Tesla hosted an event centered around the Model S Plaid. Its new 100% electric sedan incorporates innovations that allow it today to be the fastest production car in the world.
Nine years ago, Tesla introduced the Model S, a premium sedan that has been continuously improved since. In this year 2021, the car receives its most important evolutions, presented last January. On the night of Thursday to Friday, Tesla organized a launch conference from its factory in Fremont then delivered the first copies of the Plaid version – the most ambitious ever created.
The Tesla Model S Plaid is described as the world’s fastest production car, capable of reaching 0-60 mph in exactly 1.99 seconds. During the show, Elon Musk detailed several innovations that made this incredible performance possible. Other improvements concern efficiency (for autonomy) or infotainment. We take stock of these major novelties.
All these innovations that make the Model S Plaid better
A third engine, and not only
The Tesla Model S Plaid is armed with a powertrain powered by… three engines. However, the manufacturer did not just add a block to go faster. He redesigned the architecture to make it more efficient, as evidenced by the presence of rotors wrapped in carbon (a first) and torque vector control. Thanks to its better distribution of power (especially on the rear wheels), the Model S Plaid can maintain lightning accelerations and high speed over time. Maximum power – established at 1,020 horsepower – would be reached very quickly, and maintained almost up to maximum speed (320 km / h).
Note however that the Model S Plaid can only reach 320 km / h with a specific tire configuration – which will be available later.
A new battery
This powertrain is powered by a new battery pack, the characteristics of which have not been specified by Elon Musk. We just know that they will recharge more quickly: 15 minutes will allow you to regain 300 kilometers on a 250 kW Supercharger. The billionaire has also promised that the terminals of the Tesla network will soon be improved.
The range of the Model S Plaid is given for 628 kilometers (EPA standard).
Between high performance and comfortable autonomy, there is a balance to be found. To fetch a few extra miles, Tesla has improved the efficiency of the Model S. The sedan now has a drag coefficient of 0.208 (up from 0.23). However, contrary to what Tesla says, it is not the best on the market: the Mercedes EQS drops to 0.2 and, thus, penetrates even better in the air.
More interestingly, the new heat pump should save energy. Tesla reports a 30% improvement in range in cold weather, with 50% less energy used to heat the cabin. We would just like to know what the American firm means in cold weather.
A completely redesigned interior
Tesla had previously shown the Model S’s new interior, which looks much more like the Model 3 and Model Y (with a large screen arranged in landscape format). We recap: more space in the back, more options for recharging your smartphone, an unparalleled entertainment experience (a large screen supported by 22 speakers), a second screen at the back or the famous steering wheel. Yoke supposed to offer better visibility.
A reworked interface
Finally, Tesla highlighted the new interface that powers the Model S. It will be more fluid and customizable, with windows that can be enlarged / reduced as desired, and icons that can be moved more easily. Elon Musk recalled that the on-board graphics power is equivalent to that of the PS5. We even got a demo of Cyberpunk 2077 live. The game would run at 60 fps on the car screen.
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