If this is true it is an incredible achievement. This is with a future power train with three motors to ship next year called Plaid. I want one now 🙂
And there is some speculation that the actually timed lap will be faster.
That’s because this time was done with other cars on the road, so we will see, what the final number is, but it could be in the 7:10 range. Even the current 7:24 range is what a $650K car can achieve like the F60 Ferrari Enzo. Whew!
The same car just became a the fastest car at Laguna Seca and that was with a non-professional driver.
The bigger question is why is this happening. Well, here is the more deep technical explanation which may very well be all wet, but here are some ideas:
- Three motors. Moving to three motors vs two motors and a two speed gear box. Tesla is probably using two Model 3 motors in the rear. These motors can generate 250-300 horsepower. So having three means you can draw a lot more current and get to 750-900 horsepower. The Taycan has two motors and while they can overboost for a minute or so from 619 horsepower to 700 or 750 hp, they will overheat.
- Low cost through Economies of scale. This new Tesla Model S Plaid follows the PC strategy, use the same motors and use the right batteries. That’s a big advantage, they can take advantage of the scale of 400,000 Model 3s. It’s the same reason the Tesla Semi will use 8 Model 3 motors. That means lower cost.
- Fixing the Achilles heel. The current Model S is limited by it’s aerodynamics, brakes, tires and also overheating in the motors particularly. This new model solves the first two with a bigger Gurley flap in the rear, ceramic brakes, a “race tire that is street legal” and a way big cooler judging from the cooling intake.
Net, net, it’s a big development and really cool. The battle continues for speed, but having a car that is so fast and still gets 100 MPG is incredible.