Jay Leno broke the world acceleration record for a quarter mile in the new Tesla Model S Plaid. He is one of the few lucky ones to have driven the fastest production car ever made. Leno drove it down the dragstrip at Pomona Raceway in California, filming it for his show, Jay Leno’s Garage. The record Leno set is a new time for a quarter-mile ET of 9.247 seconds at 152.09 mph.
— Franz von Holzhausen (@woodhaus2) June 13, 2021
During a podcast on Spikes Car Radio, Leno affirmed that representatives from the National Hot Rod Association were there to make it official. CNBC had a preview from Leno’s show, which showed Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, cheering as Leno broke the record.
“It was a winner,” Leno told CNBC. “It is now the fastest production car you can buy. It’s faster than any Ferrari; faster than any $3.5 million Bugatti.” Leno noted that the amazing part was how quiet the vehicle was. He broke the record near Bakersfield, where there is a lot of farmland. There were birds on the Christmas tree (lights at the start of the drag strip) and normally the birds are gone when there’s some type of race — often scared off by the loud engines.
— HIRO MIZUNO (@hiromichimizuno) June 12, 2021
Leno explained that when the car came back around after reaching 152 mph, the birds were, shockingly, still there. “When I stepped on the accelerator, took off, and I came back down after going 152, the birds were still there. Just the fact that you can go that fast, that swiftly — you know, it’s pretty amazing. I’m a huge fan of American technology, especially products that are developed here in America that are using locally sourced stuff. And that’s why I love this car,” he said.
He also talked about the price of the newest Tesla vehicle. “$130,000 is a tremendous amount of money, but to get the same performance from an internal combustion engine, you would probably have to spend — in the case of Bugatti, $2.5 million; or a Ferrari, close to $1 million. It’s pretty amazing.”
Leno also described how he felt as he drove the new Tesla Plaid Model S. He has a lot of steam automobiles from the last century and steam has similar instant power as an electric motor. For infernal combustion engine vehicles, transmissions are needed. Electric vehicles don’t need a transmission.
“From the minute you step on the accelerator, boom you’re gone.” He noted the fact that you don’t need all the extra stuff that you would need with an ICE vehicle for an EV. “Steam ran everything from 1800 to 1911. From 1911 until now it’s an internal combustion engine. From now until the near future, it’s probably going to be electric or some form of electric hybrid.”
Woah that was fast! 🤯 Jay got a chance to test out the new Tesla Model S Plaid at record-breaking speeds!
— Jay Leno's Garage (@LenosGarage) June 12, 2021