Fastest Car MotorTrend Has Ever Tested: Tesla Model S Plaid Top Speed and Specs

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Model S Plaid is the fastest car MotorTrend has ever tested
Tesla's Model S Plaid is the fastest car MotorTrend has ever tested

Tesla's Model S Plaid is the most impressive car on the road today. It's not just that it looks great, but it has some serious power underneath the hood... or frunk. Recently, MotorTrend tried the Tesla Model S and declared it the fastest car they have ever tested. That's saying something.

MotorTrend first appeared on magazine stands in 1949. With more than 70 years of experience driving thousands of cars, the Model S Plaid beat them all.

0-60 MPH in 2.3 Seconds

The Tesla Model S Plaid is a high-speed car, and the stats back it up. According to MotorTrend, the Model S accelerates from 0-60 MPH in an astonishing 2.3 seconds.

"When experiencing the acceleration of a Plaid, it's abundantly clear that virtually the only force you feel is the Tesla's seatback hurling you forward to a degree that genuinely makes the horizon the floor. Except that floor is rushing up at you far faster than any free fall ever could."

Earlier in the article, the author explains that a free fall speed equates to accelerating from 0-60 in 3 seconds.

The Tesla website says the Plaid can go faster than MotorTrend reported, with a 1.99 second 0-60 time. Its three mighty electric motors, two in the back, power the all-wheel drive system producing a ridiculous 1,020 horsepower and 1,050 ft-lb of torque. The top speed is pegged at 200 MPH; for comparison, the maximum speed in NASCAR last season was recorded at 190.7 MPH.

Tesla Model S Plaid Specs

Spec Value
Curb Weight: 4,816 lbs
¼ Mile Time: 9.3 seconds at 152.2 mph
Motor Layout: Tri-motor, one front, two rear
Maximum Horsepower: 1,020 hp
Maximum Torque: 1,050 lb-ft
Top Speed: 200 MPH
Cost: $119,990

Model S Plaid Does the Quarter Mile in 9.3 Seconds

Tesla's Model S also laid down a blistering quarter-mile to earn the title of the fastest car MotorTrend has ever tested. The blue Plaid devoured the quarter mile time in 9.3 seconds. It should've been a red Model S because this car was burning the record books and lighting the track on fire.

It's not just the motors; the cutting-edge software and aerodynamic design also contribute to its superior acceleration.

60-0 MPH Braking in 104 Feet

In addition to its blistering quarter-mile time, the Model S is able to achieve 60-0 mph braking in just 104 feet, while providing a maximum lateral acceleration of 1.02 Gs. This makes it one of the quickest cars ever produced and gives it the performance capabilities that rival some of the world's top supercars.

In other tests, the Plaid had a record stopping time as low at 98 feet. The impressive stopping power of the Model S can be attributed to its combination of powerful brakes and low center of gravity. The regenerative braking system also helps reduce wear on the brakes and allows for maximum braking performance. In addition, the Model S also features an advanced stability control system that helps to keep the car stable and in control during hard braking maneuvers.

Top 10 Fastest Electric Cars

Car 0-60 MPH Time
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 2.3 Seconds
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S 2.4 Seconds
2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance 2.7 Seconds
2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT 2.9 Seconds
2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS 4Matic+ Sedan 3.0 Seconds
2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 3.0 Seconds
2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition 3.1 Seconds
2023 Kia EV6 GT 3.2 Seconds
2023 BMW iX M60 3.2 Seconds
2022 Rivian R1S Launch Edition 3.2 Seconds

The Tesla Model S Plaid, which added track mode in 2021, has pushed the performance boundaries and set a new standard for high-performance electric vehicles. Its quarter-mile time of 9.3 seconds is remarkable, and its ability to reach 0-60 mph in just 2.3 seconds is extraordinary. Elon Musk wrapped it up best, responding to a tweet about MotorTrends results. He tweeted: Plaid is sickkk.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

Upcoming Release

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.