📷 Credits: Tesla
Tesla officially staged the long-awaited, and previously delayed, "delivery event" for its ultra-fast Model S Plaid at its Fremont, California production. CEO Elon Musk said at the occasion that 25 electric vehicle deliveries are due to start on Friday night and would expand into several hunderd of cars a week and one thousand cars a week.
There have been no significant surprises with the newest version of the Model S, with a redesigned battery package design, better heatspump, over-wrapped carbon rotors for the engines and a new record for a drag coefficient of 0.208. The Lucid Air boasts a drag coefficient of 0.21 and is set to go into production later this year.
Tesla Model S designer Franz von Holzhausen opened off the event, introducing Musk, who drove a sleek black Model S around the test track, gliding directly onto stage to the dulcet strains of dubstep.
“This is nine years since we delivered the first model S, the first car produced here in Fremont, so almost a decade, and I think we’ve really taken it to a whole new level with Plaid,” said Musk to an audience of adoring fans. “Some of you may know that our product plan is stolen from Spaceballs, we’ve gone Plaid speed. So…why make this really fast car, that’s crazy fast and everything, and I think there is something that’s quite important to the future of sustainable energy, which is that we’ve got to show that an electric car is the best car, hands down. It’s gotta be clear, like, man, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kick ass cars in every way.”
The four-door electric sedan accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, according to Musk, breaking the two-second barrier that no production car has ever broken. According to Musk and the company's website, it has 1,020 horsepower, a max speed of 200 miles per hour (with the correct tires), and can finish a quarter mile in 9.23 seconds.
The battery can go 390 miles on a single charge, but Musk claims that with the twin motor setup, the car can travel 412 miles (The Model S Plaid has a tri-motor set up). Drivers may get 187 miles of range in only 15 minutes because to the faster charging speed.
The updated Model S also includes a redesigned battery pack, although Musk didn't go into detail beyond that. He spent a significant amount of time explaining the motor's carbon-sleeved rotors, which Musk claims is a first for a production electric motor owing to the difficulties of pulling it off. The ultimate product is a motor capable of reaching 20,000 RPM.
According to Musk, the new heat pump that drives the Plaid's HVAC system has a 30% greater cold weather range and needs 50% less energy for cabin heating and freezing situations, implying no deterioration in cold weather.
The Model S's interior has also received improvements, some of which have previously been disclosed, such as a yoke steering wheel — which has raised eyebrows and caught the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — a panoramic primary screen, and ventilated front seats. The GPU appears to be comparable to that of a PlayStation 5.
The car's software is meant to learn from the driver's behavior and adapt to the driver's demands, so that if you, for example, have a habit of backing out of your driveway in a specific way, the car geocodes to that spot and ultimately accomplishes that action for you via the autopilot system.
“It’ll just keep minimizing the amount of input that you need to do until the car just read your mind,” said Musk.
The first deliveries of the vehicle, which starts at $129,990, come the same week Musk officially announced plans to cancel production of the Model S Plaid+, which was supposed to be a faster version of the Plaid version of the Model S. Tesla stopped taking pre-orders for the vehicle on its website in May, prompting speculation that the Plaid+ was dead.