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Tesla Model S Plaid to enter production in 2020

Elon Musk has confirmed the much-touted, more powerful Tesla Model S Plaid will go into production in the summer of next year

Tesla Model S 'Plaid' - Nurburgring rumored time

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has confirmed a more powerful version of the Model S will enter production in summer 2020. It’ll be fitted with the firm’s recently developed Plaid powertrain and an aggressive cosmetic overhaul, which promise to make the aging EV competitive with the new Porsche Taycan. Musk also says it’ll be “priced less than its competitors.”

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The American EV manufacturer recently released a series of Twitter and Instagram posts which claimed a Model S Plaid development mule had lapped the Nurburgring in seven minutes and 20 seconds. Official lap times are yet to be released, but this preliminary time makes the Tesla more than 20 seconds faster than the Porsche Taycan.

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Tesla’s Model S Plaid test mule is fitted with the brand’s more potent three-motor powertrain, wider wheels and tyres, flared wheel arches, a new boot spoiler, an enormous rear diffuser and a host of chassis revisions. Following further development, Tesla says the mule could post a seven-minute, five-second lap time.

Tesla’s Plaid powertrain will also eventually be available on the Model X and the Tesla Roadster, although Musk confirmed it won’t be offered on the Model 3 or Model Y. We expect the system will comprise two electric motors for the rear axle and a single motor for the front.

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The current range-topping Tesla Model S Ludicrous Performance drivetrain offers 605bhp and 931Nm of torque – a figure which the “Plaid” system will drastically improve. It's possible that the powertrain will be able to out-gun the figures offered by the new Porsche Taycan Turbo S’s system, which produces 750bhp and 1050Nm of torque.

The American brand’s Model S Plaid development mule recently set a new lap record for four-door vehicles at the Laguna Seca race track, with a claimed time of 1:36.555 minutes – making it a second quicker than the previous record-holder, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Tesla released a video of the lap on its Twitter account after the event.

Tesla’s new-found interest in the famed circuit is likely in reaction to the Porsche Taycan’s recent record-breaking lap, where the Taycan unofficially claimed the title of the world’s “fastest four-door, all-electric sports car.”

However, Musk also stated in a Tweet that the Model S tasked with setting the lap will sport seven seats - giving it an opportunity to beat the lower bar set by the current seven-seat record holder: the Skoda Kodiaq vRS.

What do you make of Tesla’s claimed Nurburgring lap time? Let us know in the comments section below… 

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