Tesla Model S Plaid is finally delivering on original promises to achieve a 200 mph top speed with its new ceramic brakes.
When Tesla first announced the Model S Plaid, its new top-performance flagship electric vehicle, the automaker promised a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). However, when it was first delivered last year, the vehicle “only” featured a top speed of 163 mph (262 km/h).
Last year, Tesla released a new “Track Mode” for the Model S Plaid that pushed the top speed to 175 mph (282 km/h).
It appeared that the brakes were the limiting factor. Tesla didn’t want to unlock higher top speeds without the electric supercar having bigger brakes that be able to slow it down after achieving this new top speed.
Tesla started to offer to upgrade the brakes with a carbon ceramic kit for $20,000 last year, but the automaker has yet to install the new brakes on Model S Plaid.
Last summer, we reported on a Tesla Model S Plaid breaking a 200 mph top speed for the first time after being hacked by the owner to remove Tesla’s speed limiter.
It actually achieved a top speed of 216 mph (348 km/h) and it looked like it could have gone faster, but they were running out of tarmac and braking space – despite having upgraded the brakes themselves with third-party brakes.
Now Tesla is likely about to install its own brake upgrade as Sebastian Vittel, a racecar driver that has often collaborated with Tesla, released a video in partnership with Tesla Belgium where he was loaned a Model S Plaid with the ceramic brake upgrade to do a test lap at Circuit de Bresse:
Vittel commented on his experience with the car:
And let me tell you guy, this is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANIMAL compare to the stock car!!
He confirmed that the vehicle didn’t have a speed limiter, and he achieved 350 km/h (217 mph) on several occasions – breaking the previous record.
The driver says that he managed to beat the lap record for a street legal car at the race track with the upgraded Model S Plaid:
Second, I had the chance to bring the car for one full day on CIRCUIT de BRESSE in France for a real condition test. It is a technical small track, which is normally great for small cars like Caterham, Ariel Atom or other Lotus cars and a TRUE NIGHTMARE for heavy cars and the brakes!!! Well, after a couple of laps, i just did the track record for a street-legal car on non-semi slick tires here. Tire Original Michelin PS4S on original dimension 265/35/21 front 295/30/21 rear and original TESLA WHEELS the laptime (in this video): 1min33.610 is absolutely insane for this kind of big car who is totally not adapted for this track!!
Vittel indicated that more videos of the Model S Plaid’s new performance with the upgraded brakes.