We know how quick the Tesla Model S Plaid can be in a straight line or even on a race track, but how about tight maneuvering (typically at 20-50 mph) at an autocross event?
According to Brent Ely, who recently had his first ever opportunity to participate in a AutoX autocross event (novice class), the Model S Plaid performed relatively well.
On the first day of the two-day event, the best time was 43.922 seconds (2nd best), 1.119 seconds behind an undisclosed 2014 Subaru model, which driven by Eric Brown clocked a time of 42.803 seconds.
The most important findings for us are not the times, but the general conclusions. First of all, the Tesla Model S Plaid has so much power and torque that it can easily over-accelerate – shoot too far out of the corner and then it would require heavy braking. Because of that, it was better to drive in a Sport mode instead of Plaid.
The second finding is that the Model S appears too heavy and too big to really be able to compete in such discipline with a smaller, more agile sporty cars.
“My guess up front was that the quick acceleration, combined with the AWD of the Plaid would definitely help. While, they did help, the acceleration was almost too much and I had to drop from Plaid mode into Sport mode, just so that I didnt over-accelerate. The AWD was definitely helpful, but the sheer weight of the car meant much more momentum going into turns or during hard braking. In longer, sweeping turns, the weight of the car, combined with the speed, had a tendency to allow the car to plow away from ideal lines.”
At the autocross specifically, the brakes – supported by regenerative braking – appear to be ok. That’s counter from what we’ve heard at high-speed race tracks (see reports from Speed Academy and Throttle House, and an analysis by Engineering Explained).
There was no word about the yoke steering wheel. According to Brent Ely, there will be a follow up video about the second day results, which were better than in the first day.
Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S Plaid specs:
- up to 390 miles (628 km) of EPA est. range
- battery capacity (see the pack here): N/A (about 99 kWh and roughly 95 kWh usable)
7,920 lithium-ion 1865-type cylindrical cells (Panasonic)
5 modules (1,584 cells each)
22S72P (22 rows in series, each of 72 cells in parallel)
about 450 V system (indicatory value)
- 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 1.99 seconds (*with rollout subtracted)
0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.1 seconds (*with rollout subtracted)
MotorTrend‘s 0-60 mph (asphalt, no rollout): 2.28 seconds
- 1/4 mile 9.23 seconds at 155 mph trap speed according to Tesla website
Tesla’s professional test driver record: 9.234 seconds at 152.16 mph trap speed
Jay Leno’s 1/4 mile record of 9.247 seconds at 152.09 mph trap speed
DragTimes’ run: 9.248 seconds at 151.83 mph
8.994 seconds at 155 mph trap speed at Maryland International Raceway (November 2021)
9.081 seconds at 154.10 mph trap speed – July 24, 2021 at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis
- Nürburgring Nordschleife record of 7 minutes and 35.579 seconds (September 9, 2021)
- top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h) †when equipped with the proper wheels and tires (available fall 2021)
- three-motor all-wheel drive (one motor in the front and two motors in the rear)
Permanent Magnet – Synchronous Reluctance Motors – PMSRM
- system output: 1,020 hp (about 760 kW)
- DC fast charging: at up to 250 kW (Superchargers)
can replenish 187 miles (301 km) in 15 minutes
- Drag Coefficient 0.208 Cd
- Wheels 19″ or 21″
- Cargo 28 cu ft
- Weight 4,766 lbs (2,162 kg)
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