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Tesla Model S Plaid goes drag racing against a 26 times more expensive Bugatti Chiron

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Yes, that’s right — you can buy 26 Tesla Model S Plaid family sedans plus a Model 3 for the price of a Bugatti Chiron ($136K vs. $3.6M respectively). And this time they both went to strip to test the best of ICE vs. electric muscle in a drag racing competition.

Brooks Weisblat of DragTimes and his friends took several sportscars and the Tesla Model S Plaid to a newly-built dragstrip by The Triple F Collection just outside of Columbus, Ohio.

Watching the Bugatti Chiron vs. Tesla Model S Plaid drag racing each other is particularly interesting because of their 0-60 mph times. Bugatti Chiron’s 0-60 time is 2.3 seconds despite its super-hefty price tag while — the Model S Plaid does it in only 1.99 seconds being a family sedan.

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One interesting fact about this Model S Plaid is that it is used as a camera car to record supercar drag races on the Triple F Raceway dragstrip. Triple F previously had a Lamborghini for this job but it was slow and loud. Tesla Model S Plaid is both fast enough to catch the cars and quiet enough to capture the action silently.

Let’s go through some basic performance specs comparison of Bugatti Chiron vs. Tesla Model S Plaid.

 Tesla Model S PlaidBugatti Chiron
DrivetrainTri-Motor (AC permanent magnet synchronous motor, carbon-fiber-wrapped carbon-fiber-wrapped rotor, liquid-cooled, with variable frequency drive (2x motors in the rear) / All-Wheel Drive (AWD)8.0L Turbocharged W16 / AWD
TransmissionFront (Single speed fixed gear, 7.5:1. Enhanced lubrication), Rear (Independent single speed fixed gear, 7.5:1. Dry sump lubrication)7-speed DCT
0-60 mph1.99 seconds2.3 seconds
Power1,020 hp1,500 hp
Torque1,050 lb-ft (Motor Trend)1,180 lb-ft
Co-efficient of Drag0.208 Cd0.38 Cd
Weight4,766 lbs4,359 lbs
Top Speed155 mph* (250 km/h), 175 mph (281 km/h) with Drag Strip Mode261 mph (420 km/h)
MSRP (USD)$135,990$3,600,000
Tesla Model S Plaid vs. Bugatti Chiron performance specs comparison table. Sources: Manufacturer specs, CarAndDriver. *Plaid top speed is software-limited for now waiting for the proper tires and wheels to unlock 200 mph (~322 km/h).

So, the specs tell us that Bugatti Chiron although has a longer 0-60 mph launch time, it is actually more powerful than the Tesla Model S Plaid in terms of horsepower and torque. Chiron is also 407 lbs lighter than the Plaid S.

With a top speed of 261 mph, Bugatti Chiron leads Model S Plaid with a difference of 106 mph in this segment. Even when Tesla unlocks the 200 mph top speed of the Plaid in the future, the difference of 61 mph will still remain in place.

The higher top speed will always enable Chiron to have an upper hand on the Model S Plaid but for the shorter 1/4-mile runs we will have to watch the race itself to confirm.

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Results

Tesla Model S Plaid won 2 out of 3 drag races and won both the rolling races. What’s the entire point of having a $3.6 million dollar car? Do let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

Let’s review each drag race round and how it went.

Round 1

Oops! — the 0-60 launch advantage that the Tesla Model S Plaid has was so clear in the 1st attempt — Plaid looked like it just flew off the line — Chiron left behind like a worn-out athlete. However, with the huge margin with which the Model S Plaid won this round, the driver of Chiron must not have launched the car properly.

Round 2

After the 2nd round which the Model S Plaid lost, the brakes became too hot. The instrument cluster of the Tesla Model S showed the warning “Brakes too hot – Braking performance reduced (Traffic-aware cruise control maybe unavailable)”. So the car needed some rest to cool down the brakes for the next round.

Tesla Model S Plaid instrument cluster screen showing the braking overheat notification. Credit: DragTimes / YouTube.

Round 3

With a better launch this time, Tesla Model S Plaid won the 3rd round of the quarter-mile drag racing battle against the roaring Bugatti Chiron.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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