Tesla says the new Model S is the world's most aerodynamic production car

With a coefficient of drag that's just 0.208, the updated Model S narrowly beats out the Lucid Air, but there's a catch or two.

Daniel Golson Former social media editor
2 min read

The Model S is one slippery sedan.


There's a lot of new stuff to talk about when it comes to the Tesla Model S, which today received its most major update since it was first unveiled in 2012. It's got a completely new interior with a crazy steering wheel, lots of updated tech and a Plaid Plus model that promises over 520 miles of range. But buried in the deluge of info is a new superlative that Tesla is claiming: The updated Model S is the most aerodynamic production car in the world, with a drag coefficient of just 0.208.

Now there are a couple of technicalities here. Tesla doesn't say which specific Model S achieves that 0.208 figure, whether it's the Long Range or one of the Plaid models and if it's with the 19- or 21-inch wheels. Given the Plaid Plus model claims a 520-mile range, it's likely that one. That number also nicely rounds up to 0.21 -- and that matches the Lucid Air's claimed figure. Lucid hasn't given a specific drag coefficient that goes beyond the second decimal place, so its 0.21 claim could perhaps have been rounded up. We're not sure about that, but we are sure the aerodynamic one-upping won't stop anytime soon. 

Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

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The Model S also hasn't technically entered production yet, so it's not exactly the most aerodynamic car you can currently buy. (That would be the Porsche Taycan Turbo.) Tesla says first deliveries won't begin until March for the Long Range or the Plaid, while the Plaid Plus won't get to customers' hands until late 2021. With Lucid Air deliveries set to commence in the next month or two, it could potentially still take and hang onto the aerodynamics crown, at least for a bit.

Tesla also can't claim that the Model S is the most aerodynamic production car ever, either. The General Motors EV1 and Volkswagen XL1 both boasted 0.19 drag coefficients, and the VW at the very least most definitely is considered a production car. Nevertheless, the Model S being the third most aerodynamic production car ever is still quite an impressive feat.

The Model X SUV also received many of the same upgrades as the Model S, but with a 0.25 drag coefficient it already was the most aerodynamic SUV in the world.