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Mar 14, 2022

Watch an R34 Skyline GT-R Take on a Tesla Model S Plaid

Watch an R34 Skyline GT-R Take on a Tesla Model S Plaid

Ever since the ludicrous Tesla Model S Plaid arrived on the scene, folks on the internet can't help but race it anything and everything. The crew over at Hoonigan is known for their on-camera drag-racing antics, and have joined in on the fun with a new series called This vs Plaid. In the latest episode of the show, Hoonigan ran the world-beating EV against one of the Japanese auto industry's greatest achievements: an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

The R34 is one of the undeniable icons of the performance car world, and this modified Midnight Purple example is a great example of why that is. Under the hood sits an RB26DETT inline-six engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine on this one has been modified by Driver Motorsports in Virginia and has been rated at 650 hp at all four wheels. That's a lot in a car that weighs just 3432 lbs. That said, the tri-motor Tesla cranks out a whopping 1020 hp and shares the same AWD benefits as the GT-R.

Like in the other Hoonigan race series, round one of the event is a classic head-to-head race through the 1000-ft mark. This helps all of us establish a baseline of performance between the cars and helps gauge what handicaps will be implemented down the line. As anyone who understands this match-up would predict, the Plaid annihilates the R34 with ease. From the launch to the end of the strip, the Tesla took the lead and had a drama-free run.

Round two saw the two cars face off in another straight up 1000-ft race, though the Tesla faced an interesting penalty this time around. The Hoonigan crew stuck the EV in Chill Mode, which dramatically limits the performance of the sedan. In fact, YouTuber and Plaid owner DragTimes has clocked tortoise-like speeds of 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds and a quarter-mile pass of over 15 seconds in this sedated software mode. Furthermore, they also made the EV driver pick up a passenger as an added bit of ballast. The second pass then was an utter blowout in favor of the Nissan, though an undeniably dirty one.

The Hoonigan crew opted to let the Plaid run in its Sport Mode for the final pass in an effort to get a properly close race, but no other handicaps were handed out. Despite being the closest of the races, the GT-R driver missed a shift, which the single-speed Tesla was quick to punish. The margin of victory for the EV was yet again more than a few car lengths by the end of the 1000-ft pass. Not a surprise in the slightest when looking at the two cars on paper.

While the R34 wasn't able to best the Model S Plaid, it did put up an enjoyable fight. For what it is worth, the GT-R won the aural battle, as well as our hearts. Of course, it is hard not to love a color-shifting coupe with that exhaust note.

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