Tesla Model 3 Thinks It Can Beat Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Oh Boy Is It Wrong


With all the Tesla Model S Plaid drag racing videos around, you would imagine that people aren’t exactly enthusiastic about lining up other Teslas against a muscle car like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat—it’s not just that the tri-motor sedan, with its 1,020 horsepower, takes the electric cake, but the rest of the Palo Alto range has been present at drag strips for quite a few years now. Well, here we are, talking about a quarter-mile confrontation that saw the said Mopar machine duking it out with a Model 3 Performance.

Sure, the two pieces of America are as different as they get, but they have at least two key aspects in common, with the first being their pricing—both can be had for under $60,000, which is no small feat given what we’re going to cover next.

We need to talk performance: in the configurations seen here, namely 480 hp for the Model 3 and 707 ponies for the Hellcat, both can deliver 11s quarter-mile shenanigans.

And while the difference between the two, which is clearly highlighted by the ET (Elapsed Time) numbers displayed at the drag strip, might not seem all that important to somebody who doesn’t spend too much time at the track, this can mean the world in drag racing terms.

Even though the reaction times of the drivers don’t influence their ETs (the clock only starts ticking after the vehicle gets off the line), the enthusiast behind the wheel of the Dodge wanted to ensure team muscle gets all the glory, so he nailed the launch race after race.

Now, returning to the Model S Plaid, which will most likely show up in many conversions about this battle, its factory 1/4-mile time of 9.2s (real-world testing shows this can go up to, say, to 9.7s if the driver and/or the surface is unprepared) means it can easily one-up a stock Hellcat like the one we seem to have here (minus the custom wheels and tires). In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a production car that can best the electric devil.

However, there are plenty of modded muscle cars out there who can’t wait to show their old-school taillights to a Tesla, while Dodge itself has decided to give us an electric machine of the sort, albeit with this set to land in 2024.