The 1,020bhp Tesla Model S Plaid now has a ‘Track Mode’ | Top Gear
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The 1,020bhp Tesla Model S Plaid now has a ‘Track Mode’

American Model S cars get special tune for added pointiness on a circuit

Published: 11 Jan 2022
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The Tesla Model S Plaid is already blindingly fast, this much you know. Now, it appears to have grown a new set of skills via an update to cars rolling around in North America. Welcome to ‘Track Mode’.

Unsurprisingly, it was developed for - drumroll please - The Track. More specifically, to secure the quickest lap time for a production EV at the Nürburgring (which a Model S Plaid already achieved last September) via optimised handling characteristics, in order to “take full advantage of our tri-motor platform”.

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And a suite of upgrades aim to tackle exactly that. There’s better battery and motor cooling via ‘shared coolant loops’ once the car’s up to temperature, along with greater brake regeneration that, says Tesla, allows for better modulation.

Further, the rear axle gets full torque vectoring capable of adjusting in ‘milliseconds’ to better swing the Model S through twisty stuff, while the VDC – vehicle dynamics controller – assesses various parameters like steering angle and throttle to adjust the torque split. Steering angles achieved with the 'yoke' setup, don't forget.

The damping is changed too in Track Mode – it’s firmer, while the car sits in a ‘Low’ ride height. Finally, the interior screen gets a track-focused display showcasing Important Track Things like heat, a lap timer, G-meter, dashcam video capture (uh oh) and telemetry.

“With Plaid Track Mode, we have added a host of new features to make Model S Plaid as quick around a racetrack as it is at the drag strip,” says Tesla. There’s more in the tank, apparently, Tesla promising yet more updates over time…

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