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Tesla Model S Plaid Announcement: How to Watch the Debut of “Fastest Serial Car Ever Made”

Tesla will hold an event to deliver its new, high-performance “checkered” version of the Model S on Thursday. Elon Musk’s company’s efforts to regain interest in its nearly decade-old electric sedan, which also faces stiff competition from Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. When it hits the market, Musk claims that the Plaid Model S will be “the fastest production car ever made.”

The event, which will take place at the Tesla plant in Fremont, California, will be broadcast live to the public starting at 19:00 PT / 22:00 ET. It was originally scheduled for June 3, but Musk pushed it until 1

0 a.m. after tweeting that the vehicle needed “another week of tweaking.”

Delivery of the updated Model S has also been delayed, with the company initially saying it expects to begin delivery to customers in March. The revised version of the Model X SUV is also expected to start shipping in March, but has been postponed to an unspecified future date.

The plaid S model was not inevitable. Despite constant rumors for years, Musk seemed uninterested in the idea, and in 2019 he wrote that “[t]”There’s no ‘refreshed’ Model X or Model S here. ‘

But less than two months later, the prototype version of the Plaid drive made its debut on the Laguna Seca track, circling the famous California track in just one minute and 36 seconds. The company later showed another prototype as part of its presentation for Battery Day in September 2020. Plaid, similar to the “Ludicrous” acceleration mode in Tesla cars, is a reference to one of Musk’s favorite movies. Space balls.

We already know most of the relevant specifications: expected range of 390 miles, top speed of 200 miles per hour (with the “right tires”, Musk said) and sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 1.99 seconds (although there are some questions on the validity of the latter action). The new model is priced at $ 129,990, compared to $ 79,990 for the long-range S model. The Plaid Plus version of the Model S, which was supposed to have a range of more than 520 miles, was canceled after Musk wrote on Twitter that Basically, cheering is “just so good.”

The new Model S will also feature a simple interior, with a landscape touch screen similar to that found in the Model 3 and Model Y. There is also a U-shaped butterfly steering wheel without a stem, similar to what Tesla said, which will appear in the next second – the Roadster generation. And behind the center console there is an added screen for rear seat passengers. Unlike the Model 3 and Model Y, the new Model S still has a cockpit screen behind the wheel.

Tesla says the Plaid Model S should be able to make five times more quarter-millimeter tracks than previous Model S sedans, thanks to the new drivetrain and new heat pump developed for the Model Y. It will also come with an infotainment system. which is powered by a chip capable of 10 teraflops processing power, allowing passengers to play games such as The Witch 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 (with wireless controller support).

When first launched in 2012, the Tesla Model S redefined electric luxury, with a sleek design and long driving range. But the company is facing a new wave of competition, with the launch in recent years of the Porsche Taycan, Audi E-tron GT, Lucid Air and Mercedes EQS. If Tesla wanted to stay in the luxury EV game, it had to make some changes to its flagship car.

However, the sudden cancellation of Plaid Plus raises questions about the carmaker’s battery plans. Plaid Plus was to include Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells. These cells, which should allow longer distances of 500 miles or more, are larger than the company’s current cells, measuring 46 millimeters by 80 millimeters (hence the name). In addition to more energy and power, the new cells are expected to lead to a 14% reduction in cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at the cellular form factor level alone.

Plaid Plus had to reach a range of 520 miles. While Musk could have shocked everyone on Thursday night with a wider range of squares than originally advertised, he also recently threw cold water with the idea of ​​needing a range longer than 400 miles. In a statement to ElectricityMusk said that “the larger scope doesn’t really matter. There are essentially zero trips over 400 miles, where the driver does not have to stop for toilets, food, coffee, etc. anyway. “

Ignoring for a moment that most toilet breaks last shorter than the time it takes to recharge an electric vehicle, Musk’s reversal of the Plaid Plus could signal a delay in Tesla’s 4680 battery cell production. the new cells are to be used in Tesla’s Cybertruck and Semi cars, which are still expected later this year.

In a profit talk in April, Musk said Tesla was still “12 … to 18 months out of a total production of 4,680.” It remains to be seen whether we will receive an update on this assessment of the event on Thursday night. But you never know for sure about Musk.

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