Modified Tesla Model S Plaid Crushes Lap Record at Willow Springs
The new fastest time around Streets of Willow is 1:13.51.
It's no secret that electric cars are fast—at least in a straight line. Many questions exist about whether they can cope with their extreme weight in corners or while stopping, but the answer to that question is gradually emerging. It's yes. Proving this point is a new lap record at Willow Spring's Streets of Willow, set by a modified Tesla Model S Plaid driven by Craig Coker.
The previous record, according to fastestlaps.com, was 1:16.45. It was set by a modified Corvette Grand Sport. The new record is 1:13.51. That's practically a millennium on a 1.6-mile track like Streets of Willow. An R35 Nissan GT-R Nismo, for context, does it in 1:19.07.
A video of the run can be seen below. It's remarkably undramatic.
The company that modified the Tesla, Unplugged Performance, has experience running performance EVs. It's even gone up Pikes Peak before. It gave a full list of modifications necessary to achieve the time. It's a long list, but it's worth noting that the car is still using the factory Tesla drivetrain and stock Tesla track mode. From there, the car gets new coil overs from Ohlins, large carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber widebody and aero, new wheels, Lexan windows, and a roll cage.
For the record, the car is still very heavy despite receiving a slew of mods. It weighs in at 4,898 pounds according to Unplugged. The record was also set with "worn-out A005 Yokohamas and less than a full charge." In other words, it could go faster.
So, as it turns out, electric cars can go around corners. Heavily modified ones can even set lap records. Heck, just take a look at the car that now owns the Goodwood Hillclimb. That thing has internal combustion dead and buried on track.
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