Track mode, first introduced on the Model 3 Performance, is what Tesla’s flagship sedan desperately needed.
- Tesla is adding Track mode to the Model S Plaid via an over-the-air update, a feature first introduced on the Model 3 Performance.
- Track mode allows the driver to adjust the stability control settings, optimizes powertrain cooling for track driving, and displays vehicle info such as a g meter.
- Tesla will also soon offer carbon=ceramic brakes on the Model S Plaid for $20,000.
On the skidpad, we achieved an impressive 1.08 g of grip in our latest test of the Model S Plaid, although it took us longer than usual to get there. This is due to the fact that the automobile reacted differently while turning left versus right, had very little steering or chassis feedback, and the stability control could not be disabled. Track Mode, which was first offered on the Model 3 Performance, has now been added to the Model S Plaid via an over-the-air update, allowing the driver to alter or disable the stability control system.
Track mode is useful for more than just that. Tesla claims that the Model S Plaid’s dual rear motors enable torque vectoring, but because to the intrusive stability control, we were unable to verify it. However, in Track mode, the rear motors will be able to modify torque automatically to help the 4828-pound EV rotate through turns. Track Mode also precools the motor for as long as possible to combat the onslaught of heat generated by racetrack driving, increases regenerative braking to help reduce brake load (though this is configurable), and keeps the adaptive dampers in Low mode. It also displays the powertrain temperatures along with a g meter, a lap timer, and other configurable vehicle information on the digital gauge cluster and new 17.0-inch touchscreen.
The purpose of Track mode, according to Tesla, was to help the Model S Plaid set the fastest EV lap time at the Nürburgring, which it did in September 2021 with a 7:35 lap. Tesla also claims that following a future software update, the Plaid will be able to hit 200 mph, but it’s presently limited to 162 mph.
Tesla is now providing a carbon-ceramic brake package for $20,000 to give Model S Plaid owners even more performance capacity. Tesla claims it will be available in mid-2022, and it will only work with cars that have 21-inch wheels (a $4500 option), not the regular 19-inch wheels. The Model S needed 150 feet to stop from 70 mph with stock brakes.
The 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid starts at $135,690. It launched to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds and tied the Bugatti Chiron Sport in the quarter-mile in our testing. With this new update the Tesla Model S Plaid should improve in areas other than just straight-line performance.