Tesla Model S Plaid Spooks GT500, Charger Hellcat Drivers on Drag Strip
Drag racing sounds easy, and in its most basic form, it is. Line up next to another car, hit the accelerator and hang in there. Barring some sort of mechanical breakdown, this process will get you to the finish line. There are other factors that make the process harder, but they can help you get to the finish line. first.
When it comes to this video, it’s safe to assume that the Tesla Model S Plaid holds a distinct power advantage over the competition. It’s a 1,020 horsepower car that can hit 60 mph in about 2 seconds on street tires. We’ve seen it silently beat everything from muscle cars to supercars, and right now you might be wondering if it’s being beaten by the Shelby GT500 Mustang or the Dodge Charger Hellcat also featured in the clip. It would be a nice plot twist, but we won’t even try to sugarcoat the outcome. The Tesla wins, by far. But that’s not what makes this race interesting.
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In short, we would really like to have mind-reading abilities for this confrontation. Mustang and Charger drivers make glaring mistakes in drag racing that make us wonder if the Tesla was playing heads with them. The first race is with the GT500, a previous-generation model that we’re pretty sure uses at least big rear racing tires. The driver gets a good launch and actually beats the Model S off the line, but it all falls apart when the 1-2 pass is completely botched. It was also a short eight-mile race, and if the GT500 hadn’t faltered, the finish would have been very close.
The Charger Hellcat appears for the second race, which is a full quarter-mile pass. Neither car runs out, which isn’t a problem for the all-wheel-drive Tesla. But a Hellcat’s cold rear tires—even road tires on a prepped surface—have all the traction of wet soap on a treadmill. The light turns green, the Tesla takes off, and the Charger, well, doesn’t. We hear the V8 rev up, then back down, and finally, the super sedan kicks into gear. It finished nearly four seconds behind the Model S, so yeah, lesson learned there.
One can’t help but wonder if these two drivers weren’t a little pissed off next to the Tesla. With the adrenaline rush, mistakes happen on the track. Add to that the possibility of losing the power of the internal combustion V8 to an electric car (a concept some car enthusiasts just can’t imagine) and these races could have been lost before they even started.