Tesla’s fastest EV ever is getting a special event in June

Chris Davies - May 20, 2021, 9:32am CDT
Tesla’s fastest EV ever is getting a special event in June

Tesla plans to hold an event on June 3, Elon Musk has confirmed today, for the first deliveries of its most potent EV to-date, the Model S Plaid. Billed as the “fastest production car ever,” the Plaid trim uses three motors in total for a 0-60 mph time, Tesla says, of under 2.0 seconds.

That’s not just fast for an electric car, but just plain fast, period. Top speed for the Plaid trim will be 200 mph, but Tesla says you’ll still potentially get 390 miles of EPA range from a full charge – albeit maybe not if you’re testing out that 0-60 time over and over again.

The Model S Plaid will be priced from $119,990, though that’s before extras like any paint color other than white – if you want black, silver metallic, or blue metallic, that’ll cost you $1,500, while the red multi-coat is $2,500 extra – and the $4,500 21-inch Arachnid wheel design. A black interior is standard, too, with black and white or cream options priced at $2,000 each.

Most controversial, of course, is Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving Capability” package. Now priced at $10,000, it includes Autopilot, Tesla’s hands-on adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, plus Autopark and Summon. The system can also automatically change lanes, though it’s unclear exactly when the oft-promised autonomous functionality currently in a limited beta will be rolled out more broadly.

For now, then, it may be better to enjoy driving yourself, especially with all that horsepower on offer. To hit its performance numbers, Tesla has dropped in three motors for a total of 1,020 horsepower. The electric motors themselves have special carbon-sleeved rotors, and because of the layout it can apply torque vectoring: pushing independent power to the left or right wheels.

This isn’t, though, the most powerful version of the EV that Tesla has in mind. The Model S Plaid+ won’t be ready for deliveries until midway through 2022, the automaker says, but the $150k sedan should cut the 0-60 mph time even further than the “regular” Plaid version. It’ll also dramatically improve range, supposedly, with a whopping 520+ miles predicted.

Tesla’s June 3 event will be held at its California factory in Fremont. Pre-sales of the Model S Plaid have been underway since September of last year, and early cars – complete with pop-out spoilers – have been spotted in track tests in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the new Tesla Roadster – which is expected to use similar architecture to the Model S Plaid and Plaid+ – has been pushed back into 2022. Elon Musk was coy about exactly why that was the case, though hinted that the automaker needed to nail down some of the final tri-motor drivetrain and battery tech first before the shapely 2+2 coupe would be ready for production.


Must Read Bits & Bytes