The 2023 Tesla Model S Plaid, recently introduced in Europe, achieved an exceptionally good result in a "moose test" conducted by km77.com in Spain.
The top-of-the-line Tesla Model S was equipped with a yoke (instead of a typical steering wheel) and 21-inch wheels - Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 265/35 ZR21 101Y XL (front) and 295/30 ZR21 102Y XL (rear).
According to km77.com, the car was able to successfully pass the test (without hitting any cons) at an initial speed of roughly 51 miles per hour, which is one of the best results ever.
- initial part: 51 mph (82 km/h)
- middle part: 44 mph (70 km/h)
- final part: 29 mph (46 km/h)
If we check the list, only the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y (which are smaller and lighter), were able to pass the test at a slightly higher speed (by about 1 mph - 52 mph).
Interestingly, the Tesla Model S Plaid noted a better result than any of the previously tested Porsche Taycans (GTS, Turbo S, and Turbo S Cross Turismo - all three achieved roughly 48 mph).
However, there is one important thing that requires a comment. According to the video, the Tesla Model S' great result might be related to relatively strong regenerative braking, which quickly reduces the speed once the driver releases the accelerator pedal.
Km77.com noticed that they can check the car also without regen in Tesla's Track Mode, but it was too late that day to repeat tests. This one thing shines some additional light on the moose testing of all-electric cars, because on top of the handling, also regenerative braking may significantly affect the results.
For reference, the regenerative braking in the Porsche Taycan is considered less powerful, which translates into a slower speed reduction during the test. Specifically, the recently tested Porsche Taycan GTS noted a best result of:
- initial part: 48 mph (78 km/h)
- middle part: 43 mph (69 km/h)
- final part: 32 mph (51 km/h)
As we can see, despite that the initial speed is lower than in the case of the Tesla Model S, its final speed is higher, so the average speed reduction was slower. In other words, with stronger default regenerative braking, the Taycan potentially could be a bit quicker in the moose test as well.
Nonetheless, from the user perspective, when driving in default settings (or the lowest out of the available ones), the results are as they are. The Tesla has a very good chassis, electronics, and more optimal settings.
The other part of the video is about the slalom test, which proved that the 2023 Tesla Model S Plaid has exceptionally good handling. The car completed the test in 21.8 seconds, which is only 0.3 seconds behind the Porsche Taycan GTS, and faster than any other BEV tested so far.