Jay Leno made history Wednesday on Jay Leno’s Garage, when he set a new world record in a Tesla Model S Plaid. The comedian broke the Bugatti Chiron Sport’s production car quarter-mile speed record of 9.4 seconds.
Tesla chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen explained what makes the Tesla Model S Plaid so special, other than the 1,000-plus horsepower drive system.
“This is tri-motor — two in the back, one in the front,” Von Holzhausen explained. “So all three motors are carbon-sleeve motors. It's new, never been done before, invented by Tesla. And that just allows you to have constant power until you run out of room or you run out of speed. The CdA (coefficient of aerodynamic drag), the frontal area of the car increases, but we managed to get the coefficient to drag lower — so it's 0.207.”
While the Chiron Sport is fitted with an eight-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine producing 1,479 horsepower, the Tesla Plaid’s secret weapon was Jay Leno behind the wheel. The comedian managed a shocking time of only 9.247 seconds.
“That was awesome,” Leno exclaimed. “I didn't do anything! I'm sure there are easier jobs, but I can't think of any.”
Unfortunately, Leno was only able to bask in his glory for a short while. Later that same day, Tesla’s own professional driver set a new record of 9.234. While Leno was happy for Tesla, he was a little disappointed about losing the title of fastest production car driver.
"Come to think of it, I did have a meatball sandwich for lunch, and this professional driver can't be more than 120 pounds soaking wet," Leno said. "I mean, one-100th of a second. Come on, I was robbed!”
Jay Leno’s Garage airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CNBC.
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