Tesla Model S Plaid+ axed

Tesla has turned down the heat on its hottest Model S, although the death of the Plaid+ doesn't mean the US carmaker has gone soft.

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Scott Collie
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Tesla has pulled the plug on what would have been its longest-range, highest-performance car yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced the Model S Plaid+ sedan, revealed with the promise of a 1.99-second 60mph/2.1-second 100km/h sprint, won’t make production because the regular Plaid is “just so good”.

The regular Plaid won’t be a slouch though, with a claimed 0-60mph (97km/h) time of 1.99 seconds. The quarter mile is expected take 9.23 seconds, thanks to the car’s tri-motor powertrain making 761kW.

Where the vague claimed figures for the Plaid+ meant it could have handed the crown for fastest-accelerating production car in the world to Tesla, the regular Plaid is 0.14 seconds slower to 60mph than the Rimac Nevera from Croatia.

The Plaid won’t be able to match the now-defunct Plaid+ for range.

The former will do an estimated 628km on a charge, while the latter was meant to cover more than 840km with a full battery.

Elon Musk told Electrek the longer-range battery wasn’t necessary.

“What we are seeing is that once you have a range above 400 miles, more range doesn’t really matter,” he told the Tesla-focused publication.

“There are essentially zero trips above 400 miles where the driver doesn’t need to stop for restroom, food, coffee, etc. anyway.”

Production of the regular Plaid will start on June 10, but Australian buyers will have to wait until the end of 2022 to get their hands on it.

It’s priced from $174,990 before on-road costs ($215,150 drive-away) locally.

The Plaid joined the range as part of a broader update to the Tesla Model S.

The 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X debuted a new interior design, headlined by a cut-down steering wheel with Ferrari-style controls for the indicators, wipers, and headlights.

Tesla says the new wheel delivers “the ultimate focus on driving: no stalks, no shifting. With a stalkless steering yoke, you can enjoy both the best car to drive, and the best car to be driven in”.

There’s a new 2200×1300 display on the dashboard, home to what appears to be a similar infotainment system to the Model 3.

But the driver is also faced with a digital instrument binnacle, unlike in the minimalist Model 3, and there’s a third screen on the back of the centre console to entertain rear passengers.

Also new is the more conventional centre console design with more storage and dual wireless chargers.

Under the skin, Tesla says the new Model S and Model X feature the heat pump from the Model 3 and Model Y for better winter range.

MORE: Tesla Model S news and reviews


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