Tesla announces that it has a Model S with a 3-electric motor “Plaid powertrain” and a new “chassis prototype,” which they used to break a record at the Laguna Seca racetrack.
Earlier today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that they broke the fastest lap record for 4-door vehicles with a Model S at Laguna Seca racetrack, and they are going to release a video about it soon.
The automaker has now released the video, but we learned that the vehicle has been modified.
Tesla said that the Model S had a “Plaid powertrain,” which hints to a new powertrain above the “Ludicrous” powertrain, and a new “chassis prototype.”
With this new version of the Model S, Tesla completed a 1:36.555 lap time — achieving a new record lap for a four-door sedan:
*~ Some personal news ~*
We lapped Laguna Seca @WeatherTechRcwy in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype
(That’s a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan) pic.twitter.com/OriccK4KCZ
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 12, 2019
That’s a big improvement over the previous best time in a Tesla Model S P100D.
Last year, Tesla’s development team ended taking the Laguna Seca production EV record with a 1:43 time.
Tesla has yet to release any other details about the new powertrain or chassis, nor any plan to make the new version of the Model S available to customers.
Update: Musk said that they will “soon” release more details about the “Plaid powertrain” and said it will be offered for Model S, Model X, and the new Roadster:
“Yes. To be clear, Plaid powertrain is about a year away from production & applies to S,X, & Roadster, but not 3 or Y. Will cost more than our current offerings, but less than competitors.”
Previously, Musk said that Tesla was reserving the “Plaid mode,” which is a reference to Spaceballs like Tesla’s other performance modes, for the next-generation Roadster.
That’s an interesting way to announce a new powertrain, or at the very least a new powertrain mode, especially after Elon said that there would be no other major upgrade to the Model S this year.
Since Elon previously said that “Plaid” was for the Roadster, Tesla could be testing the new Roadster powertrain in the Model S, but I find this unlikely.
Either way, that’s an impressive time.
I think Tesla might have stripped the interior a little, because it sounds very loud inside the car on this video, and that’s what happens when you strip the interior of a car.
Or, it’s possible that this new “Plaid powertrain” is just louder.
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