The Model S Plaid Is Now the Quickest and Most Expensive Tesla

Do you really need a car that goes 0 to 60 in under two seconds?

Red Tesla Model S electric sedan in a hangar
The Tesla Model S Plaid is here, and it costs up to $156,490.

While the general consensus is that Tesla’s Battery Day event on Tuesday was underwhelming (though that consensus is truly a load of crap), the big takeaway from a product standpoint is that Elon Musk predicted they’d have a $25K electric car available in three years. 

Whether or not the automaker meets that goal remains to be seen, but for now, Tesla seems intent on capturing the other end of the car-buying spectrum with the Model S Plaid, a new high-performance version of their luxury sedan that starts at a whopping $139,990 but, as Jalopnik pointed out, can be configured as high as $156,490.

That price increase may seem ludicrous as the Model S was “introduced nearly a decade ago with no announced plans for an actual traditional model-cycle update,” as Jalopnik noted (the base price for the Performance model, previously the higher-end version, was considerably less at $94,990), but the Plaid’s offerings — if accurate — make it certainly worth the money.

The Model S Plaid, which is available to order now for delivery in late 2021, will reportedly go from 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds, hit a top speed of 200 mph and even, miraculously, have a range of 520 miles on one charge. That first stat means “it will comfortably be the quickest production car ever,” according to Carscoops.

During Battery Day, Elon Musk announced the Plaid configuration with a claim that the car achieved a lap time of 1:30.3 at the Laguna Seca Raceway, beating out the Lucid Air, an EV competitor from a former Tesla engineer. To prove it, Tesla tweeted out video from inside the car.

The Plaid’s specs seem tuned specifically to agitate Lucid Motors, as the 0 to 60 time, range and horsepower all eke out the Lucid Air. 

In other Tesla news, Elon Musk hinted at a smaller version of the Cybertruck for international markets, two months after he laid out his fallback plan for the U.S. The code word for the compact model? “Tight Wolverine.”

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