Tesla reveals Model S Plaid capable of 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds
Tesla revealed the hotly anticipated Plaid variant of its Model S sedan today at its factory in Fremont, California, showcasing a blazing fast version of its four-door sedan that accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 1.99 seconds. That makes it the first production car to break the two-second barrier and the quickest on the planet, according to CEO Elon Musk, who also described the Model S Plaid as the "most amount of fun on four wheels."
"Why make this really fast car, that's crazy fast and everything?" Musk asked during today's presentation. "Well there is something that's quite important to the future of sustainable energy. We've got to show that an electric car is the best car, hands down. It's got to be clear, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kickass cars in every way. And that's why we did the Plaid."
The company has been teasing the Spaceballs-inspired Plaid performance option for the Model S for some time, notably during last year's Battery Day when Musk promised a sub-two-second 0-60 mph acceleration and 1,100 horsepower. That power output has been tempered just a little, we learn today, with the Model S Plaid officially putting out 1,020 horsepower, which still affords it a quarter-mile sprint speed of 9.23 seconds.
The Plaid's tri-motor, all-wheel drive configuration shuttles the car to a top speed of 200 mph (321.9 km/h). A full charge of its all-new battery pack is said to allow for 390 miles (627 km) of range, while 15 minutes of plug-in time can offer up to 187 miles (300 km).
Musk also emphasized the powertrain's new carbon-sleeved rotors, which he said is a the result of overcoming some difficult engineering challenges and is a first for a production electric motor. Another key point is the Plaid's drag co-efficient of 0.208, which Musk says is the lowest of any production car ever made. Another interesting tidbit is the improved heat pump that has a 30 percent better range in cold weather and uses 50 percent less energy for cabin heating.
Tesla has also completely reworked the interior, with a more spacious back seat, more headroom and legroom up front, a yoke steering wheel with no stalks protruding from the back and a new 17-inch touchscreen display in a landscape orientation, which Musk describes as a "home theater" experience. This was demonstrated by someone playing "Cyperpunk 2077" in the car on stage.
Tesla had until very recently planed to launch a Plaid+ variant of the Model S, capable of sub-nine-second quarter miles and a range of 520 miles (837 km). It was revealed this week that these plans had been shelved, with Musk explaining on Twitter that "Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good."
Musk says that deliveries are already underway, with 25 now headed to the first customers. This will apparently expand to several hundreds of cars per week soon and then thousands in the next quarter. Pricing for the Model S Plaid starts at US$129,990.
You can check out the full presentation below.