Tesla began shipping its new Model S Plaid, a high-performance version of the company’s flagship electric sedan, Thursday with a livestream event on the company’s test track near its facility in Fremont, California.
The company’s design director, Franz von Holzhausen, served as master of ceremonies and carried a sledgehammer onto the stage to introduce CEO Elon Musk – a humorous nod to a previous event where von Holzhausen smashed and smashed the window of a cybertruck on the stage.
Musk made his appearance Thursday by driving a Model S plaid across the Tesla test track and onto the stage before stepping out to the cheers of selected customers and fans invited to the event.
Earlier, Musk had promised that the long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid would accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds, and he crowed repeatedly Thursday about “breaking the 2-second barrier”.
Musk said the new Model S is “faster than Porsche, but safer than Volvo”. But he also admitted some of his own sweeping safety claims by noting that the NHTSA has not yet rated the Model S plaid for safety.
“We are in production and will now ship the first 25 cars, and then it should be several hundred cars a week and next quarter a thousand cars a week,” said Musk.
According to Tesla’s website, the three-engine, all-wheel-drive Model S Plaid has 1,020 horsepower, has a battery with an estimated EPA range of up to 390 miles, and can reach a top speed of 300 mph when equipped with the correct wheels and tires . According to the small print on the website, these won’t be available until autumn.
On Thursday, Musk didn’t reveal any significant details about the Model S Plaid’s battery pack and simply said, “We have a completely new battery.” (Tesla is struggling to make a 4680 battery cell that it has developed and plans to use in its own vehicles one day.)
Musk quickly went from briefly mentioning the battery to showing pictures of the Model S Plaid’s drive unit, and bragging about a “carbon-wrapped” rotor that is part of the vehicle’s electric motor.
“You can pick up this motor with your hands and it can get a two-ton car to 60 mph in 2 seconds. That kind of power-to-weight ratio is insane,” he said.
He found that the Model S Plaid can reach a range of 187 miles in just 15 minutes on a Tesla Supercharger. Participants would have the opportunity to drive around the route, he said.
Musk also announced myriad changes to the inside of the Model S plaid, most of which were previously announced.
The four-door sedan has a steering yoke instead of a conventional steering wheel, a 17-inch touchscreen display in the center and a separate 8-inch display in the rear for the entertainment of the passengers, charging connections at the front and rear for charging laptops and other mobile devices Devices and the computing power that, according to the company, brings its systems on a par with modern game consoles such as the PlayStation 5.
2021 Tesla Model S checkered interior
As Musk began discussing the updates to the Model S Plaid’s user interface, attendees began to bother him, shouting for “waypoints,” a feature the company had long wanted to deliver. With waypoints, drivers could enter multiple destinations for a trip within the Tesla navigation system.
“You really want waypoints,” the CEO said approvingly. “Okay, well, we’re making waypoints. Damn it. Okay, “laughed Musk.
He also said that with the autopilot on, Model S Plaid could guess which direction, location, and route a driver is trying to take. “It’ll just minimize the amount of input you have to do until the car just reads your mind,” Musk said.
He did not specify which versions of Tesla’s software would be required in a Model S Plaid software to enable this level of automation.
Tesla’s standard autopilot and premium full self-driving options don’t make the company’s cars self-driving. Instead, they are driver assistance systems that, according to the company’s operating instructions, require the company to actively monitor and communicate with government agencies, including the California DMV, at all times.
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Fans were expecting Model S Plaid shipments to begin earlier this year after Musk said the company started production back in January as part of a Tesla call for profits. Then Tesla reported that Model S (and Model X) production in vehicle deliveries and production update had dropped to zero in the first quarter.
Before the heavily advertised delivery event on Thursday, which was originally scheduled for Jan.
Musk said in two tweets in which Model S Plaid was hyped before shipments started: “Plaid + is canceled. No need as Plaid is just that good, “he added,” 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds, sort of. Has to be felt to be believed. “
On Thursday, the price of the Model S plaid had risen by $ 10,000 to $ 129,990 – compared to $ 79,990 for a 2021 long-range Model S, an all-wheel drive version of the two-engine electric sedan and a battery range of 405 miles (according to the Tesla website, which previously listed it as 412 miles).
The nickname Plaid for Tesla’s high-powered version of the Model S is a continuation of the company’s homage to “Spaceballs” – the 1980s Star Wars parody co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. In “Spaceballs” spaceships accelerate from light to ridiculous, then ridiculous speed and finally to “plaid”. Earlier versions of Tesla vehicles featured the Ludicrous mode, which Tesla first announced in July 2015.