Tesla Model S Plaid announced with 520-mile range, 200-mph top speed and world-beating acceleration


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During Tesla’s Battery Day event on Tuesday, CEO Elon Musk announced that the long-rumored Model S Plaid is now available to order ahead of deliveries beginning in late 2021. The Model S Plaid has its fair share of superlatives in a seemingly obvious dig at rivals like the Porsche Taycan and the recently revealed Lucid Air: A range of over 520 miles, a top speed of over 200 mph, a 0-to-60-mph time of under 2 seconds and a quarter-mile time of under 9 seconds. 

Tesla says the Plaid powertrain uses three electric motors and has more than 1,100 horsepower, but there aren’t many more details beyond that. Musk previously said the Plaid would set a new lap record at the Nürburgring, and prototypes were spied last year circling the track with enhanced aerodynamic bits, larger wheels with sticky tires, big brakes and other modifications. Musk has also said the Plaid car would have a battery pack larger than 100 kilowatt hours and mark the return of the Model S’ rear-facing third row of seats, although the latter seems to not have come true yet.

During the announcement a short video played showing a Plaid prototype with those same aero enhancements at the Laguna Seca race track. Musk said the Tesla team was at the track over the weekend and set a time of 1 minute, 30.3 seconds, adding that they expect to be able to chop a few more seconds off that time. That would make it one of the quickest production cars around Laguna Seca of all time.

The Model S Plaid is up on Tesla’s configurator and while it seems like the car looks the same as a standard Model S, the configurator might not be fully updated until the car is actually fully revealed. The Plaid starts at $141,100 including a $1,200 destination charge, and options include extra-cost paint colors, larger 21-inch wheels, different interior schemes and Tesla’s $8,000 “Full Self-Driving” option.

Battery Day is still an ongoing event, so we will update this story if we learn anything new about the Tesla Model S Plaid.

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