Is the Tesla Model S Plaid Fast Enough to Beat a Suzuki Hayabusa in a Drag Race?

  • The Tesla Model S Plaid is the most powerful car Tesla has ever made
  • The Tesla Model S PLaid has 1,110 hp 
  • The Suzuki Hayabusa is the most powerful motorcycle Suzuki has ever made
  • The Suzuki Hayabusa has 188 hp 
Tesla Model S Plaid and Suzuki Hayabusa drag race line up
Tesla Model S Plaid Vs. Suzuki Hayabusa | YouTube: Edmunds

The electric car has brought a whole new kind of speed to the car world. Well, when I say “speed,” what I really mean is acceleration. Tesla has built its brand on sci-fi gimmicks and incredible amounts of power. So, is the most powerful Tesla powerful enough to beat one of the most powerful sportbikes? Let’s see how the Tesla Model S Plaid stacks up against the Suzuki Hayabusa in a drag race. 

How fast is the Tesla Model S Plaid? 

Really fast. Ok, I can see that further explanation is expected. The Tesla Model S Plaid is the top-end of the Tesla line. The Model S Plaid has three electric motors which power all four wheels. This is already a great place to start for a drag race. 

The Tesla Model S Plaid has an insane 1,100 hp. While some supercars have similar power figures, the Tesla is so strange because it looks like a normal sedan. But, more horsepower doesn’t always mean faster. 

Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Model S Plaid can hit 60 mph from a dead stop in under 2 seconds. In fact, the acceleration has been known to make people sick from the G-force. 

How Fast is the Suzuki Hayabusa? 

The Hayabusa is a legend in the motorcycle world. The 2022 Hayabusa rolls off the factory floor with a liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four, DOHC making 188 hp. In case that doesn’t mean much to you, these bikes only weigh 582 lbs. The ‘busa will handle a 0-60 mph sprint in only 2.47 seconds. That kind of power and speed with only one-wheel power and a tiny traction patch is beyond insane. 

Is the Tesla Model S Plaid faster than the Suzuki Hayabusa? 

Edmunds decided to hold a drag race between two of the fastest production vehicles on earth. With all motorcycle versus car races, the bikes, while lighter and more agile, are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to traction. For this reason, Edmunds brought in pro motorcycle drag racer Chris Moore to pilot the Hayabusa. And Edmunds’ own Carlos Lago piloted the Tesla. 

This is an interesting race because each vehicle has clear advantages and disadvantages. Tesla’s electric motors produce their maximum 1050 lbs-ft of torque just off idle and distribute it to the ground via all four wheels. Pretty much all he has to do is drop the hammer and go.

Meanwhile, Moore has to use far more finesse and skill to balance the throttle and clutch to get the bike to hook up and run down the drag strip as fast as possible. Not only is traction and manual gear shifting a factor, but the wind is also pulling on the rider with some serious force. 

The two superstars took multiple runs down the drag strip, and every time the Tesla got the better of the Suzuki. The immediacy of the torque, AWD traction, lack of gear changes was too much for the Hayabusa to overcome. Even on a rolling start, the Tesla Model S Plaid walked the ‘busa. 

The Tesla is impressive but not likely to sway many bikers

“You know I never thought I’d say a 9-second quarter-mile could feel underwhelming,” Lago remarks after one rip down the strip. The lack of giddy buzz from Lago reinforces that notion that there’s more to a great performance car than pure speed. Things looked plenty dramatic for the bike rider, however.

Speed and power are fun because overcoming the drama, and apparent dangers culminate into something that ignites our entire being; mind, body, and soul. While Elon Musk has tried to add plenty of flair to the infamous EV brand, the performance, while deeply impressive, still seems to come off a bit clinical and sterile. 

Tesla continues to win on paper, but it will be interesting to see if Teslas can ever manage to win our hearts.

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