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Tesla’s been talking up its Model S Plaid as “the quickest production car ever” claiming it can go from 0-60 in a blistering 1.99 seconds. It’s a claim that’s drawn a lot of raised eyebrows from car enthusiasts and experts. Can it really go that fast? Turns out, it can. But only under some incredibly specific Tesla-dictated conditions.

That’s what Motor Trend found when it got an exclusive chance to test out the Model S Plaid. Instead of letting the publication put the car through its paces on its usual test track, Tesla’s PR insisted that their drivers use a specific test track, and drive that track in a particular way. Under Tesla’s conditions, Motor Trend went 0-60 in 1.98 seconds, running a quarter-mile in just 9.25 seconds.

The entire review is definitely worth a read. But a key takeaway is that apparently, in order to hit that sub-two-second acceleration record, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. Find a dragstrip that’s willing to let you drive your Model S Plaid. This may be difficult, Motor Trend points out, as most dragstrips will insist on following NHRA regulations that call for speedy cars like this have added safety features like a roll cage and window safety net. Tesla won’t be offering those features, MotorTrend reports.
  2. If you do find a track willing to let you test your shiny new car’s zoom capability, make sure it has a surface prepped with a grippy resin that will help the car launch even more quickly. Regular asphalt simply will not do.
  3. Allow plenty of time if you want to go fast. You’re going to want to tell the car to switch into Drag Strip mode. The car will start prepping itself for the gauntlet you’re going to put it through. According to Motor Trend: “Over the next eight to 15 minutes (the time needed varies), the car preconditions the powertrain for hard acceleration, heating or cooling the battery as needed and chilling the motors.”
  4. Once you’ve got Drag Strip engaged, you’re ready to…wait a little longer. Just a few more seconds this time! Hit the brake, hit the acceleration, let the car drop into a “cheetah stance” over 9 seconds. Just like a sprinter, it needs time to prep itself on the block.
  5. Ok, now go fast. Real fast.



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