Tesla has given its oldest car a significant update.

    UPDATE, 2:00pm 11/06/21Tesla has revealed full details for the Model S Plaid, and confirmed the death of the Plaid+. This story has been updated accordingly.

    The Model S has been overhauled inside for 2021, with a new screen inspired by the Model 3, a new digital dashboard, and a radical new steering wheel.

    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.

    Engine and Range

    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

    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

    MORE: Tesla Model S news, reviews, comparisons and videos

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers