Tesla has gone Plaid to defeat Taycan


After letting Porsche hold the “fastest four-door EV in the world” for a few minutes, Tesla has responded with its much-hyped Model S Plaid at its annual Tesla Battery Day.

The electric super-sedan has some pretty hefty claimed figures. Range will be “more than 520 miles (837 km)”, acceleration from 0-60mph (97kmh) will happen in less than two seconds and the quarter-mile will be dispatched in less than nine seconds.

Though, if the Model S Plaid crosses the line at more than 150mph (241kmh), it will need a parachute installed as per IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) rules.

Looks... like a Model S, honestly. But it’s very, very fast.

Supplied

Looks… like a Model S, honestly. But it’s very, very fast.

How is it doing all that? Three motors generating somewhere north of 1100hp (820kW). One is mounted on the front axle and two are on the rear for all-wheel drive traction.

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Ah, I hear you say, but electric cars are only good for straight-line speed. Surely it will get whumped on the racetrack, right?

But, crucially, is it better than the Taycan Turbo S? It’s certainly cheaper...

Nile Bijoux/Stuff

But, crucially, is it better than the Taycan Turbo S? It’s certainly cheaper…

Wrong. The Plaid managed a 1m 30.3s lap of Laguna Seca, with another three seconds potentially to be shed in time (see video above). That would make it the fastest production car around the circuit.

Right now it’s faster than a McLaren P1, to give some indication of the speed, although Musk and Tesla have been quiet on just how many laps the Plaid can manage before either overheating or running low on juice.

And the price is still less than a Taycan Turbo S. Tesla New Zealand has the Plaid starting at $257,900, compared to the Porsche’s sticker of $366,900. We’ll leave it up to you to decide where the money is best spent.