Tesla Model S with plaid mode and a new powertrain have been introduced by Elon Musk on Twitter. The news comes after Tesla CEO released a video of a Modded-Model S operating in the plaid mode as it broke the record for the fastest 4-door sedan at Laguna Seca.
Musk tweeted by saying — “The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid.”
The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2019
Tesla Model S scored a lap record of 1:36.555. It had a new powertrain capable of plaid mode along with an upgraded chassis. You can watch the Tesla Roadster Plaid mode video here:
*~ Some personal news ~*
We lapped Laguna Seca @WeatherTechRcwy in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype
(That’s a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan) pic.twitter.com/OriccK4KCZ
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 12, 2019
The Plaid mode is an upgraded version of Ludicrous mode, a type of launch control system that allows for hair raising acceleration. If you’ve seen Tesla electric cars obliterating 1000 HP vehicles on the drag-strip, it is possible due to ludicrous mode.
And now, the Plaid mode takes everything to another level. This is why the new launch control mode won’t be available for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Instead, the plaid mode will be available for premium Tesla electric cars like the Model S, X and the upcoming 2020 Roadster.
Earlier this year, we also got to see a glimpse of Tesla Roadster operating in Plaid mode at its launch event.
Tesla Plaid Mode Explained
Surprisingly, Elon teased the plaid mode back in a 2015 blogpost. He revealed that the only thing faster than a ludicrous mode is the plaid mode and it is reserved for the next-generation Tesla Roadster.
The meaning of the word ‘Plaid’ refers to a pattern of straight square line on a cloth. However, in terms of Tesla electric cars, Plaid mode is a drive mode which increases the acceleration of the car by about a certain percent.
The Ludicrous mode in Tesla cars improves their acceleration by around 10%. It achieves this due to an improved battery fuse and an upgraded main pack contactor which now uses space-grade superalloy instead of steel. The new battery fuse also has a separate lithium-ion battery of its own along with a series of electronics to monitor the excessive current.
This improved the battery performance under heavy heat generated by increased current flow from 1300 to 1500 amps.
The plaid mode, in the upcoming Model S, X and Roadster, is poised to go beyond a 10% increase in acceleration. It will achieve this with the help of three powertrain electric motors instead of two and an upgraded chassis.
The Tesla Model S in the video is equipped with all these upgrades and is hence able to perform much better than its previous attempt at the race track.
Yes. To be clear, Plaid powertrain is about a year away from production & applies to S,X & Roadster, but not 3 or Y. Will cost more than our current offerings, but less than competitors.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2019
According to Elon, the plaid will only be offered at a premium cost but less than that of competitors. This does not make any sense because Tesla is the only company that offers this type of driving mode. The price of the plaid mode isn’t available either, however, it’ll likely be more than $10,000 initially. There is no confirmed launch date for the plaid mode powertrain.
Tesla introduced the ludicrous mode back in 2015 at a price of $10,000. The company did reduce the price of Ludicrous mode in the first six months by $5,000 for Tesla P85 owners.
The Tesla Roadster will have the plaid mode and it will achieve 0-60 mph speed in just 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 250 mph. The Tesla Roadster was showcased in 2017 and is due for launch in 2020.
The Tesla Model 3 and Y will not get plaid mode. It is being done to maintain their competitive price point in the market. With the launch of the VW ID 3, it is imperative that Tesla bring more affordable and efficient upgrades to the Model 3 instead of the premium ones.
Tesla Model 3 is the best selling EV in Canada, Australia, several parts of Europe and in the United States. The Model S was launched in 2012 but its sales are cannibalized on a regular basis by its smaller cousin, the Model 3.
Since then Tesla has tried several new tactics to increase the sale of Model S, including introducing a long-range version of the car, introducing Ludicrous mode, upgrading it with air-suspension and so on.
Hopefully, the new upcoming powertrain upgrade featuring plaid mode and chassis upgrade will help Tesla gain some more ground in the premium EV market.
The announcement of plain mode also comes amidst the launch of Porsche Taycan. Which, according to analysts, could eat the market share of Tesla Model S.
The real test for the Tesla Model S lies next week. The Model S will try to break the Nurburgring track record of 7:42 seconds established by the Porsche Taycan.