Tesla introduced Track Package for the Model S Plaid earlier this month. Called the Track Pack in short, it’s a combination of hardware and software upgrades that greatly improves Tesla Model S Plaid’s performance on race tracks.
After the launch, Tesla invited auto journalists from prominent outlets to review the Track Package. The automaker chose Circuit Paul Ricard in France for testing and reviews.
Reviewers and video hosts from AutoTopNL, Autogefühl, and Top Gear joined the Tesla team at Circuit Paul Ricard to put the Track Pack to the test.
Autogefühl is a German automotive testing and reviews media outlet with 720K YouTube subscribers as of this writing. They also provide car test reports on their website as well.
Thomas from Autogefühl has a significant amount of experience testing sports cars on race tracks despite not being a professional race driver. He tested the Model S Plaid with Track Package using two different sets of wheels and tires — Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (stock tires) and Goodyear 3R Eagle F1 semi-slick tires with 20″ aluminum forged wheels in a gun metallic finish that come with the Tesla Track Package.
He used the Michelin tires in this test first because the Goodyear 3R tires are currently not street-legal in Europe (homologation work is in progress). But the Michelin tires resulted in a downgraded handling during the first test. With the Goodyear 3R tires, the Tesla Model S Plaid gained a way better grip, especially around the corners.
Autogefühl’s verdict for Tesla’s Track Package is that it’s great for track performance but it does not convert the Model S Plaid into a purpose-built race car. Of course, it’s a 2.3-ton luxury family sedan.
Tesla Model S Plaid with the Track Pack and Michelin tires reached 0-300 km/h (186 mph) in just 17 seconds. Let’s watch how Thomas found the Tesla Model S Plaid Track Pack during his tests.
The reviewer from AutoTopNL explained a bit more about the carbon-ceramic brakes that come with the Tesla Model S Plaid Track Package.
Tesla has invented a new method to manufacture carbon fiber brake discs. Traditionally, carbon fiber brake discs are made from shredded pieces of carbon that are forged together. Tesla creates these discs with multiple layers of carbon sheets fused together in one piece that is machined for manufacturing later on.
Tesla’s carbon fiber brake discs are then coated in silicon carbide which creates more friction with the brake pads. According to AutoTopNL, this manufacturing process results in better braking performance, and the brakes also end up with less wear and tear.
AutoTopNL host compared the improved braking with the Track Pack to a McLaren 720S. Previously with stock brakes, Tesla owners had been complaining about their track performance, the automaker has taken care of those concerns with this upgrade.
The history of Tesla and Top Gear has been a rough ride. However, the review from this large British automotive show has been fairly balanced this time.
The rivalry between Elon Musk and Top Gear grew further in 2019 when the TV show intentionally downplayed a Tesla Model S in a race against a Porsche Taycan.
Top Gear also found out that Tesla’s Track Pack brakes give a superior braking experience at high speeds and during cornering.
Tom Ford, the host of the show and reviewer praised this upgrade. “This is an absolute beast on the track but it does have its limitations,” Tom said.
Tom drove a Tesla Model S after almost 4 years. Now that he sat in a design-refreshed Model S Plaid, he said “It’s a completely different car”.
The most interesting part of the Tesla Track Pack is the auto-unlocking of the upgraded Track Mode and 200 mph top speed. As soon as the carbon ceramic brakes are installed, sensors tell the car to unlock these upgrades. There is not even the need to install an over-the-air software update.
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