically, the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid reached 60 mph in 1.98 seconds during MotorTrend’s testing at the launch event. However, the test was only allowed to take place if MotorTrend adhered to Tesla’s specific instructions. Tesla’s test track was VHT-prepped, meaning the track was coated in resin to allow the tested cars to accelerate faster.
Obviously, this kind of scenario doesn’t occur during normal driving conditions. MotorTrend prefers to test vehicles on regular pavement to give drivers a more realistic idea of that car’s performance. After some back and forth, MotorTrend agreed to Tesla’s conditions with the intent to perform separate testing afterward.
The 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid gets its sub-two-second acceleration time only with Drag Strip mode enabled. This starts cooling the battery and motors in preparation for heavy throttle. After it’s ready, enable launch control and hold down the brake until you get the all-clear from the car’s computer.
The sheer speed of the Model S Plaid forces you back in your seat like a roller coaster, only much faster. At 152.6 mph, it travels a quarter-mile in just 9.25 seconds.
At the MotorTrend-approved track, the Model S Plaid reached 60 mph in 2.07 seconds. That’s still impressive, and the launch felt equally thrilling. Reaching 100 mph took only a brisk 8.2 seconds, another record-breaker for MotorTrend’s testing history.
MT was also pleased to report that the Model S is as satisfying to drive off the track. The suspension soaked up bothersome imperfections easily, and the cabin remained quiet throughout the drive. It might’ve occasionally drifted wide and lost momentum, but nobody needs to drive fast all the time.
Other cool Tesla Model S features
In addition to a great driving experience, the Tesla Model S also has an impressive electric range. The Model S Plaid offers 390 miles, while the Long Range model provides 412 miles. This Model S also benefits from a refreshed interior, with a redesigned center stack and a display for rear-seat passengers. And it has the new yoke steering wheel, which is either aerodynamic or an eyesore, depending upon whom you ask.
Standard features include a 22-speaker stereo system, ventilated seats, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and enough charging power for laptops and phones. The infotainment screen measures 17 inches, which might prove distracting for some drivers. Still, it comes with plenty of standard driver’s aids to keep them safe and focused on the road.
So, how much does it cost?
According to MotorTrend, a fully loaded 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid costs $149,190. It usually retails for $131,190. Kelley Blue Book lists the 2022 Tesla Model S Long Range’s starting price at $81,190.
These are high prices for any sports sedan, even with its electric powertrain. Still, MotorTrend says the Plaid model’s speed is an impressive aspect that shouldn’t be ignored. Give it time, and the Model S Plaid might even make good on its promised 0-to-60-mph time during real-world driving.