Tesla has given its oldest car a significant update.
UPDATE, 2:00pm 11/06/21 – Tesla has revealed full details for the Model S Plaid, and confirmed the death of the Plaid+. This story has been updated accordingly.
The range has two options, headlined by the new Plaid that, with a tri-motor powertrain, is even faster than the already face-meltingly quick Ludicrous.
Tesla initially planned an even faster Plaid+, but pulled the plug a week ahead of its planned launch.
Tesla says it has added the new heat pump from the Model 3 and Model Y to improve range in cold weather.
Orders placed now are expected to arrive in Australia during 2022.
- 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range: $129,990 ($154,310 drive-away)
- 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid: $174,990 ($215,150 d/a)
All prices exclude on-road costs unless otherwise specified.
There are two powertrains on offer in the Model S.
The first is a dual-motor setup good for a claimed 3.2-second sprint to 100km/h.
Claimed range is 663km on the more generous NEDC test cycle, and peak power is 500kW.
Moving to the Plaid adds a third motor, and drops the 100km/h sprint time to just 2.1 seconds and the quarter mile time to just 9.23 seconds.
Tesla says it has 761kW of power, but doesn’t quote a torque figure. Claimed range is 628km.
Tesla doesn’t publicly quote battery sizes, however the pre-update Model S Long Range featured a 95kWh battery, and the Performance packed a 100kWh unit.
Tesla says the pre-update Model S measures 4979mm long, 1964mm wide and 1445mm tall, with a 2960mm wheelbase.
Given this is a facelift, don’t expect the dimensions to change dramatically for 2021.
Boot space is a claimed 793L across the front boot (or frunk) and the boot beneath the liftback.
The Tesla Model S is backed by a four-year, 80,000km warranty on its mechanicals and an eight-year, 240,000km warranty to guard against battery degradation.
Given it has very few moving parts, there isn’t much maintenance required on the Model S.
Tesla recommends having the air-conditioning filters changed every two years, and checking the tyre tread, balance, and rotation every 20,000km.
The Model S has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP, and has been lauded in the USA for its impressive crash performance.
All 2021 Tesla Model S models come standard with front airbags, plus side and curtain airbags. Other standard safety equipment includes:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Reversing camera
- Surround-view camera
Thanks to regenerative braking, the brake pads and discs require work less frequently than in internal-combustion vehicles.
However the Model S will need to have brake fluid checked every two years, and the pads and discs lubricated every 12 months in colder climes.
Standard equipment on the 2021 Model S Long Range includes:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Black leather seats
- Woodgrain console and dashboard trim
- Premium audio
- Heated seats for all passengers
- Cooled front seats
- HEPA air filters
- Satellite navigation
- Live traffic updates
- In-car music/media streaming
- Tinted glass roof
- Auto-dimming mirrors
- Power-folding mirrors
Moving to the Plaid brings:
- Carbon fibre interior trim
- Torque vectoring
- Carbon-sleeved rotors