Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this summer that the company had cancelled the Model S Plaid+. The rumoured trim was supposed to be the pinnacle of Tesla performance, but the Plaid+ powertrain found its way into the “regular” Model S Plaid. New spy photos raise questions about what the company is working on next, as the test vehicle has an articulating rear wing.
The spy shots, which capture the car at the Nurburgring alongside a pair of Model S Plaid models, show the saloon without a lick of camouflage, though there are a few noticeable differences. The test vehicle wears a low front spoiler, big ceramic brakes, and that big wing at the back, going from horizontal to almost vertical in the spy shots. The saloon also sports a lowered ride height.
Gallery: Tesla Model S Plaid Nurburgring Spy Photos
The Model S certainly has the power to tackle the ‘Ring, with 1,020 bhp (761 kilowatts) on tap, though it’s unclear if the test vehicle captured here has any modifications. The car can hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in 1.99 seconds while blasting through the quarter-mile in a claimed 9.23 seconds. Its top speed is 200 mph (321 kph), which is more than enough to make light work of the race track and put plenty of competitors in the rearview mirror.
Tesla Model S saloons have been spotted at the Nurburgring time and time again, sometimes for testing and other times for setting lap records. It’s unclear what Tesla is testing in the latest spy shots, though we know the company continuously refines its vehicles and the software that operates them. With mainstream automakers finally beginning to roll out their own EVs, Tesla may need to keep its products feeling even fresher for its customers. Maybe that articulating rear wing will enter production in the next few years.