Gearhead News

August 3, 2021
Modified Tesla Model S Plaid Sets EV Lap Record at Laguna Seca

Unplugged Performance was one of the first shops to get its hands on a Tesla Model S Plaid and it immediately set about modifying it to be a Pikes Peak beast. After a great run at the Hill Climb, it headed to Laguna Seca to develop the car even further. The UP Plaid was so heavily modified that it no longer counts as a production car, but regardless, it set a damn impressive new EV lap record of 1:28.213 with Randy Pobst at the wheel. In case you’re wondering, that’s within one second of the track’s production car lap record, which was also set by Pobst in a McLaren Senna.

The EV lap record had been speculated to be broken by a Plaid a few months back when a 1:29.9 was put together during what seemed like Tesla’s own development testing of the then-unreleased car.

Twitter: @UnpluggedTesla

The vehicle Pobst drove is known as “Dark Helmet” and has a pretty extensive modification list. Unplugged Performance added its own one-off aero kit, including reworked brake ducting, which explains why Pobst was able to hit 156 mph into Turn 2 and comfortably keep control of the car. There’s a new steering wheel, too, so no comedy yoke. Also, a swapped seat and roll cage for the driver, semi-active dampers, switched adjustable front upper control arms, a huge rear stabilizer bar and the car runs on 19-inch wheels with slick tires, not street-legal rubber.

Given all that, it’s obviously not a production car anymore so it can’t count for the extensive list of records Pobst holds around Laguna Seca. But the outright electric lap record doesn’t care if you’re allowed to drive the thing to Whole Foods or not, so there’s that.

Unplugged Performance did cheekily “contextualize” the lap within the production car times, showing it was faster than a stock 911 GT2 RS. However, it’s an extremely fair point that Dark Helmet is a 4,850-pound car, including Pobst, and at its base is a sedan and not a sports car, so that’s still mighty impressive.

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