Tesla has given its oldest car a significant update.
The range still has three options, headlined by the new Plaid that, with a tri-motor powertrain, is even faster than the already face-meltingly quick Ludicrous.
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)
- 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+: $189,990 ($237,257 d/a)
All prices exclude on-road costs unless otherwise specified.
There are three 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. Tesla says it has 761kW of power, but doesn’t quote a torque figure. Claimed range is 628km.
The Plaid+ will do the sprint in less than 2.1 seconds, and has more than 820kW of power. Exact figures haven’t been confirmed. Claimed range is more than 840km.
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.
The Plaid+ is expected to have a larger battery again, potentially a 120kWh unit.
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
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.
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 and Plaid+ brings:
- Carbon fibre interior trim