Tesla Model S ‘Plaid’ variants spied with center display like Model 3 in return from Nurburgring


After setting impressive unofficial lap times at the Nurburgring, Tesla’s two Model S Plaid Powertrain prototypes have been spotted in a transport trailer in the United States. Quite interestingly, images taken of one of the Plaid vehicles hinted at what appears to be a center-mounted display similar to the 15″ touchscreen on the Tesla Model 3. 

Images of the two track warriors from Tesla were photographed by electric car enthusiast Andre Weller, who shared the photos of the vehicles on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit. It did not take long before some members of the online community pointed out that the blue Model S Plaid prototype seemed to be fitted with a display that’s reminiscent to the one used by the electric car maker in its midsize sedan. 

While this is all speculation for now, it should be noted that an interior refresh for the Model S has been rumored for some time now. This would not be the first time that Tesla used Model 3 parts on the Plaid Model S either, as the tri-motor sedan the company used to set a record at Laguna Seca was curiously equipped with a Model 3 steering wheel.

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This is quite different from the current setup of the Model S, which utilizes a 17″ touch panel in portrait orientation for its infotainment system. But this is not all. The blue vehicle also appeared to have a complete interior, as shown by the unmistakable outline of seats in Weller’s photographs. This contrasts with previous reports about the blue vehicle, which alleged that its interior was stripped down. 

Also noteworthy is the red Model S Plaid prototype that was tied down right behind the blue unit. Prior to Tesla’s departure from the Nurburgring, reports emerged stating that the red Plaid Model S had crashed during a high-speed run. While the accident reportedly rendered the car unusable for the remaining days of the company’s stay in Germany, the driver of the vehicle was unharmed. 

Looking at photos of the red vehicle, it appears that the Plaid Model S was not very damaged from its Nurburgring mishap. Its front fenders and panels seem to be intact, and there are no noticeable dents on its hood. The only thing that seems quite off with the vehicle were its wheels, which were mismatched for some reason, as well as its driver’s side window, which was opened during transit.

(Credit: Andre Weller/Imugr)

Tesla’s two Plaid Model S prototypes were able to set some impressive unofficial times before they departed the iconic German racetrack this year. During the company’s first round of Nurburgring sessions, the red Model S Plaid prototype reportedly completed a hand-stopped lap in 7:23, significantly faster than the 7:42 set by the Porsche Taycan Turbo.

This time was eventually beaten twice by the blue Plaid Model S in the company’s second round of Nurburgring sessions, with the vehicle reportedly completing a hot lap in 7:13. That’s almost half a minute faster than Porsche’s own unofficial record for the Taycan Turbo. 

The Tesla Model S Plaid prototypes are equipped with larger battery packs, three motors, and seven seats, as per Twitter updates from Elon Musk. Musk has also noted that the updated vehicles will be entering production sometime in late 2020, and they will command a price that’s higher than the Raven Model S Performance, but “less than competitors.”

Tesla Model S ‘Plaid’ variants spied with center display like Model 3 in return from Nurburgring

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