Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla was poised to start deliveries of its new Model S Plaid, a high-performance version of the company’s flagship electric sedan, on Thursday with a live stream event in Fremont, California.
CEO Elon Musk had promised that the Tesla Model S Plaid would deliver acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in under 2 seconds.
The company’s website says the tri-motor, all-wheel drive Model S Plaid also produces 1,020 horsepower, features a battery with an EPA-rated range of up to 390 miles and can hit a top speed of 200 miles per hour, if equipped with the proper wheels and tires. Those won’t be available until the fall, according to the fine print on the site.
The Model S Plaid interior also includes a steering yoke rather than a traditional steering wheel, a 17-inch center touchscreen display and separate 8-inch display in the rear for passengers’ entertainment, and processing power the company says is on par with modern gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5.
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid interior
Fans expected Model S Plaid deliveries to begin early this year after Musk said the company had already embarked on production in January on a Tesla earnings call. Then, Tesla reported that Model S (and Model X) production dropped to zero in its first-quarter vehicle deliveries and production update.
Before Thursday’s heavily promoted delivery event, originally slated for June 3, Musk said on Twitter that Tesla also canceled the Model S Plaid plus variant which would have cost drivers around $150,000 and promised a tantalizing battery range of around 520 miles.
Musk said, in a pair of tweets hyping Model S Plaid before the deliveries kickoff: “Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good,” adding “0 to 60mph in under 2 secs. Quickest production car ever made of any kind. Has to be felt to be believed.”
On Thursday, the price of the Model S Plaid had increased by $10,000 to $129,990 — which compares with $79,990 for a long-range 2021 Model S, a dual-motor, all wheel drive version of the electric sedan boasting a battery range of 412 miles.
The Plaid moniker for Tesla’s high performance version of the Model S is a continuation of the company’s tribute to “Spaceballs” — the 1980s Star Wars spoof co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. In “Spaceballs,” spacecraft accelerate from light- to ridiculous- then ludicrous-speed and finally into “plaid.” Earlier versions of Tesla vehicles featured Ludicrous mode, which Tesla first announced in July of 2015.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.