Tesla announced on Twitter that the first deliveries of the 2023 Model S and Model X vehicles have begun in Mainland China, including the high-performance Plaid variants that were never sold before in this part of the world.
Accompanying the tweet posted on the Tesla Asia account, there’s a short video showing the first units of the latest flagship builds driving off a cargo ship that brought them to China from the company’s Fremont factory in California, the only one that makes the Model S and Model X.
During the Guangzhou Auto Show in January, Tesla said that the first Plaid-powered vehicles will make their way to China in the first half of 2023, so here we are just two months later witnessing this happen.
Initially released in the United States in 2021, the Tesla Model S Plaid starts at a little over one million yuan (roughly $145,500), while the Model X Plaid has a starting price of RMB 1,039,000 ($151,100). Compared to the US, the same cars sold in China are significantly more expensive, by around $45,000-$50,000. The base versions of both models are also available.
According to CnEVPost, Tesla’s Chinese website shows expected delivery dates for both the Model S and Model X in the second quarter of 2023, with the latest batch of 867 flagship vehicles arriving in the Port of Tianjin on March 15.
While the more expensive models are likely to sell in rather small numbers, the company’s smaller and more affordable models, the Model 3 and Model Y, have had success on the Chinese market and are even built locally at the firm’s Shanghai Gigafactory.
As a quick reminder, the Tesla Model S Plaid can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 1.99 seconds, while its bigger brother – the Model X Plaid – can do the same in 2.5 seconds. Both have a tri-motor all-wheel drive setup that makes up to 1,000 horsepower.