When you see the message "Cheetah stance enabled, ready to launch" on the screen, removing your foot from the brake catapults you with blurry-eyed force as the steering gets light and a bit squirrely. The combination of sensations made our single-lane acceleration track feel very narrow and very short, very quickly.
The official results? We hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and passed the quarter mile in just 9.4 seconds at a preposterous 150.8 mph. Had we factored the Plaid's 0.24-second rollout time into its final numbers, as some like to do, we'd report 2.1 seconds to 60 mph. It's important to note that Tesla factored rollout into its claimed sub-2-second 0-60 time (along with a specially prepared track surface). At Edmunds, we don't use rollout in any of our reported 0-60-mph times, for good reasons that you can read about here.
So how does it compare against an Italian supercar?
While the Tesla Model S Plaid isn't a sub-2-second car by Edmunds standards, it's still the quickest car we've tested to date. The 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo is the most comparable car we've tested recently, and it achieved a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds, passing the quarter mile in 10.8 seconds at 127.6 mph. That's pretty incredible by most measures, but the Plaid makes even a V10 Lambo look lame.
For fun, we also looked at longitudinal acceleration force (measured in g), which may help paint a better picture than quoting a time. One "g" is equivalent to the force of gravity, so anything above a value of 1.00 is a force greater than the gravity that keeps us planted to the ground. The Lambo peaked at 1.14 g momentarily around 17 mph, but the Plaid sustained an average acceleration g of 1.15 g all the way to 60 mph — enough to pin you to your seat or even a wall! Furthermore, the average amount of g force we felt in the Lambo accelerating to 60 mph was the equivalent of what we felt in the Plaid all the way to 102 mph.
It's fast, we get it. What about everything else?
To Tesla's credit, the Plaid's thermal management system had no issues keeping it prepped for insane run after insane run. However, it did not take long to lose confidence in the brakes — after the second run, they began to feel less enthusiastic about hauling down all 5,000 pounds of car and driver from 150 mph. We performed our usual panic-stop test from 60 mph before the acceleration runs and recorded a distance of 108 feet. While this is a pretty good result for a car with summer tires, we felt the brake pedal was too soft and didn't provide the level of confidence we'd expect. We actually have concerns that the Plaid's braking capability will be insufficient for how some owners may drive their cars.