Video test – Tesla Model S Plaid: accelerate or discuss, you will have to choose!

The Tesla Model S, produced since 2012, has been continuously improved over time. Always one step ahead and even to the point of being equipped with a Plaid version with power and torque previously unknown in a large family sedan and intended more for Bugatti Veyron style cars.

More than 1000 horsepower

Maxime Fontanier already tested the Tesla Model S Plaid earlier in the year. But it was the American version. Today it exists in France, where it invites us to discover. Its dimensions remain impressive when driving on narrow streets or parking in an underground car park. It stretches over 5.02m for a height of 1.43m and extends to 1.99m excluding mirrors.

With 3 permanent magnet synchronous motors – 1 in the front and 2 in the back – the Plaid version is the fastest Tesla Model S ever. carbon-encased to reach speeds of up to 20,000 rpm and develop 1,034 hp/760 kW for 1,400 Nm of torque. There is no analogue in the mass-produced car market today. “.

Powering this engine is a nickel-aluminum-cobalt type battery developed by Panasonic with an energy capacity of 95 kWh.

5 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests

Over the years, the body of the Tesla Model S has undergone many changes here and there. The shield for Plaid has been changed to support his terrible performance. European-specific optical blocks have been adopted at the front and rear.

As for passive safety, among the additions we find a central airbag between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat to his right, as well as an active hood. The family car is congratulated with the 5-star Euro NCAP crash test achieved in 2014.

The copy in our possession comes in metallic red (+ €2,200) and sits on 21-inch Arachnid alloy wheels (+ €4,900) shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires. Rear: 295/30 and 265/35. Which required the wings to be a little fuller. It benefits from a new vintage heat pump and 12V lithium-ion accessory battery as standard.

Plenty of space for luggage

The electric tailgate can be activated with his smartphone. 798 liters of luggage can be accessed first in 2 sections of the seat, 1828 l in the flat floor, before the backrest can be folded down. The generous double bottom can accommodate more than just charging cables. They can also be placed in the 89 l capacity under the hood.

This bulky donation can be completed by towing a trailer of up to 1600 kg.

Did you notice the light cover? It is an option for 2,400 euros, with which you can opt for beige for the same price or settle for standard black. Anyway, the interior is decorated with carbon fiber areas.

3 real seats in the back

Three passengers in the back of the Tesla Model S have rarely been treated so well. Width and legroom are particularly generous. The glass roof, which provides beautiful lighting on board, also creates a better impression at the head level.

Although the seat has an armrest with 2 cup holders, 2 induction chargers for smartphones and a nice storage compartment, the center seat is fully usable. Not only does it offer good lateral support like the other 2, but it’s also heated. Which is especially rare.

More plush, the new bench seat reclines more for comfort. A particularly well-integrated 9.4-inch touch screen allows you to make many settings. Thus interfering with temperature and air flow. This tablet is also used to watch movies and watch Youtube.

Soon the controllers will bring new opportunities to escape in the video game during the trip. ” The builder is even working on front/rear audio separation so that kids can have fun playing games while parents listen to music. “. Pay attention to the presence of double glass on the back side as well.

Flying yoke destabilizer

Moving to the front, we immediately see the yoke rudder ” aircraft type » Typical of Plaid and with a turning circle of 12.3m as an aggravating factor, it will not facilitate maneuvers, nor will it facilitate taking roundabouts. If we had to find interest in it, it would be to clearly clean up the appearance of the device screen when it is well placed.

Indicators are activated from the left branch. The one on the right allows you to control the windshield wipers, the horn and the very effective voice recognition. The large 17-inch screen installed in landscape mode can be electrically oriented towards the driver or the passenger sitting next to him.

Underneath this shelf are 2 induction chargers and 2 large storage compartments, one of which supports 2 retractable cups for free access to 2 USB-C sockets and 12V. That doesn’t take away from fiddling with the glove box. with a central screen. ” The finish is very good, but the build quality is questionable at times. The materials themselves are flawless, with very little visible plastic “.

Suspicion of doping in the Ryzen microprocessor

Thanks to the Ryzen microprocessor found in the PS5 consoles, we are rediscovering a very fluid multimedia system. The ultra-fast resizing of navigation maps is simply amazing on the big screen: “ No one is doing better today “.

It is also used to adjust everything in the Tesla Model S Plaid. Thus, ventilation and orientation of air flows in a very nice way, activation of antibacterial protection, steering, air suspension, ground clearance between 11 and 15 cm, controls, car air conditioning astronomical movements, trip planner, etc.

Very high-definition cameras reveal their secrets on the tablet, and Arcade games come alive with precision. Many driving statistics are also available with it. And again, it is this screen that serves as the driver selector.

Is it better than the Bugatti Veyron?

Three heights are offered with air suspension. We advise you to choose the highest one in the city to calmly approach the speed bumps that are everywhere in France. Yoke steering shows its limits from the first turn. Maxime Fontanier sees a solution: “ Variable reduction system to make steering more direct “.

Tesla Model S knows how to put its performance to sleep in the city” very smooth and easy to drive “. But he will respond shamelessly to any heavy pressure on the accelerator: Proportion is good, commands are always very precise in a Tesla, be it steering wheel, brake pedal or gas pedal. We feel it is perfectly controlled “. On the one hand, 1034 hp for 1400 Nm of torque, on the other hand, 1001-1200 hp for 1250-1500 Nm: Tesla Model S Plaid is not at all afraid of comparison with the Bugatti Veyron.

However, American can be perfectly used everyday: ” You can take your kids and your dog on vacation while all the cars that have offered this kind of stratospheric performance so far have been unusable on a daily basis, low-floor, trunk-less, and configured as a 2-seater. “.

10 years and still not ripe

Tesla Model S has been in production for 10 years now. Batteries, engines, internal presentation have evolved. ” It’s still ahead of this car, 10 years after its launch, with just updates, of course, sometimes important “. Pressing hard on the accelerator is an ordeal that interrupts any conversation, even without selecting Dragster mode.

The car literally sticks to the road thanks to the very low center of gravity, which makes you forget about its weight of 2162 kg. For comparison, the 658-horsepower Mercedes EQS AMG weighs more (2,655 kg): “ There is a big difference between equivalent batteries “.

With a little shake, the Tesla Model S Plaid reveals its best: a well-balanced chassis, untimely body roll, well-filtered suspension, impressive lateral grip. This explains his performance at the Nürburgring.

Space Mountain for families

When we brake suddenly with great acceleration in the rear, we feel like we are in a fighter jet. “. Too much? Anyway, that’s what Maxime Fontanier says in the video, along with a message on the dashboard showing the 4-piston brakes overheating.

These will be perfect for everyday use, but for chaining laps around the circuit, you’ll be better off taking the $20,000 Sport brake option in the US when it’s available in France. This includes, among other things, 6-piston calipers and the appropriate brake fluid.

With dragster mode, it reaches 0 to 100 km/h in 2.1 seconds, excluding the launch phase of more than 30 cm. The Mercedes EQS AMG will struggle to complete this exercise in 3.8 seconds. The American is limited to a speed of 282 km/h. It is possible to increase it to 322 km/h by paying for a hardware upgrade.

350 km on the highway

On the highway, the Tesla Model S wants to be quieter than the Plaid. For this, it deploys an active noise reduction system. Sensors in the wheel arches make it possible to create sounds that counteract rolling sounds.

During the muscle test, Maxime Fontanier recorded a consumption of 23.9 kW/100 km. With light driving, it can drop to 17-18kW/100km. In this case, the actual flight distance will be between 525 and 560 km: ” What will be the consumption of an electric car with a power of 200 hp when it is 1034 hp. This is the gap between Tesla’s variable reluctance motors and the classic synchronous motors we find elsewhere. “.

Even when traveling at a speed of 130 km/h on the highway, it is possible to reach 350 km, more than 400 km, with a speed of 110-120 km/h and using cruise control.

How much does the best car in the world cost?

Tesla Model S for Maxim Fontanier ” the best car in the world “. But not necessarily in this Plaid version: ” The Long Autonomy version fits better and offers a better price/performance ratio. It will perform almost the same. It’s just that there won’t be Track and Dragster modes that we don’t use every day. Grande Autonomie is the best sedan in the world today “.

The charging power at the DC terminals is 250 kW on paper. Battery recovery to 80% takes about thirty minutes with a branded supercharger. In alternating current, on the contrary, it will be necessary to be satisfied with 11 kW. That’s slightly lighter than the 22kW available as an option in another elite car, the Mercedes EQS AMG.

But it is much more expensive than the American at 169,850 against 138,990 euros. With options, the copy we tested goes for more than €152,000. The Tesla Model S Plaid “offers better price/equipment and price/performance ratios in its class.” For Europe, there is no need to prefer improved autonomous driving for 3,800 euros, with slightly reduced functionality. Standard active cruise control is already enough.

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