While we await Tesla’s new Model S Plaid+ variant, which the automaker claims will be the quickest accelerating production car in the world (as judged by zero-to-60 mph and quarter-mile sprints), we came across news that one of the electric vehicle brand’s forthcoming super sedans recently underwent testing at Laguna Seca raceway in Salinas, California where it was caught on video and posted to Twitter. Ignore the gushing over the Model S’s “unconfirmed” lap record attempt in this video—which, well, isn’t really news, because a video of such a lap has circulated since last September)—because the important revelation in this Tweet sprouts from the Model S’s rear deck: A new active spoiler.
The spoiler not only pops up but appears capable of acting as an air brake of sorts, flipping into a vertical position under braking to help drag the Model S down from speed. If this feature carries over to the production model (it isn’t visible—yet—on Tesla’s online configurator, where you can currently spec out your imaginary Model S Plaid or Plaid+), then it would be only one tool in the Plaid trims’ go-faster arsenals.
Expect at least the option of extra-aggressive summer tires to go with the Plaid trims’ tri-motor setup and revised electronics. The high-powered Plaids should provide more sustained full-throttle abuse than that of the lesser Model S Long Range (or at least compared to that of earlier Model S sedans, which were known to revert to a thermal-management mode to prevent damage to the onboard electronics, stifling its on-track endurance). Tesla claims that, when the Model S Plaid+ arrives, it will deliver at least 520 miles of range, reach 60 mph in under 2.0 seconds, and deliver a sub-9.0-second quarter-mile time. Even the lesser Model S Plaid will hit the mile-a-minute mark in less than 2.0 seconds, however, its range is estimated at just 350 miles. We hope to put those metrics to the test soon …
As for the updated Model S’s available steering yoke? The individual who spotted this red Tesla Model S testing at Laguna Seca claims it relied on a regular steering wheel. Another Model S prototype testing that day, though, reportedly sported the yoke.
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