A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500 - story fullscreen Fullscreen

A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500

Can good old American gas power keep up with Tesla’s new kid on the block? Read On to find out.

The new 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid takes on Ken Bjønnes in a tuned 1,100 horsepower Palm Beach Dyno Mustang GT500 at MITM Elite for a series of rolling races, followed by a quarter-mile pass by each car. Can the Model S Plaid come out on top?

In the Grey Corner - Tesla Model S Plaid

A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500
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The 2021 Model S Plaid has been one of the most hyped new EVs for a while now, not just for its performance but also for that Yoke steering. Despite the Plaid Plus being dropped at the very last minute, the Plaidis no slouch and holds its own, offering some ballistic performance.

With a tri-motor setup, the new generation Tesla Model S produces 1020 horsepower with a claimed 0 - 60 mph time of just over 2 seconds.

With customer deliveries now well underway, it’s no surprise that new owners want to take their prized possession to the drag strip. Unlike the previous Model S which couldn’t do launches all day long, this new generation of Tesla addresses that problem.

In the Blue Corner - Mustang GT500 tune by Palm Beach Dyno

A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500
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Let’s face it, a stock Mustang GT500 might have a hard time keeping up with a Model S Plaid. But what about one that is highly tuned? The GT500 you see here belongs to Ken Bjønnes and it produces over 1100 horsepower. The car was tuned by Palm Beach Dyno.

With the numbers out of the way, let’s Race. The cars go head to head, over the quarter-mile at MITM. The showdown took place at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St.Louis. They begin with a rolling start, before putting their foot down at the line.

The Race

A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500
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On the first run, the Mustang is on the inside lane. Past the Christmas tree, both cars nail it and the Mustang just about managed to eclipse the Model S Plaid at the finish line.

The GT500 did the quarter-mile in 7.91 seconds at 159.63 mph, while the Model S Plaid managed 7.97 seconds at 154.94 mph.
GT500 vs Model S Plaid Race 1
Time Speed
Tuned Shelby GT500 7.91 159.63 MPH
Model S Plaid 7.97 154.94 MPH

On the second run, the Tesla is on the inside lane. Both cars get a rolling start and managed marginally faster times as the tires had warmed up. This time though, it was much closer. The Mustang did beat the Tesla but by the tiniest of margins. The GT500 did the quarter-mile in 7.66 seconds at 160.94 mph while the Model S Plaid managed 7.68 seconds at 155.19 mph.

Shelby GT500 vs Model S Plaid Race 2
Time Speed
Tuned Shelby GT500 7.66 160.94 MPH
Model S Plaid 7.68 155.19 MPH

Conclusion

A Tesla Model S Plaid Struggles to Beat A Ferociously Tuned Shelby GT500
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It’s surprising to see how close these two cars are in terms of performance. There will be more duels in the near future with the Model S plaid now hitting the market. We wonder what would have happened had Tesla launched Plaid Plus. Ford Performance is also testing EVs at the drag strip, with theirCobra Jet 1400. The findings from the Cobra Jet should eventually trickle down to road cars, says Ford.

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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