Over the weekend, Instagram user @speedy_jeff posted a photo depicting a wrecked Model S Plaid, covered in tire marks, and showing some nasty damage to the $130,000 Tesla.
In the posts’ comment section, Jeff detailed that, after a warm-up lap and a few laps around the circuit, he could feel the brakes fading. With this in mind, he planned to take one more lap but planned to brake early and carefully on this final lap. However, when attempting to brake at one corner, the brake fluid boiled, the pedal went to the floor, and he went off the track and into the tire barrier. For those who don’t know, the Model S Plaid accelerates to 60 MPH in a blazing 1.99 seconds with 1,020 horsepower. But also weighs 4,700 pounds. So essentially, it’s a matter of physics. Heavy car, no brakes, wall.
Now, in my opinion, this sounds like a whole lot of driver error, the car wasn’t track-prepped, he could feel his brakes fading the previous lap and went for another anyways. However, it also raises an important question: How could Tesla’s highest performance vehicle not be equipped with brakes powerful enough to take the car on track?
Some automotive enthusiasts in the comment section were quick to say that the Model S Plaid is not a track car, and shouldn’t be expected to perform as such. Others share the belief that the car is only good for straight-line performance. As the car is primarily designed to be a daily driver, it makes sense to me that the company wouldn’t want to upgrade to carbon ceramic brakes (or similar). Combined with regenerative braking, it wouldn’t make for a very smooth driving experience, not to mention the cost of replacement (then again, if you have the money for a $130,000 car, the cost of brakes probably aren’t going to be an issue). Regardless, it’s disappointing to see the Plaid’s stock brakes give out so quickly on the track. It seems the car can handle the drag strip without issue, but struggles with heavy braking on the track.