Tesla Testing Model S Prototype with ‘Plaid’ Powertrain and Three Motors

If Elon Musk’s most recent tweets are any indication, the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Roadster will soon be improved with several upcoming upgrades that will make the models worthy of their flagship status, and more.

Following a record-setting lap at the Laguna Seca Raceway by a Model 3 (video below), Musk mentioned a “Plaid Powertrain” update for the sedan, which appears to address the throttling issues that were prevalent in older Model S units. Musk also confirmed that the new Model S will have a three-motor configuration, a setup that was initially announced for the next-generation Roadster.

Musk said that the option, due in a year’s time, will be offered on the Model S, Model X and next-generation Roadster, but not the Model 3. Musk first made reference to the powertrain as far back as 2015, when he said that Tesla was planning a performance level above Ludicrous mode.

The Ludicrous mode in Tesla cars improves their acceleration by around 10%. It achieves this due to an improved battery fuse and an upgraded main pack contactor which now uses space-grade superalloy instead of steel. The new battery fuse also has a separate lithium-ion battery of its own along with a series of electronics to monitor the excessive current.

As a final detail, Musk added that the Model S with Plaid Powertrain that is currently in Germany is equipped with seven seats. This would be a welcome return for the option, considering that the vehicle’s rear-facing jump seats at the rear made the Model S a champion of utility in the past.

Like all Tesla power levels, the name comes from Spaceballs, one of Musk’s favourite movies.

YouTube video

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