Watch Tesla’s 1100-hp Model S Plaid trounce the Corvette C7 ZR1’s Laguna Seca lap time
Tesla’s just announced a 1100-hp, $140K “Plaid” powertrain to crown its Model S lineup. When Elon Musk broke the news in yesterday’s Battery Day announcement, he touted a 0–60-mph time of under 2.0 seconds for the Model S Plaid and a quarter-mile time under 9 seconds. Even better? Musk is promising a range of 520+ miles for this tri-motor, all-wheel-drive beast. (Those keeping tabs on the EV world will realize that these power, performance, and range stats are just a hair better than those of the $169K Lucid Air Dream Edition—1080 hp, 0–60 in 2.5 seconds, and 517 miles of range. Because of course they are.)
Tesla posted an onboard video of the Model S Plaid’s Laguna Seca lap, and we’ll spoil it right now—this EV is wickedly fast. Tesla didn’t strip the interior or run a trick suspension setup, either; the car was wearing a set of Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires that will soon be available on the production model, and the only modification to the car was the installation of a racing bucket seat.
In-car footage from Sunday’s Plaid Model S run at Laguna Seca pic.twitter.com/rwQDBFCWoH
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 23, 2020
The Model S hits nearly 150 mph as the driver makes his way through Turn 1, with the Tesla almost silent through Turn 2’s Andretti Hairpin. The only sounds from the car are the whir of its electric motors and the chatter as the Michelins hit rumble strips. It is a remarkable smooth lap with surprisingly little drama; the car never seems to get upset or oversteer, and it only requires a bit of mid-corner correction. The driver’s skill pays off with an impressive 1:30.4 lap time, making the Model S Plaid faster than a bevy of supercars and track stars.
For comparison, the fastest production car lap time on the track is the McLaren Senna’s 1:27.62, put down by Randy Pobst. Porsche’s 918 Spyder and GT2 RS aren’t far behind, with the last Viper ACR and a McLaren 720 finishing between them. There’s also the Lamborghini Huracán Performante ahead of the Model S, but that’s about it. The 1:30.4 lap puts Tesla ahead of the Ferrari 488 GTB, the hottest C7 Corvette, the Porsche 911 GT3, and the Camaro ZL1 1LE, which have all clocked times in the low 1:30s.
When he announced the lap time, Elon Musk boasted that there are probably another three seconds to lop off it, saying “We’re confident the Model S will achieve the best track time of any production vehicle ever, of any kind, two-door or otherwise.”
There may be more to wring out of the Model S Plaid on the track, but other manufacturers aren’t sitting still either. Lucid, for one, has its sights fixed on Tesla, and we don’t expect the one-upping game to stop here. Are you ready for an electric daily driver that can lap Laguna with the best of them?