This Is Tesla Model S Plaid's Drive Unit

There has never been a motor that looks like this.

Tesla has shown at the Model S Plaid delivery event the drive units responsible for the amazing performance, including (0-60 mph in 1.99 seconds including rollout).

Let’s recall that unlike the standard dual motor setup, the Plaid cars are equipped with a total of three electric motors. One in the front for the front axle, and two in the rear for the rear wheels with torque vectoring system. The total system output is 1,020 hp (about 760 kW).

The drive units integrate high-speed electric motor, inverter, and single-speed transmission (despite the top speed being up to 200 mph (322 km/h).

The top speed will be available when equipped with the proper wheels and tires (available fall 2021).

One of the key elements of the new drive units are carbon-sleeved rotors, used for the first time in series production.

Elon Musk explained at the event that there was never a motor like that before and it required to design a special new machine that makes the rotors.

The motor has to wind at extremely high tension, as cooper and carbon have different thermal characteristics and there is a very tight air gap.

Hopefully, it will withstand the frequent surges that the enthusiast will be willing to experience.

The end result is a very good power curve of the Plaid car, far ahead of the previous key Tesla Model S cars, despite at the time of introduction, each of them was state-of-the-art.

It’s amazing that within nine years we can see so much progress and we are still at the beginning of the road.

Another important thing in the refreshed Tesla cars is new battery packs. The battery modules and battery packs were redesigned, but still consist of cylindrical 1865 cells.

That allows accepting higher charging power as well as discharge at higher power, including a 5-times higher number of high-speed quarter-mile runs, compared to the prior architecture, before throttling due to overheating.

To improve thermal performance, Tesla uses its “latest and greatest” heat pump system (HVAC). It improves heating efficiency in cold weather, but also is key to keeping the powertrain cool (thanks to a two times bigger radiator).

The only thing now is to wait and see for the acceleration tests of the new Tesla Model S Plaid against the top ICEs and top EVs from other manufacturers.

Gallery: Tesla Model S Plaid Delivery Day

Tesla Model S Plaid specs

  • 390 miles (628 km) of EPA est. range
  • battery capacity: N/A
  • 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 1.99 seconds (*with rollout subtracted)
  • 1/4 Mile [email protected] mph trap speed
  • top speed of 200 mph (322 km) †when equipped with the proper wheels and tires (available fall 2021)
  • three-motor all-wheel drive (one motor in the front and two motors in the rear)
  • system output: 1,020 hp (about 760 kW)
  • DC fast charging: at up to 250 kW (Superchargers)
    can replenish 187 miles (301 km) in 15 minutes
  • Drag Coefficient 0.208 Cd
  • Wheels 19″ or 21″
  • Cargo 28 cu ft
  • Weight 4,766 lbs (2,162 kg)
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