Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims the Model S Plaid is the “fastest accelerating car ever”.
1,020 horsepower, a 200 MPH top speed and a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds are all headline-grabbing figures, but to potential customers they’ve all just been figures out there in the ether — until now. The high-performance Tesla Model S Plaid will officially launch tonight at 7 PM Pacific (10 PM Eastern) tonight. It aims to be the brand’s halo by virtue of its supercar-crushing performance, at least until Tesla’s other planned models come along to expand the company’s customer base.
CEO Elon Musk recently announced the company’s plans for a “Plaid+” variant were scrapped. With that revelation, this Model S Plaid is now the top dog in the brand’s stable, with a price tag $50,000 higher than the Model S Long Range. Overnight, it seems, Tesla raised the price by $10,000 to $129,990, after removing the Plaid+ from the configurator site.
On the styling front, the new Tesla Model S Plaid isn’t dramatically different from what we already know, at least on the outside. One distinctive interior feature is yoke steering (shown below), and you can also get ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’ — though that is a $10,000 option.
As competition heats up from new EV models — especially those with performance ambitions like the Porsche Taycan, Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and Audi e-tron GT — Tesla is counting on a halo like the Model S Plaid to keep buyer’s eyes on the brand. In time, we should also see more debuts, and time will tell how many people take the EV automaker up on its low-volume, high-performance variant.