Tesla late on Wednesday posted a video of its Model S lapping Laguna Seca in a time of 1:36.555, which Tesla says is a record for four-door cars at the California racetrack.
No sanctioning body is known to establish or track such records. Also, the Model S is a five-door hatchback.
Along with the video, Tesla revealed that the record-setting car isn't a production model...yet.
It turns out the car is a prototype for an upcoming Model S Plaid.
Following the release of the video, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said via a Twitter post that details on the Plaid's powertrain will be coming soon, while confirming that the option, due in a year's time, will be offered on the Model S, Model X and next-generation Roadster, but not the Model 3. Musk first made reference to the powertrain as far back as 2015, when he said that Tesla was planning a performance level above Ludicrous mode. He referred to it at the time as Maximum Plaid, a nod to 1987's classic comedy "Spaceballs."
Musk also said in his Twitter post that the Plaid option will cost more than Tesla's other offerings but will be priced lower than competitor offerings. Presumably he meant the Porsche Taycan Turbo which starts at $152,250 (launch pricing is increased to $154,660).
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
The current Model S Performance comes standard with Ludicrous mode and can hit 60 mph from rest in just 2.4 seconds, thanks to a 259-horsepower electric motor at the front axle and a 503-hp unit at the rear axle. A more powerful setup could potentially see the acceleration figure dip even lower.
The Model S Plaid could also potentially set a new record (or records) at the Nürburgring. Tesla is currently testing a prototype at the German racetrack and is likely to set an official lap time at a later date. The fastest production EV around the 'Ring is the Taycan Turbo S. It recently set a time of 7:42.