Jay Leno just set a new land-speed record, and he has Elon Musk to thank for it.
The former “Tonight Show” host was recording a segment for an upcoming edition of his CNBC show “Jay Leno’s Garage” by taking a Tesla Model S Plaid out for a spin on a racetrack in an attempt to break the quarter-mile land-speed record for a production model.
“I’ll tell you what I did. I went up to Famoso Dragway in Bakersfield,” Leno said when he called into the “Spike’s Car Radio” podcast. “And the Tesla Plaid… I drove by, and the NHRA guy was there to make it official. It turned a 9.247, at 152 MPH,”
Speaking with CNBC’s Shepard Smith (above), Leno confirmed that the Tesla broke the existing record, putting the electric vehicle in some pretty rarified company.
“It is now the fastest production car you can buy. Faster than any Ferrari, faster than a three-and-a-half-million-dollar Bugatti,” Leno said of the Tesla Model S Plaid, which retails for about $135,000.
“I’m a huge fan of American technology, especially products developed here in America, using locally sourced stuff, and that’s why I love this car — $135,000 is a tremendous amount of money, but to get the same performance as an internal combustion engine, you probably have to spend, in the case of Bugatti, two-and-a-half million, or in the case of Ferrari, close to a million,” he said. “So it’s pretty amazing.”
Elon Musk took to Twitter to praise Leno’s achievement, writing, “Jay is awesome!”
Jay is awesome!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2021