Depending on how closely you follow Tesla, the information released at the Tesla Model S Plaid delivery event might not be very new. However, the delivery event did provide a bit of an update about the new Model S cars. And yes, you can play CyberPunk if you really want to.
The Tesla Model S Plaid gets the controversial yoke
This week, the new Model S Plaid delivery event took place. Since there has been much controversy surrounding Tesla in the news recently, this was an important event. As we know, the biggest change thus far has been the “yoke” steering wheel change. The shape of the steering wheel looks more like a video game controller than a steering wheel, but drivers will probably adapt quickly.
In addition to the yoke steering wheel, Tesla removed the stalks that normally would allow drivers to shift into gear. Instead, touch buttons on the wheel now allow you to shift.
Tesla introduced the smart-shift or auto-shift feature. This feature uses autopilot and AI to determine which direction the car should go in. So if your car is parked in a garage with a wall in front of it and an open garage door behind it, the car should automatically know to reverse. This removes a step in the process for drivers.
The vehicle will also learn the driver’s habits. If the car normally backs up to go to work in the morning, it will learn to optimize the driving experience. There are still manual buttons to shift in and out of gear should you want to.
The ever-important Model S Plaid range and 0-60 mph time
Tesla advertised the Model S Plaid range as being 350 miles, but it says 405 miles on the window sticker. Online, the Plaid version still says 390 miles of estimated range. The Long Range model is listed as 405 miles. The window sticker also notes that the 405-mile range is equivalent to 120 MPGe. That’s definitely a welcome improvement.
Tesla notes that the Plaid is now the “quickest accelerating car in production today.” The 0-60 mph time is 1.99 seconds with 1,020 hp from the three motors. The Plaid had a 1/4 mile time of 9.23 seconds at 155 mph, and a top speed of 200 mph. Tesla also says that the Model S Plaid has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car.
One of the coolest updates is the introduction of the Perfect Power Curve. The Model S Plaid gets peak power all the way through. During the Livestream, Elon Musk noted that he wanted to demonstrate how powerful a performance electric vehicle can be. Some buyers were disappointed when the Plaid+ was scrapped along with the 500+ mile range. The range of the Plaid might not be enough.
Some other interesting features
The Model S Plaid comes with 19″ Tempest Wheels, or buyers can upgrade to the 21″ Arachnid Wheels for $4,500. The interior options are black (no charge), black and white for $2,000, or cream for the same price. The exterior color Pearl White Multi-Coat has no extra charge. Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, and Deep Blue Metallic are $1,500. The Red Multi-Coat is $2,500.
You can still purchase Full Self-Driving for $10,000, even though that remains a controversial issue. The order page says that Autosteer in city streets is coming “later this year,” but it does not elaborate further.
Overall, the event went off fairly well and provided answers to some questions the public had. If you were looking for a 500-mile range Tesla, that might not be on the table yet. It seems Musk is focusing more on the performance side of things over the range.
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