Tesla shows off the $130,000 Model S Plaid's performance

It's promising more consistent 0-60 times and better cold weather performance.


At an event last night, Tesla delivered its first 25 Model S Plaid high-performance EVs while CEO Elon Musk detailed all the new features that give it extra quickness and range. It also demonstrated the performance in person to several journalists to show what 0 to 60MPH in 2 seconds looks like.

Musk emphasized that the Model S Plaid is not just quick, but will offer repeatable performance thanks to a new heat pump and radiator that's twice as big. "You'll actually be able to do back-to-back 0-to-60s, go on the track, just haul ass," Musk said. "This car can do it over and over again and it doesn't get winded."

On top of that, Tesla said the new heat pump delivers 30 percent more range in cold weather while using 50 percent less energy for heating. "You'll see very little degradation in cold weather," according to Musk.

He also reiterated the performance features and specs, noting that it can hit 0-60MPH in 1.99 seconds, go through the quarter mile in 9.23 seconds and hit up to 200MPH, thanks to the new 1,020 peak horsepower tri-motor system. At the same time, it delivers 390 miles of EPA range and will let you add 187 miles in just 15 minutes thanks to a faster charging system.

Why the need for such extreme speed? "We’ve got to show that an electric car is the best car, hands down," Musk explained. “It’s got to be clear that sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, the safest cars, can be the most kick-ass cars in every way.”

Other updates for the Model S Plaid include a new 17-inch horizontal touchscreen, along with a digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. Passengers also get a third screen behind the center console along with a "legit backseat," Musk said, describing the previous Model S seat as "not amazing." It also offers dual inductive chargers in the back and the front with a 36-watt USB-C power supply that can charge phones, tablets or laptops. And of course, it comes with powerful new processor that can run AAA games on those screens at up to 60 fps.

It also comes with that famous yoke-style steering wheel and no physical controls to select drive modes. Rather, it will automatically shift between park, reverse and drive as a default, with a touchscreen option for manual selection. "I think, generally, all input is error," said Musk.

Tesla delivered the first 25 Model S Plaid models at the event, and has promised "several hundred per week soon," with plans to ramp up to about 1,000 per week by next motor. It's priced starting at $130,000 after Tesla increased the price by $10,000 yesterday.