If you dive into the Tesla Model S Plaid configurator, you’ll find lots of caveats—just like you would in our First Test. One of the biggest was regarding the Model S Plaid’s claimed 200 mph top speed. “The indicated Plaid top speed requires proper wheels and tires which will be available in Fall 2021.” According to Tesla, the wheels and tires necessary for 200 mph are available on the Plaid now, but what isn’t is a software update needed to hit said speeds.
Two sets of wheels are available on the Model S Plaid. Standard are 19-inch “Tempest” wheels, while optional are 21-inch “Arachnid” wheels, which come standard with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires (like seen on our recent test Model S Plaid). It’s the latter set of wheels and tires—the 21-inch ones—that are needed if you’d like your Plaid to eventually be able to hit 200 mph. Tesla says this wheel and tire package has recently been validated at the claimed top speed.
That being said, early Model S Plaid owners with the Arachnid wheels can’t yet hit that 200 mph top speed. Until a software update rolls out “in the future,” all Model S Plaids will be limited to 163 mph.
No word on what the top speed of the Model S Plaid on the Tempest wheel set is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same 163 mph top speed that Arachnid Model S Plaids are currently limited to.