During Tesla Battery Day, Elon Musk officially announced a new top of the line version of the Tesla Model S, the Model S Plaid, which is expected on sale in late 2021 (the company accepts orders with fully refundable $1,000 deposits).
This new Model S is a beast - described as "The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid". Just look at the specs:
- estimated range (EPA we guess) of more than 520 miles (837 km)
- acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in less than 2 seconds!
- quarter-mile in less than 9.0 seconds
- "Quickest 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration of any production car ever"
- top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h)
- tri motor all-wheel drive (one in the front and two for rear wheels)
- system output of 1,100+ horsepower (well over 800 kW of power)
The current prototype was able to achieve an outstanding time at the Laguna Seca race track: 1:30.3 and according to Elon Musk, it still has a few seconds more to cut in the final version. That would make it the fastest production car of any kind at the Laguna Seca. The company expects also a new record at the Nürburgring in Germany.
The base price of $139,990 is $45,000 above the base Model S Performance, but for enthusiasts, it should definitely be worth it.
How it compares to Lucid Air
The first question that comes to mind is how the Tesla Model S Plaid compares to the recently unveiled Lucid Air, which in the top of the line Lucid Air Dream Edition is also among the quickest EVs ever made:
- estimated EPA range of 503 miles (809 km), slightly below 517 miles of the Air Grand Touring version (some 17 miles behind Tesla's claimed range)
- acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 2.5 seconds (half a second behind Model S Plaid)
- quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds (a second or so behind Model S Plaid)
- top speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) (noticeably behind Model S Plaid)
- best time at Laguna Seca of 1:33 (some 3 seconds behind Model S Plaid)
- dual motor all-wheel drive
- system output of 1,080 horsepower (ovet 800 kW of power)
- price starts at $169,000 (over $29,000 above Model S Plaid), but it is eligible for the $7,500 of the federal tax creidt
- Deliveries from Q2 2021 (at least several months ahead of Model S Plaid)
At least on paper, it seems that the Tesla Model S Plaid is substantially more capable, and by the way, less expensive than the Lucid Air Dream Edition.
However, Lucid Motors is expected to unveil a tri-motor version of the Air, with two electric motors in the rear and total peak output of 1,300 horsepower (over 950 kW) or so. This particular version, promised for "late 2021," could go head to head with the Plaid Model S or even beat it. Let the competition begin!
Here is a quick look at the Tesla Model S Plaid run at Laguna Seca: