The Tesla Model S Plaid has an advertised top speed of 200mph (321km/h), but that comes with an asterisks which says that speed is only achievable with “paid hardware upgrades.” It has long been suspected that meant the Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit that has been on the Tesla Shop since late 2021 but is still not available for purchase.
It has now been confirmed the $27,500 CAD/$20,000 USD upgrade does unlock the Model S Plaid’s top speed, according to test driver Sebastian Vittel (not Vettel). Not only does it reach 200mph, but according to Vittel it can go even higher.
Vittel got to try out a Model S Plaid with Carbon Ceramic Brakes thanks to the team at Tesla Belgium, who recently brought him to the Circuit de Bresse in France. According to Vittel the electric sedan is a “completely different animal” and “an absolute beast” with the new brake kit, which includes larger front and rear carbon ceramic discs, high temperature brake pads, braided brake lines, and high temperature brake fluid.
The upgraded hardware allowed Vittel to set a new lap record for a street legal car with a time of 1:33.610, which even had the stock Michelin PS4 tires, on the 1.8 mile (2.9km) track. According to LapTrophy the lap record for any car at Circuit de Bresse is 1:24.95, set by a Porsche Cup, a purpose-built race car. You can see the lap record video below. (h/t: @BLKMDL3)
Along with the upgraded hardware, the software is also unlocked and Vittel says he was able to reach a top speed 217mph (350km/h). A video of the top speed will be released soon, Vittel explained.
While the Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit is still not available for purchase, the wait shouldn’t be much longer. The product listing says it will be available in early 2023, and just last week Tesla began emailing customers to let them know it was coming soon.