Tesla’s Model S Plaid is one of the most awaited EVs for this year. It will be bang in the middle of the Model S and the Tesla Roadster. It will offer a Roadster-like performance in the body of a sedan. While it isn’t exactly a Roadster dressed as a Model S, it is as accurate a description of the Plaid as any. The Plaid has the EV world excited and rightly so. Due to the recent cancellation of the Plaid+, the Plaid is now the fastest car in the Model S range.
Tesla Model S Plaid Spotted Ahead of Launch
Plaid spotted in a parking lot
There have been instances when people have seen the Plaid around on the streets in the USA. It isn’t very different looking from the Model S but there are some key giveaways. The redesigned front and rear bumpers can help in identifying the Plaid. That being said, Plaid’s ability to pull away from your car in traffic will be an easier way to identify it.
A video on the YouTube channel ‘Electric Vehicles’ showed a Plaid parked in a parking lot. While it isn’t a detailed look, it does show that the Plaid retains the attractive shape of the Model S while upping the sporty quotient a bit. The Plaid also has a small badge on the rear that says PLAID. It also has a spoiler on the boot to help differentiate it.
What makes the Plaid special
The Model S lineup currently consists of the Long Range and the Performance variants. From 2021, the Performance variant will be replaced by the Plaid. The Plaid takes the already stunning performance levels of the Model S to a whole new height. The Model S Long Range (LR) has a 100 kWh battery. This allows it to put out 670 hp at its peak. The battery propels the Model S LR from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. The LR also has an estimated range of 412 miles. All of this despite a slightly heavy curb weight of 4561 lb. (2068 kg.). This is achieved by a dual-motor powertrain.
The Plaid takes things a step further. It has a slightly lower 390 miles of range, but every other aspect is definitely better. The headline figure is the 0-60 mph time of 1.99 seconds. This makes the Plaid the fastest accelerating production car by a comfortable margin. This number is achieved by a tri-motor system that puts out a mind-boggling 1020 hp of power. It also has a quarter-mile timing of 9.23 seconds at a speed of 155 mph. With the right set of tyres and wheels, the Plaid will reach a top speed of 200 mph. Although it weighs almost 200 lbs more than the LR variant, the Plaid has much more impressive performance figures. This is mainly due to the tri-motor system and the extra work that Tesla has done to refine the aero of the car.
Extra tech innovations in the Plaid
Tesla has gone the extra mile to make the Plaid special. The construction of the three motors which make up the tri-motor system are particularly impressive. Each of the three motors has a carbon-sleeved rotor. This allows them to maintain maximum speed all the way till the car hits its top speed. The Plaid also offers some unique features like the yoke steering. This is to put some difference in the interior of the Plaid and the Model S LR. The yoke steering looks somewhat similar to the steerings in F1 cars. All these features make the Plaid a very special car.
Is the Plaid worth it?
The Plaid is a unique offering. It marries supercar performance, the sedan body, and the freen image of an EV in a mixed offering that puts it in a niche in terms of competition, but on a pedestal in terms of appeal. The tri-motor powertrain and its resulting superb acceleration are obvious high points. To this writer’s eyes, the Plaid is definitely more handsome than a Model S. The aggressive detailing has made a difference. Owning the fastest production car ever is also a very lucrative idea. The bragging rights will be with Plaid owners until the Roadster is launched (so for a decent amount of time?). It also has enough of aero development to put most modern cars to shame around a racetrack. All these things definitely make it a very, very tempting proposition
But is it worth its $110,000 price tag? That is a whole other question. If looked at from a performance point of view, the answer is a resounding yes. No other car at that price point will give as many thrills-per-dollar as the Plaid. But when looked at as a car that will potentially cost the same amount of money as a Mercedes Benz EQS? Maybe not.
Yes, the Plaid will drive circles around the EQS. It will also probably crush it in the technology department. But the EQS is definitely the better car. While it may not be as quick as a Plaid, it is decently fast. And its biggest trump card is the peace of mind that comes from owning a Mercedes. The luxury quotient is also definitely better than a Model S. It is a better car, while the Plaid is a better performance car. It will all just boil down to the choice of the customer. Interesting times lie ahead.