The Rimac Nevera has 1,914 horsepower; the Tesla Model S Plaid has 1,020 HP. The Nevera weighs 4,739 pounds, and despite the fact the Model S has two more doors, it weighs 4,766 pounds. They’re both just about the quickest production cars in the world, but one is faster. Can you guess which?
Yeah, it turns out having nearly double the horsepower helps in a quarter-mile drag race, though the advantage it gives the Nevera is interesting to consider. The YouTube channel DragTimes ran the pair against each other three times at California’s Famoso Dragstrip. The $2.4 million Nevera beat the $130,000 Model S Plaid on each occasion, with the Rimac’s times averaging between six- and seven-tenths of a second faster.
In the first race, the Rimac crossed the line in 8.655 seconds at 166.66 MPH, to the Tesla’s 9.272 seconds at 152.68 MPH. The numbers never strayed far from there. In Race 2, the Nevera hit 8.641 seconds/166.44 MPH versus 9.312 seconds/151.34 MPH for the Model S. In Race 3, it was 8.615 seconds/166.39 MPH Rimac, 9.294 seconds/151.75 MPH Tesla.
Watching the video, both cars start evenly but the Nevera pulls early, and just keeps widening that gap indefinitely until it crosses the line. By the eighth-mile mark, the Rimac was already going about 10 MPH faster than the Model S Plaid during its best run, beating the Tesla to halfway by roughly four tenths.
It makes the Plaid look slow, somehow. These cars are so fast to 60 MPH — Rimac quotes a time of 1.97 seconds for the Nevera — that variability in reaction time can make a huge difference in the overall result, and the drivers say as much. That could explain why the Rimac seems to go a hair faster with every trial as the driver gets acclimated to the car.
So yes, the Nevera is everything Rimac claims it to be, at least in a straight line. That said, this race is a fun reminder of the law of diminishing returns as horsepower relates to real-world performance, and I don’t suspect Plaid owners will want for more go.