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Tesla beats track record with 3-engine prototype



  Driver's perspective of a Tesla on a race track.
Enlarge / A shot from Tesla's video at the Laguna Seca racetrack.

Tesla is working on a new three-engine powertrain for the Model S that will accelerate even faster than Tesla's current "Ludicrous Mode," the company said Wednesday. In a nod to Spaceballs Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called the new system "Plaid."

"Plaid drivetrain is about a year away from production," Musk tweeted . He said it would be available for the Model S, Model X and the new Roadster – but no lower than the Model 3 and Model Y. He said the new design will "cost more than our current offerings but less than competitors." 19659005] On Wednesday, Tesla tested a prototype of this fulfilled Model S at the Laguna Seca trail. The vehicle achieved a lap time of 1: 36.555, which Tesla says is a new record for a four-door sedan. You can watch a video of the disc setting here.

The announcement comes a week after Musk tweeted that Tesla wanted a Model S on the Nürburgring race track in Germany. This was an apparent response to Porsche testing his own electric car from Taycan there, completing a lap of 7 minutes and 42 seconds. But racetracks soon pointed out that Tesla had not reserved time on the field to make a record attempt. Musk was later forced to admit that Tesla would not make a record attempt there in the near future.

Model S's electric drives provide impressive acceleration capabilities. However, some people who try to set racing records, at Nürburgring and elsewhere, have had problems with the battery overheating after a few minutes on the track. In 2014, for example, Jalopnics Robb Holland drove a Model S on the Nürburgring, but was forced to slow down after about three minutes due to problems with battery overheating. (To be fair, other electric vehicles have similar challenges.) This is less problematic on a shorter course like Laguna Seca.


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