Tesla’s new updated Model S Plaid is becoming the quickest car ever made, and it set the stage for an even more insane new Roadster coming next year.
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla dropped so much news at the same time last week that it was hard to digest, including the fact that Tesla launched the new quickest car ever made.
The automaker originally launched the Model S Plaid in September of last year, but the vehicle was still more than a year away at that point, and we didn’t even know what it looked like.
With the launch of the refresh Model S, Tesla has updated its trims, accelerated the release of the Plaid, and announced a new Plaid+ to come on a similar timeline as the original.
The Model S Plaid now is listed with 390 miles of range, 200 mh top speed, and 1.99 second 0-60 mph acceleration.
The acceleration is quick enough to make the Model S Plaid the quickest car ever made:
|Car||Model Year||Independent time||Manufacturer claim|
|Porsche 918 Spyder||2015||2.1 sec||2.5 sec|
|Porsche 911 Turbo S (992)||2020||2.2 sec||2.6 sec|
|Tesla Model S P100D||2017[x]||2.28 sec||2.4 sec|
|Lamborghini Huracán Performante||2018||2.3 sec||2.9 sec|
|Bugatti Chiron||2017||2.4 sec||2.4 sec|
|Porsche Taycan Turbo S||2020||2.4 sec||2.6 sec|
|Tesla Model S Performance w/Ludicrous Mode||2020||2.4 sec||2.3 sec|
|Nissan GT-R Nismo||2020||2.48 sec||2.5 sec|
|Bugatti Veyron and Veyron Super Sport||2005||2.5 sec||2.5 sec|
At $120,000, it’s also a fraction of the price of most vehicles on that list and it’s a 5-seat sedan, while most of these other vehicles are 2-seater sports cars.
Tesla is expected to start deliveries of the new Model S Plaid in the coming weeks.
Tesla Model S Plaid +
However, the situation is actually not as simple as Tesla accelerating the timeline of the Model S Plaid.
As Tesla confirmed during Battery Day last year, the new Model S Plaid’s less than two-second acceleration and more than 520-mile range were supposed to be enabled by the new 4680 battery cells and structural battery pack architecture.
Instead, Tesla just made modifications to the existing battery pack architecture and upgraded the chemistry of the 18650 battery cell to deliver the Model S Plaid.
Combined with the new tri-motor drivetrain, Tesla was able to achieve the promised less than two-second acceleration, but not the range.
That’s where the Model S Plaid+ comes in.
The vehicle is coming late this year, and with the new cell and battery pack architecture is going to push the range to Tesla’s original promise.
With the higher battery capacity and a few months of tuning the tri-motor powertrain, Tesla should also be able to deliver more performance out of the Model S Plaid. The Model S Plaid+ can be ordered right now for $140,000.
With those performances, Tesla is starting to make the Roadster less attractive. The Model S Plaid+ would get similar performance, but in the form factor of a 4-door sedan.
Of course, that’s also a different market. Some people just want a sports car, but it’s making things interesting.
With the same powertrain that would be in the Model S Plaid+, the Tesla Roadster would be able to get significantly more range and slightly quickly acceleration, thanks to the smaller form factor.
It would make it the new quickest vehicle on the market.
That could be more than enough to make it an attractive option, and then, Tesla has also been teasing a “SpaceX Package” to boost performance with cold-air trusters.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed that the new Roadster is coming in 2022. The new Tesla Roadster starts at $200,000.