Does the $20,000 option provide any improvement in a straight line?
A new drag race has given us the opportunity to see whether the Tesla Model S Plaid's optional Track Package makes any difference in a straight line.
We all know the Tesla Model S Plaid is fast, but the Track Package gives the electric sedan even more performance. So much performance that a Model S Plaid with the $20,000 upgrade smoked the Nurburgring, setting the record for the fastest electric sedan in production ever to run the German track.
But does the Track Package provide much difference in a straight line? In this drag race video, the folks at Hoonigan try to find the answer to that question with two Model S Plaids ready to battle it out in a 1,000-foot sprint.
On paper, these two Model S Plaid are the same. The three electric motors produce up to 1,020 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque, sent instantaneously to all four wheels.
The Model S Plaid with the Track Package, the purple one in this matchup, has the advantage of having a grippier set of Goodyear Supercar 3R tires on Zero-G wheels. It also has carbon-ceramic brakes with carbon-silicon rotors, forged one-piece calipers, and "high-performance" brake pads.
The latter upgrade is moot for this race, however. Virtually on equal footing (except for driver skills), the two high-powered Tesla sedans are almost equally matched. With the capability to reach the 200 mph top speed with the Track Package, the one equipped with the Track Package was predicted to be the runaway winner at the beginning of the race.
True enough, it's noticeable that the purple Plaid has a headstart at launch, thanks mainly to the sticky tires. However, the difference at the finish line was only half a car's length.
The team also tested the various drive and acceleration modes. When in Drag Strip mode, the Model S Plaid was quickest on its feet versus the other, leaving no chance up until the end of the 1,000-foot sprint.
Here's a rundown of the various modes: Chill mode, as its name implies, conserved energy, so it was not meant for this comparison, while Sport mode stood as the Model S Plaid's normal setting. Plaid mode provided intense acceleration but was still slower than when in Drag Strip mode.
Track Mode, on the other hand, toggles stability control, traction control, regenerative braking, and cooling systems for better handling and longevity, so it's meant for the race track - just like the Track Package.
In the end, we can say that the Track Package does provide an additional advantage in a straight-line race, but only because of the uprated tires. If drag race performance is all you care about, save yourself nearly $20k and just get a decent set of tires instead.