(Tesla)

Tesla goes 'Plaid' to break track record with prototype Model S

A prototype for a new Tesla Model S has lapped California’s Laguna Seca racetrack faster than any production four-door car, according to an in-car video of the feat released by the automaker revealing time of 1:36.555 around the 2.2-mile-long course.

That beat the mark set by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 last year by almost exactly a second. The 592 hp V8-powered car completed the circuit in 1:37.54.

The Model S P100D is Tesla's highest-performance car.

The Model S P100D is Tesla's highest-performance car. (Tesla)

However, the Jaguar was offered in a limited production run of 300 cars for $187,500 each, while the Tesla is still being developed and won’t be on sale until next year, making its result unofficial for the time being.

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Elon Musk tweeted that the car features a new three-motor “Plaid” powertrain – two in the rear, one in the front – that it will share with the Model X and upcoming Roadster two-door. The current Model S features one motor at each end.

The colorful name is a reference to the comedy film “Spaceballs,” where the villain’s starship goes from “ludicrous speed” to “plaid,” depicted as the fastest speed possible. The high-performance Tesla Model S P100D already offers a “Ludicrous Mode” that enables the quickest acceleration.

Musk said the Plaid Model S will cost more than the current version, which has a base price of $101,115, but less than its main competitor, the recently-revealed Porsche Taycan Turbo S that starts at $188,960. The battery-powered Porsche has claimed its own unofficial track at Germany’s 13-mile-long Nurburgring, where a prototype holds the fastest time for an electric sedan. For now.

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Tesla is in the process of testing and tuning a Model S in Germany that Musk said may try to set a lap time next week. According to Road and Track, a private session has been scheduled at the facility for Sept. 21, which may be when Tesla is planning to make the attempt. Photos of the car reveal it sports a revised cooling system, flared fenders, enlarged spoiler and a set of the highest-performance street-legal tires currently available from Michelin.

(Tesla)

According to Musk, it is also equipped with a pair of rear-facing jump seats under its lift-back, which is a Model S option that turns it into a 7-passenger car and would make a potential record even more specific.

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