The 1,020-horsepower sedan isn't just about straight-line speed.
Say what you want about Tesla, but there's no denying the Model S Plaid is an incredible car. The brand's first-ever tri-motor vehicle boasts a heady 1,020 horsepower that sends the 4,766 lbs sedan to 60 mph in less than two seconds. In fact, it recently achieved an incredible quarter-mile time of 8.994 seconds with driver Christine Dodworth behind the wheel.
But it's not just a straight-line demon. With the right driver behind the wheel, the large sedan can blitz a technical racetrack. An example of the high-performance Model S has just set a lap record for the fastest EV ever at Virginia International Raceway, covering the 4.1-mile distance in an astonishing 2:50.7; four-and-a-half seconds quicker than the previous record-holder, a Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
Speaking to Car and Driver, owner Carmine Cupani noted the Plaid's Track Mode was instrumental in the blistering lap time. The Plaid-specific setting increases the cooling of essential components and turns up the wick for maximum performance. Additionally, Track Mode places the car in its lowest ride height, stiffens the adaptive dampers, and turns off some of the driver assistance systems.
As seen in the video above, the portly sedan handles the complex course with ease, blasting down the straights with gusto before showing impressive prowess through corners. While the Model S completed the lap on factory-equipped Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, we must point out that this specific model is fitted with uprated front brakes, which undoubtedly aided in achieving this massive feat.
Piloted by a professional, the Tesla takes on the racetrack with ease, although there's some drama to be seen around the one-minute mark. As the powerful sedan starts to slide, Cupani's friend and skilled driver Johan Schwartz demonstrates a beautiful piece of car control, quickly rectifying the sideways action with some impressive steering inputs, despite the oft-criticized Yoke steering wheel.
Some gearheads may bemoan the lack of sonorous engine noise, but it doesn't take away from the spectacle. At one part of the video, the Tesla's electric motors propel the heavy EV to just under 160 mph. The Plaid's lap time is very impressive but, then again, we know what the powerful Tesla can achieve.
We've seen it battle the more powerful Lucid Air Dream Edition and win and we already know the Taycan is no match. Priced at $135,990, it's not cheap, but we can't think of any similarly priced car that can give the Plaid a run for its money.