Car News

Tesla Goes Plaid, Launches Refreshed Model X, Longer-Range Model S

Last night during an investor call, Tesla announced a refreshed version of its Model S sedan and Model X crossover, offering new interiors, more performance, more range for the Model S, and a steering wheel that is either fully awesome or half missing depending on your point of view.

The flagship of the updates for the Model S is the new Plaid+ version that boasts a top speed of 320 km/h, a zero-to-100-km/h sprint of an astounding 2.1 seconds, and, most impressive of all, an estimated range of more than 840 km. And yes, you read those figures correctly, this newest model can go much farther than any other EV on a single charge. That comes from more than 1,100 hp and Tesla says it is the quickest production car ever to 100 km/h and through the quarter-mile.

A Plaid  model (without the plus) offers the same top speed and acceleration with a 628-km range and slightly less power for a much smaller, though still substantial, price tag. Both Plaid and Plaid+ add a third electric motor to deliver the extra performance. Last up is the Long Range Dual Motor model with a 663-km range and slightly slower top speeds and acceleration. All of these range figures are up over the Model S Performance (the old top-spec) with 623 km.

While outside this looks like the same car (the bumper is slightly tweaked and there are new wheel designs), the interior is all new. A large 17-inch infotainment display takes up much of the real estate, and Tesla calls it a gaming computer, showing it running fantasy RPG game The Witcher III, while a new 12.3-inch screen handles dashboard duties. You'll be able to see that screen more easily thanks to the highly unusual new steering wheel. It's more like a yoke, or something from sci-fi TV, missing the top half of the wheel entirely, and may be the most controversial feature Tesla has ever put into a vehicle.

Aside from the wheel, there is more wood (or carbon fibre if you choose) trim around the interior, and new door panels. The centre console has a much nicer appearance and looks to have more room for stuff as well as wireless charging. Rear passengers get an 8.0-inch screen with the same gaming functions as the front.

The Model X crossover gains a Plaid version with a 547-km range and 1,020 hp from its three motors, while the Dual Motor Long Range offers 580 km and both are slower than their Model S counterparts, though still extremely quick. The Model X sees the same interior makeover, with a thorough restyling and new infotainment system, but these range figures are both shorter, if only slightly, than the previous 597 km Model X Long Range Plus.

Both are available to order now, showing estimated delivery in March for Model S and April for Model X, and "late 2021" for Plaid+.

Tesla Model S Canadian Pricing

Long Range $114,990
Plaid $159,990
Plaid+ $189,990

Tesla Model X Canadian Pricing
Long Range $124,990
Plaid $159,990