Tesla updates Model S & Model X
Tesla have updated the two oldest models in its range, the Model S and Model X for 2021. It also ushers in the long-rumoured Plaid variants, the powertrain that Tesla describes as “beyond ludicrous” giving the two Plaid models a staggering 1006bhp from its tri-motor electric powertrain, and allows the Models S Plaid to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 1.99 seconds. This is the first production car to dip below the 2 second mark for this benchmark sprint. It should also top out at 200mph “with the right tyres”. The Model X does the same sprint in 2.5 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating SUV.
The Model S Plaid+ also ups the car’s range to 520 miles (on the US EPA test) the largest of any production EV.
As well as the improved battery technology and powertrain updates, the two models also receive a complete overhaul of their interiors. The original portrait-orientated infotainment screens make way for a new 17” widescreen landscape one that offers “exceptional responsiveness” and can be tilted towards either driver or passenger as required. Unlike the Model 3 and Model Y, the driver retains a binnacle in front of them, and the rear passengers also get a separate 8” touchscreen mounted at the rear of the centre console to give them independent access to some infotainment and comfort systems.
However, perhaps the most striking change is to the steering wheel, or rather what Tesla calls a “stalkless steering yoke” referencing its design modelled on an aircraft control.
Deliveries to the UK market won’t start until 2022, with prices starting at £83,980 and £90,980 for the Long Range versions of the Model S and Model X respectively. The Plaid variants come in at £110,980 whilst the Model S Plaid+ tops the range at £130,980, making it a true performance rival to the Porsche Taycan Turbo.