Tesla Model S Plaid accidentally starts drag race in reverse, wins anyway

Credit: YouTube | Drag Racing and Car Stuff

A Tesla Model S Plaid involved in a drag race against a Chevrolet 2600 HD Diesel truck accidentally started the duel in reverse. In typical Plaid fashion, the Model S still won the race.

A video from Drag Racing and Car Stuff on YouTube, shared via InsideEVsshowed a Model S Plaid preparing for a typical quarter-mile drag race against a Chevy diesel truck. As the Christmas Tree of lights funneled from yellow to green, indicating the race had begun, the Model S surged backward mistakenly, as the Chevy took off in the correct direction. Accidentally done by the stalkless Model S, the driver used the touchscreen or brake pedal to override the vehicle’s decision. The Model S recovered, and the instant torque of one of the world’s fastest EVs caught up to and overtook the pickup.

Perhaps one of the most substantial changes Tesla made to the Model S, its flagship sedan, was the entire steering column. Instead of the typical round steering wheel, Tesla chose a yoke. Surrounding it, no stalks, as CEO Elon Musk explained the vehicle would detect the direction of travel automatically based on its surroundings. It’s not perfect, yet, and the Model S made a mistake. It was nothing the powertrain could not recover from. The driver also has to activate the feature for “Auto Shift out of Park,” which can be overridden by pressing the brake pedal or using the touchscreen.

In conjunction with Tesla’s focus on autonomy, the automaker’s vehicles pack plenty of features that many of us could only imagine. As vehicles become more like highly-capable computers, decisions are less likely to be processed by a human and instead are focused on by the vehicle. It is still a work in progress. Tesla vehicles only seem to get smarter with every software update, and they become more accurate in their predictions with every mile driven thanks to its Neural Network.

What’s even more impressive is the Model S Plaid’s ability to recover from a substantial mistake. Granted, a pickup may not be the most ideal solution for a drag race, but it had plenty of advantages off the line. As the Model S crept backwards, the Chevy drove away, only to be caught up to, and eventually passed by the all-electric sedan.

The Model S Plaid has an impressive 1.99-second 0-60 MPH acceleration rate, thanks to the electric powertrain that provides instant torque.

The full video, courtesy of Drag Racing and Car Stuff is available below.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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