The Tesla Model S and Model X have been given their biggest updates yet, with a unique interior design and high-performance Plaid versions.
Revealed during Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings report, the long-awaited Plaid models promise 1,060bhp thanks to a triple electric motor powertrain. With this setup, the Model S is said to be able to go from 0-60mph in an astonishing 1.99 seconds, while the Model X takes 2.5 seconds.
The Model S saloon also gets a Plaid+ trim at the very top of the range, which bumps its electric range from 390 miles to 520 on official US tests. This would give it the longest range of any EV on sale and cut the 0-60mph time even further.
Perhaps more intriguing, though, is the interior. Tesla has earned a reputation for building digital-focused, minimalist interiors, and this has continued with the new S and X models – even down to an aircraft-inspired ‘wheel’.
While doubts about the practicalities of a rectangular steering wheel in a road car are still up for debate, Tesla says there will be no stalks for the indicators and wipers etc, giving a cleaner design.
The portrait-oriented central touchscreen has been replaced with a 17-inch widescreen landscape unit, with a tilt function to aim it towards the driver or passenger. A new eight-inch touchscreen has been fitted between the front seats for rear passengers, and the new processor is so powerful it allows for ‘in-car gaming on-par with today’s newest consoles’.
Other features include wireless and USB-C charging with enough power to charge a laptop, a 22-speaker audio system with active noise cancelling, and enough load space to fit a bicycle.
Orders have opened now, with the entry-level dual-motor Model S starting at £83,980. That provides an estimated range of 412 miles and a 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds. The triple-motor Plaid models start at £110,980, while the Plaid+ starts at £130,980.