If I told you Jay Leno set a world record, would you believe me? If I saw it was a speed record, would that make it any more believable? Well, he did. Oh, and he did it while driving a Tesla.
Sitting in a Tesla Model S Plaid, the late-night legend set out to break a production car quarter-mile speed record. He did just that. The former record was held by the Bugatti Chiron Sport’s production car. On Wednesday he took the 1000+ horsepower drive system to limits never known before.
Tesla’s chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen broke down what went into the car and how it was able to break the 9.4-second record.
“This is tri-motor – two in the back, one in the front,” the designer 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 car Jay Leno drove is different from the Buggati it unseated. That car from Chiron Sport has an eight-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine with 1470 horsepower packed into it. The comedian was able to take the record down to 9.247 seconds.
Jay Leno Gets Record Broken in Same Afternoon
Tesla had Jay Leno drive their car for a reason. However, they also had another driver in their back pocket. A professional driver. While Leno took the Tesla Plaid to new limits and a new world record, it didn’t last for long. The Tesla pro driver got behind the wheel and took his record down almost immediately.
While Leno found himself on top of the world, it didn’t last long. Coming into the day, there was another driver scheduled. The comedian made the run and admitted he didn’t have to do much in order to break the record. Perhaps that speaks to the high level of power behind the vehicle. He might have not even had to shift the car during his run.
The comedian was taken back, “That was awesome! I didn’t do anything! I’m sure there are easier jobs, but I can’t think of any.”
After his record was taken down by the other driver, a time of 9.234 seconds, Leno was a little letdown. However, he knew the deal coming into the day.
“Come to think of it,” Leno said. “I did have a meatball sandwich for lunch, and this professional driver can’t be more than 120 pounds soaking wet. I mean, one-100th of a second. Come on, I was robbed!”
While Jay Leno was a world record holder, now he is back to being Jay Leno, which isn’t so bad. Let him get back behind the wheel and try to break the record again, he did it once before, maybe he could strike lightning twice.