Tesla's New Prototype Goes 200MPH and Has a 'Retractable' Spoiler

Is this Tesla's answer to Lucid Motors' 'Air'?
Brad Bergan

While the world waits for Tesla's Model S Plaid to finally go to market, the company is reportedly testing a new high-performance variant of the company's all-electric sedan at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California, according to tweets from the YouTube channel The Kilowatts.

Tesla Model S Plaid might best most other EVs in its class

The new variant is racecar-red and comes equipped with an "adjustable wing built into the trunk", which suggests Tesla is taking a keen interest in sports car performance, namely, via a new spoiler that absolutely pops. According to The Kilowatts' video, the Model S Plaid's lap times around Laguna Seca are highly impressive, besting most in its class.

However, it remains unclear whether the retractable spoiler will come with the full production model. But we'll likely hear which way the wind will blow on that subject from CEO Elon Musk in the following months. As of writing, the Plaid model can make 200 mph (322 km/h), with a range of 390 miles (628 miles), can go 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, and has 1,020 horsepower. It's also scheduled for delivery in either August or September, according to Tesla's website. But Tesla isn't the only significant automaker releasing high-performance electric vehicles.

The Osaka, Japan-based company Aspark designed a top-of-the-line high-performance vehicle. Called the Owl, its production is reportedly limited to 50 units globally, and sells for roughly $3.2 million. With an incredible 1,984 horsepower, this luxuriously fast electric vehicle uses four electric motors, combined with a 64.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack capable of driving 280 miles (450 km). The company claims it can make 0 to 60 mph (roughly 100 km/h) in less than 1.7 seconds — a record we probably shouldn't expect the Tesla Plaid S to match. Then again, the latter's alternative will be far, far more affordable.

Tesla's Model S Plaid spoiler could be an answer to Lucid Motors' 'Air'

Another all-electric vehicle company promises a 1,080 horsepower luxury electric sedan, in an engineering challenge to both Tesla and Porsche in the luxury EV niche. Called Lucid Motors, the company's "Air" vehicle is sleek and minimalist, taking an aesthetic cue from German sedans. It can drive a quarter mile (400 m) in roughly 9.9 seconds, outpacing the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S — although Tesla's spoiler-equipped variant might change this fact. This could be the case, since the Air has a drag coefficient of only 0.21, the most aerodynamically efficient luxury EV.

Lucid Motor said the range will be 517 miles (830 km) per charge, with 300 miles (480 km) available from 30 minutes' charge. The interior, too, is opulent — featuring a 34-inch 5K curved glass cockpit display in addition to a retractable (there's that word again) pilot pane. Tesla will face stiff competition from new and legacy names in the auto industry, like Porsche and Lucid Motors, as more and more auto manufacturers pivot to all-electric. While we can't say which innovative company will do better, there's most definitely a bright future for high-performance vehicles that run on clean electricity, rather than fossil fuels, in light of the ongoing advance of global climate change.

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