Tesla’s Model S Plaid Prototype Has Sprouted A Massive Rear Wing

Tesla has once again upgraded a Model S Plaid prototype it is currently testing at the Nurburgring, as our latest spy images reveal.

Late last week, a pair of Model S prototypes lapped the circuit with a number of bold aerodynamic parts, including a dark blue one with a crazy rear diffuser. Fast forward a few days, and that same car has been outfitted with other new parts.

Most notably, Tesla has been conducting tests in the car when outfitted with a towering rear wing that looks massively out of place on the sleek electric sedan, but will inevitably help it through high-speed corners by creating much-needed downforce.

Also Read: Tesla Model S Returns To The Nurburgring With Some Wild Aero

At other tests, engineers removed the wing and affixed an extended lip spoiler at the rear. There is the same rear diffuser, widened arches and wheels, and extended front splitter as the prototype has used previously. Interestingly, the ‘Dual Motor’ badge on the rear has been replaced with one that says ‘100.’

In these images, our spy photographers were also able to get a slightly better view of the car’s interior through the heavily-tinted side windows. The presence of a full roll cage in the back and a racing seat for the driver indicates that much of the cabin has been stripped out.

What prompted Tesla to adorn its blue Model S Plaid prototype with even more extreme aero parts? It’s hard to say, but perhaps they are simply trying to see which is more appropriate at the German circuit before finalizing the car’s setup and embarking on a record attempt. If an eventual lap time is to be considered legitimate, Tesla would need to offer these aero upgrades in the production version of the three-motor Plaid.

Tesla has previously said a time of 7:05 around the track was in reach. If achieved, it would make it 37 seconds faster than the Porsche Taycan Turbo.

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Ben

    Seems like backward engineering to me. Why go through all the trouble of making a design with such a low drag coefficient and then plop an enormous fixed rear wing that creates tons of drag? Stay in your lane Tesla, don’t get distracted with lap times or heated jelly seats. Continue to focus on developing affordable EVs with better range and faster charging times. That is what the market is demanding.

    • Six_Tymes

      true, but basically the answer to your question is, the faster you go around turns, the more down-force is needed. physics

      • Ben

        Right, but in this case it works against the ethos and capabilities of this car/powertrain. This may help it on the track, but what about everyday life? Owners will run out of energy faster and require more charging which takes more time out of their day. On the flip side, vehicles like the Viper ACR and S2000CR that had bigger aero were able to refuel much faster and had more places to do so than Tesla will.

        • Jason Miller

          The chances of that wing making it to production are slim to none. Don’t get worked up over it.

          • Ben

            I doubt it will too, but Tesla has a habit of losing focus. This is clearly loosing focus.

          • Jason Miller

            I don’t know about you, but I’m curious to see just how fast they can go. Production car or not.

          • Ben

            I personally like the ID.R. Its amazing how they’ve been smashing records left and right.

          • TheBelltower

            I go both ways with this… On one hand, squeezing every bit of reliable performance out of a car, and understanding where the points of failure exists, is helpful when building a production car that will likely only ever need 30% of those capabilities. I’m very curious whether or not Tesla is testing their new Maxwell Ultracapacitors. This would be the perfect application for it.

            On the other hand, it would be nice if the customer service line didn’t keep owners waiting on hold for twenty minutes. It’s infuriating.

            I know these things are unrelated, I just wanted to get that last point in there.

          • Ben

            Elon admitted they went overboard with the model X, saying “it was an exercise in hubris.” Putting a giant wing on a luxury family sedan seems like Tesla loosing focus again. In my opinion, I don’t buy this is a mule for the roadster unless the track width, weight and wheel base are near identical. I think this is Tesla spending too much time trying to slap down Porsche’s accomplishment.

          • lagunas3ca

            Jaguar put one on the XE SV Project 8 and only made 300 of them, so…

  • Jason Miller

    I think at this point the production record means nothing to them. I bet they want to see just how fast they can go. Looking forward to further developments.

    • R12Nein

      ..or this is what it looks like when you have a bunch of engineers trying like hell to meet an objective that was set by Elon. It’s unfortunate for Tesla PR machine, but Porsche already knew what a production-spec Model S could do around the ‘ring.

  • Six_Tymes

    They realized when racing, down force is needed… “Better late than never” I suppose.

  • Hamster

    this is getting ridiculous now… go and put a get engine and say it is a prototype… Jesus!!!

  • mist

    Don’t forget to mention they crashed the other prototype and it’s now unusable.

    • Jason Miller


      • Ben

        It was a red Model S, I can’t find a suitable link without posting to a competing blog and that wouldn’t be right. Just type “Model S prototype crash on track” and you’ll find some stories.

  • Why is everyone freaking out over this? It’s a company testing stuff, the end.

  • Matteo Tommasi

    I guess they were not trying to be faster than the Taycan.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    I would totally buy the one with the extended ducktail.

  • benT

    Yes it was always about love.
    The development seems to be about about racing and if it is about street then in any situation as such it is true to time worn form.

  • benT

    Put up and shut-up is pretty much Tesla do.
    You ontoh do not appear to be capable.

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