The first production Tesla Model S Plaid left the factory on Thursday, with company CEO Elon Musk demonstrating the electric four-door in Fremont, California. The Plaid is the top-of-the-line Model S, with 1,020 horsepower, a 0-60 mph pace of 2 seconds, and a range of about 390 miles.
The new carbon-sleeved tri-motor configuration, which allows for rear torque vectoring, is responsible for the impressive performance. There’s also a new heat pump, which guarantees there won’t be any performance reduction. The Model S Plaid will purportedly sprint the quarter mile in 9.2 seconds at 155 mph, in addition to the insanely rapid 0-to-60-mph pace — Tesla actually quotes 1.99 seconds, but come on — A McLaren 765LT, for example, can run the quarter mile in 9.9 seconds.
Tesla claimed the Model S Plaid would have a top speed of 200 mph when it was first introduced in January, but that isn’t true — at least not right now. The 200-mph top speed will be possible “when equipped with the proper wheels and tires,” according to an addendum on Tesla’s website, which the company says will be available this fall.
The 390-mile range, by the way, only applies to Plaid versions with the base 19-inch wheels. The optional 21-inch wheels reduce the range to 350 miles and add $4,500 to the price. In other words, you won’t be able to have a car with a range of 390 miles and a max speed of 200 mph. But at the very least, you’ll get this fantastic emblem to show off to the rest of the world that your Tesla is unique.
An even more extreme Model S Plaid Plus was planned, with 1,100 horsepower, a sub-2-second 0-to-60 time, and a range of 520 miles. However, whether or not that exceptional range is truly achievable is moot, as Musk cancelled the Plaid Plus last weekend, claiming that the standard Plaid is “just so good.”
The Plaid receives all of the same improvements that the Model S received earlier this year, including minor external aesthetic modifications and a significant interior overhaul. A 17-inch horizontal central control screen and that wacky steering yoke are included. The gear selector controls are also incorporated into the touchscreen, thus there are no traditional control stalks. In January, Musk announced on Twitter that the Model S “guesses drive direction based on what obstacles it sees.”
New carbon fiber or wood trim, as well as more inside storage, are available on the Model S Plaid. The rear seats have more generously bolstered seats with extra legroom, a fold-down armrest, and an 8-inch screen with the same entertainment and gaming functionality as the front screen. A glass roof, three-zone climate control, a 22-speaker audio system, heated seats for all passengers, and ventilated front seats are included as standard features on the Model S.
The Tesla Model S Plaid starts at $131,100, which is $10,000 more than expected because it includes $1,200 for destination but excludes any potential tax incentives. The only exterior color that is free is white, with black, gray, and blue costing $1,500 each and red costing $2,500.
The original all-black interior is free, but the black-and-white and cream variants will set you back $2,000 each. Finally, for $10,000, you may add the misleadingly called Full Self-Driving option. The Tesla Model S is not a self-driving car; the company’s Autopilot technology is categorized as a Level 2 driver-assistance system by SAE. Before any potential discounts, a fully equipped Model S Plaid costs $145,600. The automobiles are now available for purchase.
Tesla will soon offer a Plaid version of its Model X SUV in addition to the Model S. The larger Tesla EV will have 1,020 horsepower, a 2.5-second 0-to-60-mph time, a max speed of 163 mph, and a range of 340 miles. The Model X Plaid is priced at $121,100 plus destination, with deliveries beginning in January or February 2022.