Model S Plaid too fast

Model S Plaid: Too Fast For Its Own Good?

When the Model S Plaid was first introduced, just about every auto enthusiast wanted to jump behind its butterfly-shaped wheel. The 2021 revamp brought more than just an interior overhaul from Tesla’s flagship design though. The Plaid quickly became the paragon of speed and performance among its class. So much so that Tesla claims it is the “highest performing sedan ever built.” You can agree to disagree with its self-proclaimed status, but what about the Model S Plaid’s safety? Can too much horsepower be a bad thing?

Over the last year, several auto enthusiasts have taken the Model S Plaid for a spin. Not just on local roads or highways, but on race tracks and areas where its true performance could be put to the test. The results have been pretty astounding, bringing to light an even greater concern — the frequent potential for reckless driving. Surely a vehicle that can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in under two seconds has the ability to surpass speed limits on a daily basis.

Granted, this brings forth the issue of driver impulse control too. Can Model S Plaid owners really resist the need to speed?

Impressive speeds with inferior braking

Upon our initial review, there wasn’t much talk yet about the Model S Plaid safety. Neither safety organizations had gotten the chance to thoroughly test the EV, thereby making it difficult to judge. At the time, most automotive experts presumed its safety aptness met the same advanced standards that other Tesla models carried. Although the Plaid edition comes with all the bells and whistles, recent accounts reveal a harrowing scenario. Those who’ve had the thrill of driving the Model S Plaid have concluded its braking capabilities are substandard to its horsepower.

A feature in Bloomberg Businessweek tried to get to the bottom of this issue. In a conversation with Joseph Young, a spokesperson for the IIHS, it became clear that the Model S Plaid calls for better brake safety and speed control. He stated, “We know from prior research that vehicles with higher-horsepower engines have a tendency to exceed the posted speed limit, have higher average speeds.” With a combined output of 1020 horsepower, the Model S Plaid goes beyond most high-horsepower sedans.

Whether it can hold its own at high speeds without risking passenger safety is the question at hand. In response to the known brake inferiority and impressive acceleration rate, Tesla is set to release a Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit in mid-2022. This brake replacement set is specifically designed for high performance driving. Therefore, those who drive the Model S Plaid for this reason should consider investing in this add-on.

Resist the temptation to speed with the Model S Plaid

There are people out there who can make a case against Young’s observation. Every driver is capable of pushing the boundaries on speed no matter which car they drive. But the Model S Plaid simply makes speeding that much easier. That said, this high-calibre EV has raised general concerns over acceleration metrics and driver control in the future. According to the NHTSA, speeding permits a “greater potential for loss of vehicle control,” which is exactly what can start to happen when speeds rise above the 100mph range. If not all working parts are up to par with the alleged horsepower, loose of control is certainly possible.

Ultimately, Model S Plaid drivers should not give in to lead foot syndrome. If you dare to take the Plaid over 130mph, stay mindful of the current poor braking capability. At least until improvements are made for the better. In concern to local driving, keep your acceleration under control and maintain safe driving practices at all times.

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Linzi Martin
Linzi Martin has worked as a content manager, consultant, and writer for the past six years. She's handled everything from blogs and articles to e-books and social media content. Her work has been featured in various publications including Apartment Guide, The Startup, and Voyage Magazine. Outside of work, Linzi enjoys staying active, frequenting new restaurants around South Florida, and spending time with her family.

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    1. More reason to have self driving vehicles.

    2. $20k for the ceramic brake kit!
      Excellent price

    3. Many drivers do not release the intense torque that teslas produce, and that is why there are many crashed tesla’s. Similarly, many powerful gas cars have high crash statistics.

    4. A car with this much horsepower should come with appropriate brakes. It makes no sense why they would make you pay for upgraded brake kits

    5. I don’t think Plaid mode was designed for heavy braking situations.

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