Elon Musk gushed that a prototype for the Tesla “Plaid Model S” broke the speed record for a four-door sedan at the Laguna Seca racetrack in California.
Musk excitedly shared the news on Twitter. He noted that the Plaid Model S would be more expensive than other Tesla models but less than its competitors.
The current version of Plaid has a base price of about $101,000. That’s considerably less than its rival, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, which starts at $187,610.
However, Musk pointed out that the Plaid Model S “is about a year away from production.”
Tesla’s official Twitter account posted a video of the Plaid completing the 2.2-mile circuit in one minute and 36 seconds.
The Plaid Model S beat the speed record set last year by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 by one second.
In September 2018, the Jaguar XE lapped the Laguna Seca racetrack in 1:37.54, Motor Trend reported.
Tesla tweeted about the achievement:
Meanwhile, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess denied speculation that the German auto juggernaut wants to acquire Tesla.
“I wouldn’t consider a stake in Tesla,” Diess told Observer. “I wouldn’t buy a stake because I think all they are doing, we can do.”
As CCN.com reported, Volkswagen (the maker of the Porsche Taycan) has been investing heavily in electric cars. In January, Volkswagen announced plans to invest $800 million to expand an electric vehicle plant in Tennessee. The facility is expected to roll out its first EV in 2022.
Despite the competition between Tesla and Volkswagen, Herbert Diess says he admires Elon Musk. He’s also a proud Tesla owner.
“When it comes to the next big thing, which is software, Tesla is strong in software,” Diess said. He also rubbished rumors that Tesla will go bankrupt anytime soon because of its recent financial problems.
“I don’t believe that [bankruptcy] will happen,” Diess said. “I like Elon quite a lot and I wish him all the best. Tesla is close now to profitability.”
Last week, Tesla announced the roll-out of its Model 3 electric cars in Hong Kong. However, the dubious timing raised eyebrows because Hong Kong has been besieged by protests since June.
That said, Tesla is incredibly popular in Hong Kong. The territory remains a massive market for electric vehicles, thanks to a government policy aimed at reducing traffic congestion.
In mainland China, Tesla is making tremendous progress with the construction of its Gigafactory in Shanghai. In fact, the substation for the Gigafactory 3 site could be operational by September 30, according to Chinese news reports.
Last modified: July 13, 2020 1:36 PM UTC