Elon Musk and Tesla have cancelled plans to produce the Model S Plaid (opens in new tab) Plus, just days before the car was due to be unveiled at an official delivery event for its standard sibling, the Model S Plaid.
The Model S Plaid Plus was set to become the most expensive variant of the company's flagship sedan and the quickest vehicle in the Tesla lineup, before mysteriously disappearing from Tesla's official website a few weeks ago.
Clarifying the last-minute U-turn, CEO Musk said in a tweet that there is simply "no need" for the Plaid Plus, as the standard Plaid variant is "just so good." Talk about confidence.
Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good.June 6, 2021
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Tesla had promised a Plaid Plus version of the Model S would deliver 520 miles of range, and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds. Those specs would have put the model at the front of the electric vehicle (EV) pack, but the non-Plus Model S Plaid – scheduled for delivery on June 10 – is certainly no slouch, either.
Only just shy of its now-canned premium brother, the remaining high-end version of the Model S Plaid will pack a 390-mile range battery, 1,020 horsepower, boast a 0-60mph acceleration of just two seconds and a top speed of 200 mph (~320 kmph).
That will make the regular Tesla Model S Plaid the quickest production car ever made, so it seems Musk's confidence is justified. In fact, the Tesla boss followed up confirmation of the Plaid Plus' cancellation with a further tweet affirming that the Model S Plaid "has to be felt to be believed," adding to previous comments suggesting the car "feels like a spaceship."
High praise from a man who does indeed build spaceships.
0 to 60mph in under 2 secs. Quickest production car ever made of any kind. Has to be felt to be believed.June 6, 2021
Naturally, it's not going to be cheap. The Tesla Model S Plaid has a list price of $119,990 (around £90,000 / AU$150,000), making it the most expensive Tesla so far (ahead of the Model X).
Even bigger fish
The Model S is already the most premium offering currently available in the Tesla lineup. In 2019, Elon Musk confirmed that a Plaid (a reference to Mel Brook's 1987 film Spaceballs) variant was in development and would be available in a few years.
Soon after, it was revealed that an even more powerful Tesla Model Plaid Plus would be available at a price of $149,990, with greater performance specs (as detailed above) – achieved by using the company's new 4680 cells.
Tesla's move to axe the Plaid Plus therefore suggests that those 4680 cells – and the performance gains brought by them – will likely be reserved for the Tesla Roadster, which is set to dethrone the Model S Plaid in 2022 with even quicker acceleration, a top speed of more than 250mph and a range of over 620 miles.
Perhaps Tesla wants to have some differentiation between its top two models – which the Tesla Model S Plaid Plus would have blurred. In any case, the standard Model S Plaid is one serious car.