The McLaren 720S is one of the fastest supercars in the world. This 720S had some nice engine mods that increased its 720 hp to 1000 hp (so I guess we can call it a McLaren 1000S). However, it still got bitchslapped in a head to head drag race against the Tesla Model S Plaid.
In second race, the length was increased from 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet and the race was started from a roll to eliminate the Plaid’s AWD launch advantage. They also gave the McLaren the hit (meaning he starts first). The race was closer, but the McLaren still lost.
For the final race, they kept the length at 1,500 feet from a roll, the McLaren got the hit plus 1 car length head start. They also loaded up the Model S Plaid with three fat passengers to bring the EV’s weight to over 5,400 pounds. Is that enough for the McLaren 720S to finally beat the Tesla Model S Plaid? Nope!
The Math Don’t Add Up!
It’s at this point that most petrol heads would declare the math don’t add up. The McLaren makes 1000 hp and weighs 3,100 lbs for a power to weight ratio of 3.1 lbs per hp. The Model S Plaid has 1020 hp and weighs 4,766 lbs for a power to weight ratio of 4.67 lbs per hp. The McLaren is moving way less weight per hp so why did it lose all three races?
The first reason is the hp rating itself. The 1000 hp of the 720S is peak power – it makes that only at a certain RPM. Anything below or above that engine speed, it makes less power. This is why the car has a 7 speed transmission – to get the engine back to its peak power as quick as possible.
The electric motors in the Model S Plaid have a much wider power band. It’s so wide that it doesn’t need a multi-speed transmission. The car can go from zero to its top speed of over 200 mph in 1 speed! So while the 720S is making 1000 hp only at 7,250 rpm, the Model S Plaid is making over 1000 hp once it goes pass 60 mph and continues to make over 1000 hp all the way to its top speed.
The second reason is Tesla is simply sandbagging – the Model S Plaid makes way more than the 1020 hp that Tesla claims.
Uptown Autosport put a Model S Plaid on their hub dyno and measured 1101.2 hp at the wheel. If we allow for a 20% drivetrain lost for all wheel drive vehicles, it means the Plaid motors are really pushing out 1,376 hp!
If you own a McLaren 720S, you own one of the fastest cars in the world. However, you should think twice before you race the Tesla Model S Plaid next to you at a red light, even if your McLaren is making 1000 hp.