We know how quick the Tesla Model S Plaid can be in a straight line or even on a race track, but how about tight maneuvering (typically at 20-50 mph) at an autocross event?

According to Brent Ely, who recently had his first ever opportunity to participate in a AutoX autocross event (novice class), the Model S Plaid performed relatively well.

On the first day of the two-day event, the best time was 43.922 seconds (2nd best), 1.119 seconds behind an undisclosed 2014 Subaru model, which driven by Eric Brown clocked a time of 42.803 seconds.

The most important findings for us are not the times, but the general conclusions. First of all, the Tesla Model S Plaid has so much power and torque that it can easily over-accelerate - shoot too far out of the corner and then it would require heavy braking. Because of that, it was better to drive in a Sport mode instead of Plaid.

Tesla Model S PLAID on an AutoX (autocross) (source: Brent Ely)
Tesla Model S PLAID on an AutoX (autocross) (source: Brent Ely)

The second finding is that the Model S appears too heavy and too big to really be able to compete in such discipline with a smaller, more agile sporty cars.

"My guess up front was that the quick acceleration, combined with the AWD of the Plaid would definitely help. While, they did help, the acceleration was almost too much and I had to drop from Plaid mode into Sport mode, just so that I didnt over-accelerate. The AWD was definitely helpful, but the sheer weight of the car meant much more momentum going into turns or during hard braking. In longer, sweeping turns, the weight of the car, combined with the speed, had a tendency to allow the car to plow away from ideal lines."

At the autocross specifically, the brakes - supported by regenerative braking - appear to be ok. That's counter from what we've heard at high-speed race tracks (see reports from Speed Academy and Throttle House, and an analysis by Engineering Explained).

There was no word about the yoke steering wheel. According to Brent Ely, there will be a follow up video about the second day results, which were better than in the first day.

Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid specs:

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