The Tesla Model S is getting long in the tooth. The big, electric sedan launched in June 2012 and, despite one exterior facelift, hasn’t been given an interior overhaul.

    That’s likely to change this year. The 2021 Tesla Model S has been snapped testing at the Tesla factory in Fremont, ahead of an expected reveal in the coming weeks.

    Along with a portrait-style touchscreen infotainment system similar to that of the Tesla Model 3, the updated Model S is expected to feature mild exterior improvements.

    The car pictured by Teslarati has a unique front bar compared to the current model, with a racier design in keeping with its uprated track performance.

    The big changes will come under the skin, though. Tesla has already confirmed the Model S will get a new Plaid powertrain, taking the big sedan’s acceleration beyond its current ‘Ludicrous’ level.

    Elon Musk has confirmed deliveries for the tri-motor Model S Plaid will start late in 2021, and revealed the car’s eye-popping performance figures.

    The Model S Plaid will do the 60mph (97km/h) sprint in less than two seconds, and the quarter mile sprint in less than nine seconds thanks to its tri-motor all-wheel drive system.

    Claimed top speed is north of 320km/h, and the powertrain lays down 820kW of power. Despite the wild performance, Tesla is promising a range of 835km between charges.

    Mr Musk says the Plaid lapped Laguna Seca in 1:30.3, making it faster than the Lucid Air that stole the electric vehicle record from a Model S Plaid prototype earlier this year.

    The goal for the Plaid is to better the 1:27.62 set by Randy Pobst in a McLaren Senna at Laguna Seca.

    “We’re confident the Model S Plaid will achieve the best track time of any production vehicle ever, of any kind – two-door or otherwise,” Mr Musk said.

    “You can order it now, and it’s available basically at the end of next year.”

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    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.

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