Tesla Model S Running 'Plaid' Powertrain Broke the Four-Door Record in R&D Test

Only a week after the introduction of the Porsche Taycan, Tesla has tested a new Model S prototype.
Farah Saleem

Tesla has claimed to break the four-door record using a Model S running 'Plaid' powertrain at Laguna Seca in California. 

The modified version of the Model S with three motors, a 'Plaid' powertrain, and chassis prototype, lapped around the racetrack at 1:36:555

The 'plaid' is a reference to the 1980s comedy movie Spaceballs ("They've gone to plaid!" i.e., ludicrously fast). It could be a favorite movie of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. 


Musk himself confirmed the current news as he tweeted the results and a video was later released on the company's YouTube channel.

The video has already generated buzz on YouTube and Twitter. The experienced driver races the prototype model around the track and breaks the record a second faster, the video claims.

As CNBC reports, "The next closest record for a four-door was set by a 2016 Cadillac CTSV back in 2015." It also reported that while Tesla has claimed the record, for it to become an official lap record, it needs to happen "during sanctioned events where a sanctioning body is officiating." 

Last week's world premiere of Porsche Taycan had Elon Musk reacting on Twitter. He claimed that the Model S would soon also be at Nürburgring — known as the Green Hell — where the Porsche did its fastest lap in seven minutes and 42 seconds.

Following the premiere, Elon himself praised the Taycan, but not before confirming that the Model S will also do tests at the German racetrack.

An hour ago, he revealed that the Model S would have more seats.

Elon also confirmed, when asked by Twitter fans, that the new Plaid powertrain will be applied to Models S, X and Roadster and that it's still a year away from production. 

AutoBlog has revealed some photos near Nürburgring of a Model S P100D yesterday, probably getting ready for initial tests. It claimed that using Model S P100D does make sense, "since its 762 horsepower and 723 pound-feet of torque closely matches the Porsche's 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque." However, they've also noted that this modified version is not a 'stock' model, as the Porche Taycan was. 

Elon cleared the air that Tesla won't try for a record this week in Nürburgring but will instead make sure that the Model S will be fully reviewed and tuned, especially for the Flugplatz section of the racetrack. 

We'll just have to wait for news from Nürburgring to see what the 7-seater Model S is capable of. Let's hope we won't have to wait for too long.