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:

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.

Electrek’s Take

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.

You can now get a 14-day free trial for Zalkon to get great electric vehicle and renewable energy stock ideas. Our first idea increased in value by more than 30% in the first month, and we just now released our second green stock idea.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

About the Author