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Everything you Should Know About Tesla’s Secret Project ‘Palladium’: new Model S and Model X are coming

It has been reported that Tesla has a project that has been flying under the radar, it is a project that has been dubbed as Palladium and it is concerned with some crucial updates for the Tesla Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. This discreet is being undertaken at the Fremont factory and Gigafactory Nevada according to sources. This is Tesla’s second secret project that has been discovered this year, the first one was code named as “roadrunner”, with this Tesla wanted to create its own new battery cells and its own technology to produce them.

Tesla's Secret Project 'Palladium'

Everything you Should Know About Tesla’s Secret Project ‘Palladium’: new Model S and Model X are coming

About the “Palladium”

There isn’t a whole lot of information available about Palladium, by the way, the name does sound super cool. The existence of this project was confirmed by the website Electrek. According to them, the project’s agenda is to build new production lines for the updated versions of the Model S and the Model X, the extent to which the project is going to affect the production of these cars is yet to be revealed, however, we can assume this is going to have a significant impact based on how secretive Tesla is, with this project.

The Plaid project

This project is probably going to be a part of the “plaid” version of Model S and Model X, this update is going to involve new battery modules and drive units for the upcoming versions of these cars. This information was shared by the people who are familiar with Tesla’s secret projects. The plaid version is set to be the most hardcore version of Tesla’s cars, these versions supposedly have three electric motors as opposed to the two motors in the regular version of the car, the third motor has been added to enable torque vectoring – it is the ability to control what wheels on opposite sides of the car are doing to improve handling.

It is found mainly in supercars such as the Honda NSX and the new Ferrari SF90 Stradale, The Plaid versions will also have bigger battery packs according to Tesla Chief Elon Musk, which confirmed via a tweet, with all the upgrades the prototype Tesla Model S Plaid did a blistering 1:36:555 around the Laguna Seca circuit. The car has also been tested on the green hell i.e the Nurburgring in Germany, the cars that were bought for testing was fully kitted out with a giant rear wing, a front splitter, and a large diffuser. It was also equipped with super sticky track tires like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. Musk tweeted that the track versions aren’t just one-offs but rather will go into production around some time in 2020.

Why this name?

The name Palladium has been taken from the platinum group metals from the periodic table, Palladium is one of the six platinum-group metals and Palladium is mainly used inside the catalytic converters which are a part of car exhausts, it is rumored that the use of the name Palladium is a cheeky insult by Tesla aimed at the combustion engine cars which have exhausts, unlike electric cars.

Model S Plaid

Another source told that the Palladium project is not just limited to the powertrain, one employee even told that the new versions of the car might have a new body and called it “Model S and Model X Palladium body”. As mentioned above the spy shots of the plaid versions did have a new body kit. The company is currently updating its production line in the Fremont factory and Nevada for the Palladium Project. The price of the material has shot up significantly over the last couple of years.


The electric automotive community has also wondered if the Palladium and Roadrunner might actually be connected; there is a chance that the cars produced under the Palladium project might have the new battery cells that have build from the scratch by Tesla as a part of the Roadrunner. All this could mean that Tesla is planning for a massive upgrade possibly by this yearend or the next year, it might be a major overhaul for the powertrain, the body as well as the interiors which haven’t had any significant changes since 2012.

Vinaayak Menon
Vinaayak Menon
Automotive Enthusiast who is passionate about writing blogs for Electric Cars


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