Tesla Announces New Supercharged Model S With ‘Plaid Powertrain’

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by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Tesla Announces New Supercharged Model S With ‘Plaid Powertrain’
Photo: Shutterstock

Tesla has just announced a new power-packed “Plaid powertrain” upgrade for its Models S, X and Roadster vehicles. The Model S has already set a new record for the fastest four-door sedan.

Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested that the new Tesla pickup truck will be available most likely by November. Now, Musk has made another promise about the Model S, Model X and Roadster Tesla Productions in the future. Musk tweeted that “the only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid”, suggesting that the new models will have a much stronger and impressive performance range than the current Ludicrous.

In a separate tweet, Musk gave further details, however vaguely, about the “Plaid powertrain” regarding its schedule and cost. According to him, the earliest start time would be 2020 and the new tech will have three motors – an addition over the current models which have two. Musk has also suggested that they will be more expensive:

“Plain powertrain is about a year away from production & applies to S,X & Roadster, but not 3 or Y. [It] will cost more than our current offerings, but less than competitors.”

Tesla has already released a video confirming the upgrade added to the Model S Plaid powertrain and “chassis prototype”. The video which had the more power-packed vehicle on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during an advanced testing of the new model, showed the car hitting setting a new record 1:36:555 time, the fastest four-door sedan by a second. This new record has beaten the previous one for a four-door set in 2015 by the 2016 Cadillac CTSV.

Furthermore, there was a not so subtle brag by Tesla which revealed that the driver who successfully set the record is an amateur driver member of the Tesla development team. However, a Laguna Seca spokesperson has revealed that regardless of the video, the record cannot be official because there were no officiating members. According to the spokesperson as quoted by CNBC:

“We were not officiating while the Tesla was testing on the track. Official records only happen during sanctioned events where a sanctioning body is officiating.”

The Ludicrous mode for the Model S cars was first announced by Tesla a few years ago in July 2015 and was part of an unveiling that included a version with a longer-lasting battery and a cheaper one. The specifics of the Ludicrous mode, according to an announcement at the time, included a better-improved battery fuse which significantly increased the car’s acceleration by as much as 10%.

The Ludicrous mode allowed the car to achieve 0 to 60mph in exactly 2.8 seconds. In addition, the car’s main pack contactor was improved, replacing steel with a “high-temperature space-grade superalloy.” This upgrade meant that max pack output was increased to 1500 Amps from 1300.

The addition, however, didn’t come cheap as Tesla also announced that the Ludicrous upgraded vehicles will be pegged at $10,000 for new buyers while customers who already had the P85D will be allowed to pay $5k for the first six months. Currently, no price has been set for the Plaid powertrain upgrade.

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) stock closed last at $247.10, with an interesting addition of more than $11, representing a near 5% increase from its $235.54 previous close. Even though the stock has shot more than 8% in September, a much-needed increase from its 7% August losses, there is still the chance that TSLA might be undervalued by as much as 45% according to an analyst.

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