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Tesla Model S Plaid prototype reportedly crashed on race track, new spoiler spotted

A Tesla Model S Plaid prototype has reportedly crashed on the Nürburgring race track in the latest round of testing and the automaker has been testing different configurations of its upcoming new top performance Model S.

As we previously reported, following the recent launch of the Porsche Taycan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to be on a mission to show that Tesla’s vehicles are still the highest-performing EVs available today.

Last month, he said that Tesla would bring a Model S to the Nürburgring race track — right after Porsche established a new 4-door electric car record at the track.

However, in the following days, Tesla announced a Model S with a 3-motor “Plaid powertrain” and new a “chassis prototype.”

Musk also said that Tesla had a new 7-seater Model S prototype at the Nürburgring racetrack, and it seems like the track testing could simply be about testing new versions of Tesla’s Model S and the new 3-motor “Plaid Powertrain” instead of just going after the Taycan.

Either way, they were still going after a record.

A witness said that Tesla’s “Plaid” Model S already crushed the Porsche Taycan’s Nürburgring time, which Tesla confirmed in their own testing, but the time hasn’t been made official by the track.

Tesla said that it would be making improvements and head back in October.

Sure enough, the updated Model S Plaid prototypes were spotted there last week as we saw some prototypes try some hot laps at the Nürburgring racetrack.

Now a new report from Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport looked into Tesla’s latest testing effort at the track and they reported that the red Model S Plaid prototype driven by Thomas Mutsch, a German racecar driver, crashed into the guardrail.

The driver was reportedly unhurt.

Here’s the red Model S Plaid prototype (picture via Auto Motor und Sport):

According to the publication, Tesla has been moving from one shop to another around the ring to modify the prototypes and test new configurations.

In the sightings last week, we already saw some new modifications, but they have now added a giant spoiler (pictures via Auto Motor und Sport):

There have been complaints that Tesla has been claiming record times by using some modifications that will never go into production, but we actually still don’t know what configuration Tesla plans to use to officially attempt a record.

It could only be benchmarking different mods at this point.

To reassure people, Tesla said that it thinks the production version of the Plaid Model S will be even better than the prototypes.

Last month, Musk said that the Tesla Model S with a “Plaid” powertrain and new rear-facing seats is coming in Oct/Nov 2020.

After the most recent testing, now the CEO says that it is coming next summer.

The next-gen Roadster is expected to also get Tesla’s new 3-motor Plaid powertrain, but it should come after the new version of the Model S.

Electrek’s Take

The news is already making the rounds, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s normal to crash or have a problem with a prototype during testing.

That’s why they are doing the tests on a race track – so the car can be pushed to its limits and if something bad happens, it’s in a controlled environment that limits the chances of having someone hurt.

As for the modifications, I have to admit that they are getting pretty crazy.

I have to think that they are only doing some benchmarking with those because unless they are planning to offer a really niche race track package, I doubt Tesla will offer those specific configurations as factory options.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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