If you’re like we are, you are probably tired of hearing all the talks about electric vehicles. Yes, we know, “EV’s are the wave of the future,” as manufacturers and the government alike love to tell us on what seems like a daily basis. And while we’re not sold on the entire world going to EV’s, we will admit that the Tesla Plaid is a force to be reckoned with. With over 1,000 horsepower and a sub-two-second 0-60 time, it’s enough to get the attention of any performance car enthusiast.
This Vs. That
If you’ve been watching the Hoonigan’s This Vs. That YouTube show, then you’re probably aware that the Tesla Plaid has been a regular. And it’s also been tearing up the competition on the program, for the most part. And we’re here to tell you it happened again with a highly unlikely vehicle. No, it wasn’t another twin-turbo Audi or a Lamborghini but rather a full-size pickup truck from the great state of Texas.
An Unlikely Pair
If someone came up to you and said that a Tesla Plaid and a full-size Chevrolet Silverado were going head-to-head in a drag race, it would be hard to imagine what kind of truck is needed to beat the high-performance EV. But now, you don’t have to guess what modifications would be needed because we know.
Tale Of The Tape
Believe it or not, the Plaid comes in as the underdog in this race. The EV only has 1,020 horsepower compared to 1,500 horsepower the LSX twin-turbo 427 cubic-inch internal combustion (ICE) Chevrolet powerplant. It also weighs in more at 4,828-pounds compared to the 2004 Silverado’s 4,000-pounds. And we didn’t figure traction would be an issue for the Chevy since it is a four-wheel-drive truck.
Beto, the truck owner, would pilot the Silverado, which started as his daily driver. After deciding to go fast, it only took him a year and a half to have the truck in race-ready form. And when we say race-ready, we mean it. The Silverado has a massive 79mm turbos and is fueled on M1 racing fuel. Beto states that the cooling passages in the block are filled, which explains the lack of a radiator and cooling system. The truck also has fiberglass doors, tailgate, and bumper. The front half of the Silverado remains fairly stock, including the transfer case, axles, and front differential. The back of the truck houses a Ford 9-inch rear axle attached to the frame with ladder bars.
Currently, Beto’s Silverado holds the fastest 4×4 LS-powered full-size truck record with an 8.30 in the 1/4-mile. And while we thought the Plaid didn’t stand a chance, Beto mentioned they had to detune the Chevy since they were racing on an asphalt surface. So would 1,200 horsepower be enough to take down the Tesla Plaid? We were about to find out.
The guys decided on a heads-up race to the 1,000-foot mark for the first race. The Silverado was out of the gate first and never looked back when the hands dropped. Beto had the Tesla covered by at least five car lengths by the finish line and pulled the EV hard.
For round two, the guys decided the Tesla would get a three-car lead, and the truck would move first. We were scratching our heads when the Tesla driver agreed to this race because we knew it was a bad idea. The Silverado was much too quick out of the hole for the Tesla. And our assumption was confirmed. The Silverado had already made up the difference before the Plaid moved, giving the truck an easy win by bus lengths. To make matters worse, Beto went ahead and threw the parachute at the engine of the race for added insult.
Typically on This Vs. That, the guys will run a best of two out of three races. But since Beto was a good sport, he decided to give the Tesla one more shot. This time the Plaid would be allowed to go from a 30 mph roll. As the Tesla passed the truck, it looked like the distance would be too much to make up. And even though it was close, the Tesla finally pulled one win off by a 1/4 of a car. A few more feet, and the Silverado would have won again.
So what did we learn from this race? The Tesla Plaid is a bad machine, but now we know what it takes for a full-size Silverado to outrun it. And while the Plaid is a much more usable vehicle with all of the creature comforts, we love the truck! Plus, trucks are practical too, right?