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Tesla Model S To Get Even Faster With ‘Plaid’ Powertrain – Sets Record At Laguna Seca

A prototype Tesla Model S that can go faster than any Tesla before has been teased by CEO Elon Musk.

A new powertrain named ‘Plaid’ is “about a year away from production” according to Musk after making its prototype debut on Laguna Seca raceway where it ran the famous Californian course in just 1:36 minutes. According to Musk this is a new record, but as this car isn’t yet a production car, I can’t see which record he’s talking about. The four-door Jaguar Project 8 in comparison achieved a 1:37 lap, but is a full production car.

The Plaid powertrain will be available to the Model S, X, and second-gen Roadster, but not the 3 or Y, and it will cost substantially more than the current specs available. Musk did tease that it will “cost less than competitors”, possibly making a jab at the new Porsche Taycan which starts at $150,000.

The lap, which took place earlier this week, was not watched or measured by a sanctioned body, however. Laguna Seca told CNBC that track officials “were not officiating while the Tesla was testing,” and that “[o]fficial records only happen during sanctioned events where a sanctioning body is officiating.” This didn’t stop Musk from posting this ‘record’ on Twitter.

The video description was much more clear, however: “We lapped Laguna Seca in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype — a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan.”

The Tesla Model S has been seen at the Nurburgring earlier this week, too. Possibly testing a new bodykit and measuring performance against its Porsche competitor. But plans are slow to set record at the Green Hell. Plans to “review and tune” needs to be established yet, so we may be in for a wait of multiple months before this can happen.

Written by Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps.

He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX.

Contact: alex@grandtournation.com