The Tesla Model S and Model X have received their most substantial updates since going on sale, ushering in a radical new-look interior and the long-awaited Plaid performance powertrain.
Headed for launch in the US next month, the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid take 1006bhp from a tri-motor electric powertrain, which in the Model S is good for a claimed 0-60mph time of 1.99sec.
The Model S Plaid will also get from 0-155mph in a quarter of a mile and top out at 200mph “with the right tyres,” according to CEO Elon Musk.
The larger Model X Plaid needs 2.5sec to complete the 0-60mph sprint, but that still gives it the “quickest acceleration of any SUV”.
However, the 1100bhp Plaid+ version of the Model S, which would have bumped range up from an estimated 390 miles to more than 520 miles (on the US EPA test) – more than any EV currently in production – and further cut the 0-60mph time, has been officially cancelled.
Taking to Twitter to build anticipation for the imminent dynamic debut of the Model S Plaid, Musk said: “Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is so good.”
He called the standard Plaid the “quickest production car ever made of any kind” and confirmed a sub-2.0sec 0-60mph sprint time. To officially claim that title, the Model S Plaid will need to beat the new Rimac Nevera hypercar’s 1.85sec 0-62mph time.
Model S goes to Plaid speed this week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2021
The Plaid+’s cancellation comes following a month of speculation, since Tesla quietly stopped taking pre-orders for the 2022 model in May. It hasn’t been publicly disclosed how many customers had placed deposits.
The Plaid powertrain is described by Tesla as “beyond ludicrous,” in reference to the Ludicrous Mode function that gives its cars stand-out acceleration capabilities.
The update also brings new battery technology for improved range and efficiency. Precise technical details are yet to be confirmed, but new thermal architecture gives faster charging and gives “more power and endurance in all conditions”.
Inside, the Model S and Model X have been completely overhauled, with the old vertically oriented touchscreen making way for a new 17.0in widescreen display that offers “exceptional responsiveness” and can be tilted from left to right to give easier access for passengers or drivers as needed.
There’s also a new, separate 8.0in infotainment touchscreen mounted at the rear of the centre console, giving back-seat passengers access to various entertainment and comfort functions.