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Elon Musk reveals the Tesla Model S 'Plaid' slated for late 2021

Kirsten Korosec
·2-min read

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed Tuesday the Model S Plaid, the newest variant to the company's flagship sedan that boasts some eye-popping performance and range claims, including the ability to travel at least 520 miles on a single charge.

The Model S with this more powerful "Plaid" powertrain won't be available until late 2021. Tesla, however, has already opened up orders for the vehicle that starts just a skosh under $140,000.

In September 2019, Musk tweeted that “the only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid,” a teaser to a higher-performing vehicle and a nod to the movie “Spaceballs.” At the time, Musk said the new powertrain would go into production in about a year, which is right about now.

However, during the reveal, which was tucked in among the company's so-called Battery Day, Musk announced that the Model S Plaid would go into production in late 2021. The Tesla website, which requires a $1,000 refundable deposit, says deliveries will begin in late 2021.

This new Plaid powertrain will have three motors, one more than the dual-motor system found in today’s Model S and X. The end result is a faster, longer-range and more expensive version of the Model S. The powertrain produces 1,100 horsepower, achieves a top speed of 200 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 2 seconds, Musk said.

Last year Musk had indicated the Plaid powertrain would also be available in the Model X and the upcoming Roadster. Musk made no mention of whether these models would receive the beefier powertrain.

Musk showed a clip of the Model S Plaid at the Laguna Seca raceway completing a lap in 1:30.3. That's a six-second improvement over a test Tesla made on its Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype last year.

Tesla Model S plaid laguna seca small
Tesla Model S plaid laguna seca small

Image Credits: Screenshot/Tesla