The Tesla Model S Plaid is unmatched among volume production cars when it comes to acceleration, but not the same thing can be said about its braking system.
Now, don’t get us wrong, the stock brakes work fine under normal driving conditions, but when performance driving is involved, they tend to experience fading. So how much is too much for the Model S Plaid’s brakes?
The guys from the PlaidAF YouTube channel wanted to find out and subjected their Model S Plaid to some intense braking tests. Before delving into those, you should know the car was going to receive a carbon ceramic Big Brake Kit Upgrade from Unplugged Performance, so it didn’t really matter whether the stock brakes got completely destroyed in the process.
Gallery: Tesla Model S Plaid Delivery Day
The plan was to do ten 100 mph–0 mph runs to see how the stock brakes behave when subjected to back-to-back action. When they started the tests, though, they decided to brake only until about 20 mph; mind you, the timer on the screen measures the 100–30 mph time for consistency.
After some normal road driving, one of the guys stepped out of the vehicle and measured the temperature of the rotor at 327 degrees Fahrenheit (164 degrees Celsius). From that point on, he started a stopwatch to see how long it takes for that rotor to cool down to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) after completing all ten stop tests.
So how did the experiment go? Well, after the third run, the brakes started smelling bad, which was not a good sign. After the fifth, a warning popped up in the Tesla's dash indicating that the brake temperature was high.
The guys carried on with the test and decided to stop after the eighth run because the smell became too strong. Much to their surprise, they saw flames in one of the rotors and measured its temperature at 950 degrees Fahrenheit (510 degrees Celsius). No wonder Tesla is now offering a $20,000 Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit option.