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Math says, Tesla’s “Maximum Plaid” mode could achieve 0-60 mph in 2.05 seconds

The creative minds behind Engineering Explained took a few minutes and a whiteboard to reverse engineer the maximum theoretical acceleration that the Tesla Model S could achieve and thus, unknowingly defined ‘Maximum Plaid‘ mode without even consulting Elon.

This was achieved by somewhat counterintuitively calculating the maximum deceleration first then working back up to acceleration, for a stock Model S with stock tires. This should not be confused with the Tesla Model S being used in the Electric GT which has been stripped down and modified for maximum performance on the track.


To determine the maximum peak acceleration possible, and how quickly a vehicle can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph, we need to first define maximum grip. To determine this, Engineering Explained takes a reversed approach by finding peak deceleration, which will define maximum grip, a key input to determining maximum acceleration.

Without working through all the sticky math, Engineering Explained determines that a 0-60 of 2.05 seconds can be theoretically achievable by on street tires (an important variable as they largely dictate how well the car grips the road), thus also defining what we might expect when Musk unleashes ‘Maximum Plaid’ in Tesla’s next generation Roadster.

For those more inclined to take some algebra with their coffee, thank you very much, pour a cup of joe and hit play on the video below.

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