Tesla Model S Plaid Gets a Track Mode, It Can Do Many Things


Tesla has sent an over-the-air update for the Model S Plaid that enables a Track Mode. The latter mode was first introduced by Tesla on the Model 3 Performance, but the Plaid Track Mode is meant for the Model S Plaid alone. Customers in North America will be the first to get it as it rolls out this week. The new mode was designed at the Nürburgring, and it comes with the adjustability of stability control, handling balance, and regenerative braking. Since these settings are claimed to allow individual changes, we advise against messing with them if you do not know what you are doing, especially if you are not on the track. Tesla also integrated a track-focus user interface with a G-meter, dashcam video capture with vehicle telemetry, thermals monitor, and other critical performance data. A Tesla-supplied image of what the customizable gauge cluster looks like is featured at the top of this article. Once engaged, the new mode reduces the temperature of the battery pack and focuses on keeping the engines and their battery cooler for as long as possible. The regenerative braking power is increased to allow a reduction of load for the conventional brakes, as well as increased energy capture during deceleration. Tesla explains that the system will provide “better modulation and controllability with a single pedal.” When torque vectoring is concerned, the new mode allows the Model S Plaid’s rear motors to independently adjust torque split to “rotate” the vehicle through turns, but also to adjust the balance of the vehicle before a corner. Tesla explained that the Plaid mode brings a special “Race tuning” for the stability control system. The latter is linked to the Vehicle Dynamics Controller, which will analyze pedal inputs and steering angle to determine the driver’s intentions, and then permit tire slippage, adjust torque spilt, and perform other automatic adjustments to provide maximum agility without sacrificing control. Drivers will also be able to set independent settings of vehicle dynamics, handling balance, stability assist, and regenerative braking. As we suggested above, we recommend caution in changing those settings, as well as never using Track Mode on public roads. But there is more, as Tesla explains. The adaptive suspension of the Model S Plaid switches the settings of its damping for optimal track handling. The ride height is automatically set to Low on drive-off, and the vehicle is no longer raised to improve comfort. The suspension changes its behavior to reduce pitch in acceleration or hard braking, but also behavior over bumpy segments and repeated cornering. Tesla will offer a retrofit upgrade for the Model S that will bring carbon-ceramic brakes for the Model S, which will have 410mmm discs and six-piston calipers in the front, while the rears will have four-piston forged calipers. While Tesla does not mention this, reports claim that the Model S Plaid gets a bump of its top speed to 175 mph (ca. 282 km/h).