Jason Cammisa got the exclusive first test, strapped on his equipment, and broke the record: the Lucid Air Sapphire is the world’s quickest-accelerating production car.
With a staggering quarter-mile performance of 9.1 seconds at 156 mph, this 1200+ horsepower 3-motor Air beat out the reigning champion, the triple-motor, 1020-hp Tesla Model S Plaid, which runs the 1/4-mile in 9.3 seconds at 152 mph.
The cars are “tied” at 2.1 seconds 0-60, though some trivia: the Lucid Air Sapphire gets to 60 mph 0.03 seconds before the Tesla Model S Plaid.
We weren’t satisfied with just that race, so we also brought along the fastest-accelerating gas-powered production car, the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. This is the 1479-hp (1500-PS) Chiron with shortened gear ratios, grippy Michelin Cup 2R tires, a fixed rear wing, and weight-reduction measures.
Even despite these hyper-aggressive Michelins’ distaste for cold tarmac, the Chiron ripped off a 2.3-second, four-wheel-burnout launch from 0-to-60 mph, and then continued on to a 9.3-second, 156-mph quarter-mile performance. That is a tenth quicker to 60 mph than the “regular” Chiron has managed, and a tenth quicker through the quarter, too. That’s an internal-combustion production-car 1/4-mile record for the Chiron Pur Sport — and we suspect that, in warmer conditions, this Pur Sport would be even quicker!
That’s not the case with the 210-hp Ducati Panigale V4 SP2, one of the quickest superbikes in the world. It had no traction issues as MotoAmerica Supersport champion rider Josh Herrin cracked the throttle wide open, dumped the dry clutch, and ripped off a stupefying 9.3-second, 157-mph run through the quarter-mile.
This beat our last outing with the same Panigale, when it handily dusted a 2023 C8 Corvette Z06. This time, Ducati softened the suspension and dropped the fork; Josh sacrificed the clutch and kept the wheelie at bay. It’s safe to say this is the limit for the SP2 — except that Ducati offers a factory Akrapovic exhaust and tune that boost horsepower. We’d love to come back and try that again!
But for the moment, it’s clear: among production cars with four wheels, the Lucid Air Sapphire is now the acceleration king, with the Chiron Pur Sport in second place. In one video, Tesla went from first to third.
May the fight continue.
This episode of Ultimate Drag Race Replay is brought to you by WeatherTech:
0:00 Introducing Lucid Air Sapphire, Tesla Model S Plaid, Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, and the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2
0:56 German 155-mph Autobahn Gentleman’s Agreement – within 1/4 mile
1:29 Tesla Model S Plaid vs E39 M5
2:04 Lucid Air Sapphire Prototype
2:30 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport
3:13 Main Event: Drag Race Sapphire vs Plaid vs Chiron!
3:55 Walkback: Sapphire Drag Race explanation
4:18 Why is Sapphire so much quicker than Air Dream Edition?
5:05 Tesla Plaid in Last Place
5:49 Bugatti Chiron Launch Control is violent
6:00 EV vs ICE traction control: The 1000-Hz advantage
7:07 Josh Herrin in the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2
7:35 Bonus Race: Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 vs Lucid Air Sapphire
8:24 The Ducati’s quarter-mile-long wheelie
9:03 Overall Drag Race Results — Rimac & Bugatti join forces
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