Tesla is looking to keep its flagship Model S Plaid fresh against the Porsche Taycan with a new Track Package.
The company says it’ll be available in the US market from June, priced from between US$15,000 to $20,000 (A$22,127 to $29,503).
It’s only available on Model S Plaid vehicles produced from 2021 onwards, which means no local-market vehicles are eligible for the upgrade. The Model S remains off-sale in Australia.
Tesla says the package is designed to improve high-speed stability, cornering force, and repeatable stopping power, and it includes upgraded brakes, tyres and other tweaks.
The top speed is bumped up to 322km/h.
The Track Package adds a carbon ceramic brake kit, with 410 x 40mm carbon-silicon carbide rotors and six-piston forged calipers up front and 410 x 32mm rotors and four-piston forged calipers at the rear.
There are also two integrated, caliper-mounted parking brakes, plus “track-ready” brake fluid.
The package also adds 20X10J Zero-G wheels wrapped in Goodyear Supercar 3R high-performance summer tyres – 285/35R20 up front, 305/30R20 at the back – which are optimised for track use. They aren’t recommended for winter use.
The brake kit and the wheel/tyre set-up can also be purchased separately.
Buyers looking to use the uprated brakes with their Model S’ existing footwear are warned the carbon set-up isn’t compatible with the Tesla’s 19-inch wheels, and instead can only be used with the available 20- or 21-inch wheels.
The cost of the package includes the cost of shipping to a Tesla service centre, as well as the installation.
Tesla had previously announced a Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit all the way back in late 2021, which it said would be available in mid-2022.
In 2022, Tesla announced a new Plaid Track Mode which lowers the temperature of both its battery and electric motors for optimal cooling, increases the car’s regenerative braking power, and uses lateral torque vectoring to help quicken turn-in, cornering speed, and acceleration on corner exit.
The Vehicle Dynamics Controller (VDC) also evaluates steering angle, accelerator and brake pedal inputs to determine where the driver wants to place the car.
It’ll even allow tyre slippage to a certain degree, and can automatically adjust the torque split for improved agility during high-speed cornering.
When in Plaid Track Mode, the car’s adaptive suspension damping is optimised for track handling.
Always set in its ‘Low’ ride height setting, Plaid Track Mode is said to reduce pitch during hard braking and fast acceleration, rebalance damping to improve responsiveness, and have faster settling over bumpy segments.
Inside the Model S Plaid, this Plaid Track Mode update adds a track-focused user interface which displays a vehicle temperature monitor, lap timer, G-meter, dash cam video capture and vehicle telemetry, as well as a number of other customisable options.
The tri-motor all-wheel drive Plaid is the most powerful version of the Model S, with peak power of 761kW and a 0-100km/h time of 2.1 seconds (with rollout subtracted).
An even hotter Plaid+ was announced but later cancelled before it reached production as, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the regular Plaid is “just so good”.
Both the Model S and Model X have remained off-sale in Australia. The updated models were first priced for Australia in 2021, but prices were removed from the local site early in 2022, and then the option to reserve one was removed earlier this year.
MORE: Everything Tesla Model S