Tesla Introduces Plaid Track Mode: Tops Out At 175 MPH

Tesla officially launched Plaid Track Mode – a special Track Mode for the Tesla Model S Plaid, which was hinted at in December, as part of the 2021.44.30 over-the-air software update.

According to the manufacturer, the Plaid Track Mode is rolling out to Model S Plaid vehicles across North America with a simple goal to “achieve the quickest lap time for a production electric vehicle at Germany’s Nürburgring, and allow individual adjustability of stability control, handling balance and regenerative braking to give drivers more authority over vehicle control at the racetrack.”

By the way, Tesla Model S Plaid set a new record for production electric cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife track (the 20.8-kilometer course) in Germany.

Let’s recall that previously the Tesla Model 3 Performance cars received Track Model in 2018, which was later updated in 2020.

The company highlights several main features of Plaid Track Mode (see at the bottom of this post), which is promised to take full advantage of the tri-motor platform (one motor in the front and two motors for independent propulsion of the rear wheels).

Enabling the Plaid Track Mode will trigger a performance-oriented cooling strategy for the battery, drive units and brakes. The car will simply try to achieve maximum track endurance through cooling down the components “to create a significant amount of chilled thermal mass.”

The brakes should perform better because the regenerative braking power will be increased:

“…has three major benefits: re-capture more energy during deceleration, reduce load on the friction brakes for better thermal management, and give the driver better modulation and controllability with a single pedal.”

A very important part of Plaid Track Mode is torque vectoring, between the front and rear axle, as well as between the rear wheels, which is now possible thanks to two electric motors in the rear.

Tesla mentions also new adjustable vehicle dynamics, including changes to the regenerative braking, adaptive suspension damping and a new Performance UI with a track-focused user interface to provide critical performance data, including:

  • a vehicle thermals monitor
  • lap timer
  • G-meter
  • dashcam video capture
  • vehicle telemetry
  • along with several other customizable options

With Plaid Track Mode, the Tesla Model S Plaid is expected to be “as quick around a racetrack as it is at the drag strip” with greater driver control and adjustability. In the future, the new mode may be further updated over the air.

One of the things that were noted by users is a higher top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h), compared to 163 mph (262 km/h) available previously, although the ultimate top speed of the Plaid will be 200 mph (322 km/h). That speed has not yet been unlocked.


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